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Graphic design: Lars Tothammer Photo: Jannecke Sanne Print: Lobo Media Published by the Office of the Auditor General of Norway. April 2006. ISBN 82-90811-65-9 D-05020-06/eng

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Office of the Auditor General of Norway

STRATEGIC PLAN

2006-2010

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The Office of the Auditor General shall contribute efficiently and effectively to the Stortings supervisory activities and shall promote good government administration

Foreword
The strategic plan for the period 2006-2010 is founded on the general vision that the Office of the Auditor General shall contribute efficiently and effectively to the Stortings supervisory activities and shall promote good government administration. Three of the main objectives are aimed at the most important user groups, namely the Storting, the government administration and the public, and one objective concerns the Office of the Auditor General as a workplace. Since the strategies can have relevance for several of the defined objectives, they have been presented separately and have been given a relatively general formulation. We must be as good as our word and ensure that measures related to the strategies are put into operation through the annual performance plans and department plans. One of our principal challenges in the coming planning period will be to maintain an overall audit focus. Our main assignments will include monitoring the Stortings decisions and intentions and assessing the ministries implementation of the budgets. Performing these tasks successfully requires cooperation and will therefore entail focusing on interaction and sharing competencies. The Office of the Auditor Generals values have been incorporated into the plan and must be observed by us all in our daily work. Our values will give us a shared identity and will enable us to work together to reach our goals. The development and modernisation of government administration is a continuous process, and the plan emphasises some of the key development trends that will influence the work of the Office of the Auditor General in the years to come. We must adapt our organisation and use of resources accordingly, as well as our expertise, assignments and audit methodology. During the planning period, consideration will therefore be given to whether an alternative form of organisation and utilisation of employees outside Oslo would be more appropriate than the present arrangement.

Office of the Auditor General of Norway, 1 March 2006

Jrgen Kosmo Auditor General


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I KEY DEVELOPMENT TRENDS


Change processes in government administration

The substantial changes that are taking place in government administration include different forms of affiliation for government assignments. New areas are continuously opening for competition between public and private operators. In a number of cases the public sector retains the responsibility for offering services, conducting building development projects etc., but purchases services and commissions in the market on the basis of open competition. In other cases the market regulates supply and demand totally. The development is expected to continue, but the government has indicated that they will take a more restrictive attitude to this trend. Outsourcing leads to considerable growth in the scope of procurements for government agencies. In addition the use of the Public Private Partnership scheme is gradually increasing in some sectors. The agreements made and the investment projects carried out are often extremely comprehensive and complex and have few standard features, which generates challenges linked to decision-making processes, entering contracts, implementation and follow-up in the individual agency.
Digital Norway

The development of Digital Norway focuses on inter-disciplinary initiatives and projects that aim to create situations and opportunities for collaboration across the various levels of administration, agencies and sectors, and between the public and private sectors.

New appropriations regulations

The revised appropriations regulations came into effect on 1 January 2006. The appropriations regulations and the financial management regulations for central government define the main principles and rules for government financial management, accounting and payment transactions. The regulations emphasise that management, follow-up and monitoring activities must be adapted to the agencys distinctive character as well as to risk and materiality. Work has been started on developing standards for accounting in government agencies in accordance with the accruals principle.
Changes in labour and welfare administration

On 1 July 2006 Aetat (the Norwegian Public Employment Service) and the National Insurance Service were merged to form one new government organisation, and a radical reorganisation of the entire labour and welfare administration will be carried out in the strategic plan period. A new first-line service will be set up that will provide a labour and welfare office in each municipality. These offices will constitute the users contact location for national insurance, social and labour market services. The municipalities will retain their responsibility pursuant to the Act relating to social services. It is anticipated that the new labour and welfare offices will to all intents and purposes be in place in all the countrys municipalities by 2010.

II GENERAL VISION

The Office of the Auditor General shall contribute efficiently and effectively to the Stortings supervisory activities and shall promote good government administration

Through its audits and advice, the Office of the Auditor General shall contribute to a rational use of resources and good administration. Its tasks are defined in Article 75 k of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Norway, and in the Auditor General Act and the Instructions relating to the Office of the Auditor General laid down by the Storting.

The Office of the Auditor General shall verify that public revenues are paid as intended and that public funds and assets are used and administered in a financially sound manner that complies with the decisions and intentions of the Storting. The tasks of the Office of the Auditor General shall include: auditing the central government accounts auditing accounts for the ministries and subordinate agencies conducting systematic investigations of economy, efficiency and effectiveness monitoring the management of the states proprietary interests in companies etc. advising government administration on issues concerning accounting and finance reporting the results of the audit and the monitoring activities to the Storting and the administration in question

The Office of the Auditor General shall contribute to preventing and identifying irregularities and errors in the administration. We must therefore organise our auditing in a manner that enables us to promote the fight against irregularities such as economic crime. ICT crime will be an aspect that must be considered in this context.

III THE OFFICE OF THE AUDITOR GENERALS VALUES


The Office of the Auditor Generals values must be observed by us all in our daily work. The values give us a shared identity and enable us to work together to achieve our common goals. Putting our values into practice will help us to carry out our tasks efficiently, effectively and consistently.

