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Norway 2005 (PA) ENG

International Peer Review of the Performance Audit Practice of the Office of the Auditor General of Norway

The Office of the Auditor General of Norway (OAGN) is the independent auditing and monitoring body of the Norwegian Parliament (the Storting).

The scope of the peer review

The primary objective of the peer review is to give reasonable assurance to Storting (the Norwegian Parliament), the government administration and the public as to whether OAG’s performance auditing practice is suitably designed and operating effectively to produce high quality performance audits. In particular the peer review set out to answer the following questions:

  • Are the guidelines for the performance auditing practice at the OAG of Norway in accordance with international and national standards for performance auditing?
  • To what extent is performance auditing at the OAG of Norway performed in accordance with the guidelines and control systems for performance auditing implemented at the Office?
  • To what extent does the performance auditing practice at the OAG of Norway contribute effectively to Storting’s control of the government administration?
  • To what extent does the performance auditing contribute to improving the government administration?

The review team examined OAG’s documented policies and procedures and carried out interviews with audit staff and staff with responsibility for functional areas such as training and publications. The work drew on eight performance audits completed within the previous two years. The team interviewed Ministry officials connected with these audits and met with members of Storting’s Standing Committee on Scrutiny and Constitutional Affairs (SCSCA) and the OAG Board.

Suggestions

As illustrated by the wide terms of reference set for this peer review, and confirmed by the findings in the review, OAGN is a ‘learning organisation’, meaning that OAGN staff actively seek out good practice and new ideas. OAGN was found to have the capacity to achieve continuous improvement, and the suggestions for the future development of its performance audit function centre on

  • more timely performance audits, so that the information and analysis in OAGN’s reports submitted to Storting are as up-to-date as possible;
  • achieving greater impact from OAGN’s high quality audits and reports; and
  • developing OAGN’s internal communications and its communications with Storting and with Ministries to underpin improvements in timeliness and impact.

Peer Review Team

Angela Hands (National Audit Office, UK)
Helene Morpeth (National Audit Office, UK)
Lee Summerfield (National Audit Office, UK)
Philip Schwalm (Rigsrevisionen, Denmark)
Per Schwartz (Rigsrevisionen, Denmark)
Hans Noaksson (Riksrevisionen, Sweden)
Jan Vikström (Riksrevisionen, Sweden)