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The Office of the Auditor General’s investigation into the Directorate of Integration and Diversity’s goal achievement and use of policy instruments in the work of settling and qualifying refugees

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Summary

Background and goal of the investigation

One of IMDi’s most important tasks is to contribute to rapid settlement of the required number of refugees in the municipalities. The number of refugees to be settled in municipalities increased from 3,826 persons in 2007 to 6,087 persons in 2009. Settling refugees is voluntary for municipalities. Important policy instruments in IMDi's work include the integration grant and dialogue with the municipalities. Through the introduction scheme, the municipalities are obliged to provide an introduction programme for settled refugees. The introduction programme is intended to give the refugees Norwegian language skills and insight into Norwegian society and to prepare them for participation in the labour market. IMDi is required to follow up the results of the introduction scheme.

The goal of the investigation was to evaluate whether goal achievement in important areas in the field of integration is in accordance with the decisions and intentions of the Storting, and how IMDi has contributed to goal achievement. It was also a goal to evaluate the Ministry’s management and follow-up of IMDi.

Method

The most important methods used in the investigation were statistics and document analyses, interviews with representatives of various entities in IMDi and a questionnaire survey among settlement municipalities. The investigation is limited to IMDi's work on settling and qualifying refugees through the introduction scheme.

Results

Many more refugees were settled in 2009 than in previous years, but IMDi did not reach the target stipulated for rapid settlement. Seventy-seven per cent of the refugees were settled within the six-month deadline. The deadline for unaccompanied minor refugees is three months, but only 27 per cent of them were settled within this deadline. The investigation shows that IMDi has to a great extent made use of the policy instruments at its disposal in its work on settlement. However, goal achievement in relation to the settlement of unaccompanied minor refugees has been poor for several years. In the Office of the Auditor General’s opinion, this shows that the policy instruments used in the work to settle unaccompanied minor refugees have not been sufficiently effective.

The investigation shows that more refugees are participating in Norwegian language tuition and passing written tests, which means that IMDi's goal achievement has improved. However, the investigation also shows that a thorough review is required of the quality of municipal Norwegian language tuition.

The investigation also shows that fewer refugees entered employment or education after completing the introduction programme in 2009 than in 2008. There could be several reasons for this, and the Office of the Auditor General has noted that IMDi wishes to look more closely into the poor results. In the Office of the Auditor General’s opinion, it is important that IMDi and the Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion follow up to ensure that the municipal introduction programmes are of satisfactory quality.

The investigation shows that IMDi is an important policy instrument in integration work. However, good goal achievement is dependent upon close collaboration between IMDi and other players. In the Office of the Auditor General’s opinion, the Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion has a particular responsibility for facilitating such collaboration.

Ministry/ministries:

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

Phone: +47 22 24 10 00

Org.nr: 974 760 843