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Too easy to gain access to medical records

​Employees in health trusts have access to health information beyond the service requirements, and the supervision of access to electronic medical records is inadequate.  - The access to health information is subject to strict regulations. The Ministry of Health and Care Services must ensure the enterprises operate in conformity with the rules, states Auditor General Per-Kristian Foss.

Published 11/11/2014 12:30 PM

Document 3:2 (2014–2015) The Office of the Auditor General’s supervision of the management of state-owned companies for 2013 was submitted to the Storting on 11 November 2014.

In the corporate control for 2013, the Office of the Auditor General has remarks about the ministers' administration of the State's interests under the Ministry of Health and Care Services, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Education and Research. The Office of the Auditor General also has remarks about the execution of the Government's ownership policy with regard to the financial structure of companies.

The supervision shows that the execution of ownership of the investigated areas must be strengthened through better follow-up of established goals and requirements.

The health trusts have inadequate emergency preparedness plans

This year's supervision shows that the health trusts lack or have insufficient risk and vulnerability analyses and emergency preparedness plans, and implements only a few emergency preparedness exercises for ICT, water and electricity.

- These input factors are crucial for the operation of hospitals. Even if the ministry and the regional health authorities have facilitated this emergency preparedness work, the management of the health trusts have followed up this work only to a limited degree. There is a need for improved follow-up of ownership and accountability for the emergency preparation work for ICT, water and electricity, says Foss.

Norsk Tipping can be made more efficient

The investigation shows that Norsk Tipping has the potential to improve its efficiency. The Ministry of Culture and the company do not have sufficient information to see whether the company is operating efficiently.

- The owner must provide clearer goals for the efficient operation of Norsk Tipping AS. The Ministry of Culture must ensure that calculations of costs for responsible gaming are compiled, among other things. The reporting requirements must be expanded to make the Ministry better able to evaluate whether the company has an efficient operation, states Foss.

High equity ratio in many companies

Many state-owned companies have a high equity ratio. This applies in particular to wholly-owned companies with sector policy responsibilities.

- In these companies it is often very challenging to control if the operations are efficient. Therefore, it is especially important that the capital structure of these companies is conducive to efficient operations. The responsible ministries must systematically follow up the capital structure of the companies and evaluate the need for measures to provide sound capital discipline, says Foss.

Universities and university colleges must do a better job of following up their companies

Universities and university colleges who manage ownership interests in companies, must strengthen their follow-up of the companies. - This particularly applies to ensuring that companies achieve their intended results and that the companies are not subsidised in conflict with the regulations, says the Auditor General.

Insufficiently coordinated IKT projects in the specialist health service

The Office of the Auditor General also questions plans for long-term regional IKT projects in the specialist health service – at the same time as there is a clear goal of establishing national shared solutions.
"We question how the Ministry of Health and Care Services will be able to ensure that the regional projects will have solutions that are able to communicate with each other, and how the Ministry can contribute to the achievement of national coordination and standardisation," Foss says.

The Office of the Auditor General's supervision of the management of state-owned companies for 2013 comprised 125 companies and enterprises broken down into wholly-owned and partly-owned limited companies, health enterprises, state-owned companies, companies subject to special legislation and student welfare organisations.

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