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Unclassified summary: The Office of the Auditor General's investigation into the operational capability of the Frigate Branch

Unclassified summary of Dokument 3:13
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Summary

​Background and objectives of the investigation

During the period 2006–2011, Norway received five Fridtjof Nansen class frigates for use on a cyclic basis where three frigates are operational, one vessel is operated as a training vessel and one vessel is used for maintenance or provisioning. The frigates play a key role in helping the Norwegian Armed Forces to carry out assignments relating to military conflicts and during times of war. The frigates must be capable of deterring and combating submarines, and must also have some ability to provide defence against other vessels and aircraft.

The objective of the investigation was to clarify whether the Norwegian Armed Forces have established a Frigate Branch as assumed by the Storting, and to identify the causes of any deficiencies or shortcomings and the potential consequences of this as regards operational capability.

Findings

  • The Royal Norwegian Navy has a Frigate Branch with a lower operational capability than assumed by the Storting
  • The management of spare parts is impairing the operational capability of the frigates
  • A maintenance backlog is also compromising the operational capability of the frigates
  • There are deficiencies in overall performance information for the Ministry.

Recommendations

The Office of the Auditor General recommends that the Ministry of Defence:

  • Improves the balance between assignments and the availability of resources in the Frigate Branch with regard to materials, crewing and competencies
  • Implements measures relating to access to spare parts and equipment as necessary to maintain the operational capability assumed by the Storting
  • Implements measures to ensure that common support functions are adequately manned with the correct competencies to ensure that these areas do not become bottlenecks for the Frigate Branch and other areas of the Norwegian Armed Forces
  • Initiates work to ensure more uniform terminology and improve performance reporting regarding operational capability in the Ministry of Defence and the Norwegian Armed Forces

About the document

The Office of the Auditor General's investigation into the operational capability of the Frigate Branch, Document 3:13 (2015-2016), was submitted to the Storting, which classified the document on 14 June 2016. The Storting asked the Office of the Auditor General to prepare an unclassified summary in consultation with the Ministry of Defence. The unclassified summary was approved for publication by the Board of Auditors General in a meeting held on 31 January 2017.

Ministry/ministries:

Riksrevisjonen, Storgata 16, P.O. Box 8130 Dep, 0032 Oslo, Norway

Phone: +47 22 24 10 00

Org.nr: 974 760 843