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Toll collection is not carried out at the lowest possible cost

In 2011 road-users paid NOK 6.6 billion in tolls, while NOK 3.2 billion was paid in 2002. The toll collection companies had NOK 818 million in operating expenses, which amounts to 12.5 per cent of the toll revenues. It is an objective that toll collection shall be carried out at the lowest possible cost. - The investigation shows that this has not been realised, says Auditor General Jørgen Kosmo.
Published 12/11/2012 12:35 PM

Document 3:5 (2012–2013) The Office of the Auditor General’s investigation into toll collection management was submitted to the Storting on 11 December 2012.

Increasing automation of toll collection has to a great extent contributed to attaining the goal of the least possible inconvenience for road-users.

With automation, it was pre-supposed that operating expenses would decrease. While the operating expenses’ share of toll revenues and costs per passing fell from 2002 to 2005, it has increased since 2005and was higher in 2011 than in 2005.

The companies have substantial losses on accounts receivable as a result of road-users not paying for passing. In 2011 this amounted to NOK 172 million for the companies.

Failure to use s transponders in automatic systems entails costs for the companies, e.g. for image processing. In addition, revenues are lost because the companies are unable to identify the vehicles.

- The roads administration authorities should therefore implement measures to ensure that more road-users use transponders, says Auditor General Jørgen Kosmo.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications has substantial overall control and provides few governing signals in this area. There are weaknesses in the Norwegian Public Roads Administration’s (NPRA’s) follow-up of the toll collection companies. The investigation identifies, e.g., major differences in the toll collection companies’ borrowing and deposit terms. There are also considerable deficiencies in competitive bidding relating to the companies’ procurement of system operators. Both loan management and purchasing are central measures to ensure the lowest possible cost for toll collection.

The Minister states that the Ministry will ensure the best possible follow-up of the findings and recommendations of the Office of the Auditor General, and that the Ministry will now take on a more clear-cut control and follow-up responsibility.

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 3:5 (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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