Values for our external reputation

Competence

The Office of the Auditor General is a knowledge-based institution. To maintain a good reputation we are dependent on highly competent employees in all parts of the organisation.
Independence

Independence is decisive to provide the Office of the Auditor General with the required integrity and credibility and to engender societys confidence in our work.
Objectivity

All written and oral communication shall be presented in a neutral, fair and balanced manner. We shall strive to attain accuracy and reliability.

Values for our internal cooperation

Team spirit

The best results are achieved when we act and cooperate as a team. Contributing our own unique competence promotes knowledge-sharing and enhances competence.
Openness

Open and explicit communication results in confidence and job satisfaction. A high level of tolerance provides room for development.
Respect

All our employees shall feel appreciated in their own right. This creates confidence and trust, which are preconditions for working to the best of ones abilities.

IV THE OFFICE OF THE AUDITOR GENERALS MAIN OBJECTIVES


The Storting perceives the Office of the Auditor General as a competent and objective auditing body that makes an effective contribution to the supervisory tasks of the Storting. The government administration perceives the Office of the Auditor General as a competent and independent auditor that actively helps to improve the government administration.

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The public regards the Office of the Auditor General as an independent and visible supervisory body with a high level of integrity.

The Office of the Auditor General is perceived as a modern, flexible and attractive workplace.

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V THE OFFICE OF THE AUDITOR GENERALS STRATEGIES

1. We shall place emphasis on a comprehensive approach to auditing activities, effective work processes, and the efficient performance of our tasks.
A focus on a comprehensive approach to auditing activities shall ensure that our reporting to the Storting and our communication with the government administration give a balanced and consolidated overall picture. Securing the quality of our work and performing our tasks in an appropriate manner entail the efficient utilisation of our overall resources. We will give priority to following up the Stortings decisions and intentions and to making an overall assessment of the ministries implementation of the budgets. Risk and materiality assessments will be used as the basis for all auditing and monitoring activities throughout the audit process. Use of resources in the various auditing assignments will be in keeping with the importance of the individual assignment. In our auditing we will assign greater attention to management, goal achievement and results.

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Appropriate organisation, good financial management, flexible work-sharing and specialisation will ensure the efficient and effective performance of our tasks. We will secure good quality through the correct understanding and use of standards and guidelines, and will adapt methods and tools to a changing government administration. ICT development in government administration must be given priority when planning and conducting audits and when developing competencies. We will attain a high level of security that will preserve the confidence we have inspired in the government administration. We will be at the forefront in the use of ICT solutions to support our work. We will promote knowledge-sharing and the development of government auditing and methodology, for example by participating in national and international specialist environments and in international auditing assignments and through developing other countries supreme audit institutions.

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2. We shall facilitate successful collaboration and competence-sharing

The best results are attained when a good team spirit is in place. A culture characterised by openness and trust generates a better utilisation of our resources, as well as creating both good learning environments and cooperation, inspiring confidence and contributing to a positive working environment. Exchanging experience and utilising competence across the organisation will enable us to perform our tasks efficiently. Tools that encourage collaboration can include setting up audit teams within and between divisions and departments, management training, shared meeting facilities and joint premises. A prerequisite for successful collaboration is the establishment of a good flow of information and effective routines for open communication. The information conveyed must be relevant, sufficient and comprehensible. We will create conditions and generate motivation for open communication and exchange of opinions both within and beyond our individual area of responsibility.

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3. We shall have good internal and external communication


Good communication is necessary for us to be visible and predictable and for our message to be perceived as understandable and clear. Good internal communication is essential for the Office of the Auditor General to be regarded as an integrated unit by external bodies and the general public. Our reports must have a form and content that fulfil both the supervisory needs of the Storting and others expectations of the Office of the Auditor General. A good dialogue must be maintained with the administration throughout the audit process. Clear communication will ensure the achievement of the best possible effect of our audit. We will inform the general public and relevant specialist environments about the work of the Office of the Auditor General and the results attained. The employees at the Office of the Auditor General must be informed about major decisions and conditions within the institution.

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4. We shall create a motivating and inclusive working environment


A good working environment that is characterised by job satisfaction is a prerequisite for achieving our objectives All our employees should experience ownership in the Office of the Auditor Generals work and results. We will place emphasis on openness and on constructive feedback that generates inspiration and promotes development. The Office of the Auditor Generals employees must possess high professional competence. Our personnel policy must provide a basis for recruiting and retaining employees with the appropriate expertise and good communication skills.

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Employees competence will be enhanced. We will be flexible and willing to make changes to meet amendments to internal and external framework conditions. Good leadership will encourage employees professional and personal development and promote the values of collaboration within the organisation. Our personnel policy will support an inclusive working environment for those with different backgrounds and needs and those in different phases of life. We will pave the way for a social and active working environment that will inspire team spirit.

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VI OTHER KEY DOCUMENTS


The strategies for 2006-2010 indicate our main areas of priority and the direction we will take during this period. Specific strategies, procedures and policy and planning documents have also been compiled for each significant area:

The Office of the Auditor Generals value base The Office of the Auditor Generals personnel policy Management principles in the Office of the Auditor General The Office of the Auditor Generals information and communication strategy Instructions for information security in the Office of the Auditor General The Office of the Auditor Generals ICT strategy Routines for collaboration between performance auditing, financial auditing and corporate control in the Office of the Auditor General

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Our website www.riksrevisjonen.no has information about: Audit results Methodology Press releases News Organisation International activities Contact

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