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Inadequate coordination of the work involved in civil protection - Document no. 3:4 (2007-2008)

The coordination of the Ministry of Justice and the Police of the work involved in civil protection is inadequate. Deficiencies have been detected in general risk and vulnerability analyses at ministerial level, and several ministries perceive the coordination responsibility of the Ministry as unclear.  “Inadequate coordination may lead to poor crisis management,” says Jørgen Kosmo, Auditor General.
Published 4/28/2008 10:26 AM

The Office of the Auditor General’s investigation of the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice and the Police for coordinating civil protection measures, Document no. 3:4 (2007 –2008), was submitted to the Norwegian Parliament (the Storting) on 15 January 2008.

Many different factors can challenge civil protection in Norway. This necessitates the adoption of a well-considered and systematic approach to how a wide range of crises can be countered. The objective of the investigation of the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) has been to identify the extent to which the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice and the Police for coordinating civil protection measures is in line with parliamentary decisions.

The investigation shows that five of the nine ministries investigated have not conducted a risk and vulnerability analysis for the whole of their ministerial area. The Ministry of Justice and the Police does not adequately follow up either the supervision of the ministries or the way in which the work involved in civil protection is prioritised in the ministries’ management dialogues with subordinate agencies. “In addition, several ministries regard the responsibility of the Ministry of Justice and the Police for coordinating civil protection measures as unclear, and they are uncertain as to when their role as coordinator is to take effect,” Kosmo adds.

The OAG is of the view that the Ministry of Justice and the Police should to a greater extent ensure that the individual ministry assigns priority to the necessary improvements on the basis of the measures proposed in supervisory reports from the Directorate for Civil Protection and Emergency Planning.

The investigation also reveals considerable challenges related to information and communication in the event of a crisis, some of which became apparent during Exercise Oslo 2006.

The Ministry of Justice and the Police has announced plans to submit a white paper on civil protection in spring 2008 and says that in this connection the OAG’s assessments will be incorporated into future efforts geared to further developing the Ministry’s supervisory and coordinating role.

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