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Weak coordination of research policy

- The Ministry of Education and Research does not adequately use the policy instruments at its disposal to coordinate research policy, says Auditor General Jørgen Kosmo.
Published 11/8/2012 12:05 PM

Document 3:3 (2012-2013) The Office of the Auditor General’s investigation of the Ministry of Education and Research’s coordination of research policy was submitted to the Storting on 8 November 2012.

The inter-ministerial work on national research strategies has only been coordinated by the Ministry of Education and Research to a limited degree, and has also not been discussed in the Ministries’ Research Committee (DFU).

- This weakens the follow-up of key priorities in research policy, says Kosmo.

The Ministry of Education and Research does not hold budget meetings with the ministries to discuss the overall priorities as regards research policy in the state budget, and neither do such discussions occur in the DFU.

The Research Council’s budget proposal is intended to safeguard a comprehensive perspective in research policy. Micromanagement by the ministries still limits the Research Council’s opportunity to do this.

- The Ministry of Education and Research must take further steps to ensure more coordinated administrative signals vis-à-vis the Council, says Kosmo.

Even though the Ministry of Education and Research’s follow-up of research cooperation with the EU is considered to be good, the OAG’s investigation shows a need for clearer advice on priorities from the Research Council. The development in the European research collaboration entails rising funding challenges.

- The Ministry should therefore to a greater degree ensure that this research cooperation is included in budget discussions with the other ministries, concludes Kosmo.

The Minister says the OAG’s audit will be useful in work on the upcoming research white paper and has started to follow up several of the 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 3:3 (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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