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One-third of university and university college buildings are in poor condition

One-third of state-owned buildings in the university and university college sector are in poor condition. This applies particularly to buildings for which the Ministry of Education and Research and the educational institutions are responsible. - The Ministry of Education and Research should be more active in following up the educational institutions that manage their own buildings to ensure that they exercise good property management, says Auditor General Jørgen Kosmo.
Published 12/11/2012 12:30 PM

Document 3:4 (2012-2013) The Office of the Auditor General’s investigation into the state’s management of properties in the university and university college sector was submitted to the Storting on 11 December 2012.

University colleges that manage their own buildings have estimated that 74 per cent of their buildings bear symptoms of poor technical condition. Universities with a similar management responsibility estimate that this applies to 40 per cent on their part, while Statsbygg (the Directorate of Public Construction and Property) estimates that poor technical conditions comprise 19 per cent of the buildings they manage in this sector.

Some of the buildings are in such poor technical condition that they are in effect non-compliant with statutes and regulations. This may have negative consequences for use potential and area utilisation, the Office of the Auditor General notes. The Office of the Auditor General’s investigation shows that while some of the buildings in the university and university college sector are now in better technical condition, conditions have worsened for 19 per cent of the total number of buildings in the same period.

- This is a major challenge for the educational institutions that manage their own buildings. Nor have sufficient investments made in the buildings in 2007-2011 to maintain their value, the Auditor General Kosmo notes.

The Office of the Auditor General points out that educational institutions that manage their own buildings will encounter major challenges when bringing the buildings’ technical condition to an acceptable level given the current maintenance and investment level.

The buildings managed by Statsbygg are in better technical condition. The state’s lease scheme provides a financial basis for regular maintenance of these buildings.

- Educational institutions that manage their own buildings should draw up internal lease schemes so that they also provide financial cover for maintenance to a greater degree, says Kosmo.

The Ministry of Education and Research and the Ministry of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs state that they will follow up the report’s recommendations.

The document can be downloaded via the link on the right.

Public institutions can order the document from the Government Administration Services, tel. (+47) 22 24 20 00, publikasjonsbestilling@dss.dep.no. Others can order it from Fagbokforlaget AS, tel. (+47) 55 38 66 00, offpub@fagbokforlaget.no.

The deferral of public access to documents prepared by or for the Office of the Auditor General in connection with Document 3:4 (2012-2013), cf. the Act relating to the Office of the Auditor General section 18 second paragraph, is hereby set aside.

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