News in Brief

International Journal of Government Auditing – Autumn 2017

Norway

SAI NORWAY COMPLETES SPECIAL AUDIT AT NORWEGIAN PARLIAMENT REQUEST

Following a number of current, as well as anticipated, resource overruns, the Norwegian Parliament (the Storting) requested the Offi of the Auditor General of Norway (OAGN) perform a special audit on a major building project on the site of Parliament-a project both initiated and managed by the Parliament itself.

The project, originally budgeted for $100 million in May 2013, consisted of three parts:

  • Complete rehabilitation of an office block;
  • Building a new hub for deliveries; and
  • Constructing a tunnel to connect the new delivery hub to a street three blocks away.

Just over four years later, in June 2017, the estimated fi project cost totaled $230 million, representing a $130 million overrun.

The Presidium of the Storting was primarily responsible for this project. Because Mr. Per-Kristian Foss, OAGN Auditor General (AG), had been a Presidium member during the project's planning and conduction phases, he would not oversee the special report. Mr. Karl Eirik Schjøtt-Pedersen, Vice Chairman of the Board of Auditors General, stepped in as acting AG for this task.

The following were OAGN's main audit conclusions:

  • The massive increase in the cost of the project can only in part be explained by real changes in the project since the original plans were drafted.
  • Completing the project within time constraints and ensuring the best functionality held more importance than adhering to the allocated budget.
  • The organization of the project was not appropriate for such a complex, large venture.
  • Costly choices were made that had not been completely analyzed.
  • Better quality assurance would have revealed project weaknesses.
  • The Storting lacks adequate regulations and routines to ensure large building projects are conducted in effective and efficient manners.
  • Presidium budget proposals to Parliament were incomplete.
  • There is a need to clarify administrative roles and responsibilities among the different bodies of the Storting.

For more information, visit the OAGN website at www.riksrevisjonen.no or email tjenester-internasjonalt@riksrevisjonen.no.