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Of the Auditor General in Norway

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The Norwegian Constitution is based on the principle of the separation of power. The Constitution expresses this by allocating legislative powers to the Storting (parliament), executive powers to the Government (the King in Council) and juridical power to the courts of law. One of the Storting’s duty is to monitor the government and public administration[22], including the central government accounts. The Office of the Auditor General[23] is the Storting’s auditing and regulatory body[24] and by means of its auditing and monitoring work it helps to ensure that the use and management of central government funds are economically sound and in compliance with the decisions and intentions of the Storting. The office of the Auditor General[25] was established in 1816.

The office of the Auditor General is a control agency of the Storting and has an independent role in respect of the public administration. This means that the office of the Auditor General is to carry out its duties independently and autonomously and that is alone determines how to organize and perform its auditing and compliance monitoring duties. The office of the Auditor General reports the results of its auditing and compliance monitoring work to the Storting.

In recent years the public has had better access to the work of the office of the Auditor General. All the documents submitted to the Storting and all administrative reports are published by the office on its website. The work of the Office of the Auditor General is subject to the terms of the Freedom of Information Act.

The senior management of the Office of the Auditor General is composed of a board of five Auditors General appointed by the Storting for a term of five years. The composition of the Board of Auditors General reflects the parliamentary composition of the Storting. Although the Auditors General are elected politically, the Board acts impartially. The Chairman of the Board is the manager of the Office of the Auditor General.

The activities of the Office are grouped into seven departments. The auditing departments carry out three types of auditing: financial auditing, performance auditing[26] and corporate control.

Through its audits and advice the office of the Auditor General shall verify that the public revenues are paid in as intended and that public funds and assets are used and administrated in a financially sound way that complies with the decisions and intentions of the Storting.

The duties ascribed to the Office of the Auditor General include:

- auditing the central government accounts and all accounts rendered by central government agencies and other authorities liable to render accounts to the central government, including government corporations, public administrative bodies that have been granted special powers of authority, government funds and other bodies or enterprises where this is stipulated in separate legislation (financial auditing) performing systematic analyses of the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the government administration on the basis of the decisions and intentions of the Storting (performance auditing);

- monitoring the management of the state’s proprietary interests in companies, banks etc (corporate control);

- advising the government administration on issues concerning accounting and financial management.

The Office of the Auditor General shall be objective and neutral in the performance of its duties. Audits shall be planned, carried out and reported as prescribed by the relevant legislation, instructions and good auditing practice in the Office of the Auditor General.



B. Draw a parallel between Norway and Russia to cover the points in the following chart. Surf the official site of the Account Chamber of the Russian Federation for necessary information.

Point Norway (Office of the Auditor General) Russian Federation (Accounts Chamber)
What principle is the foundation of a country’s Constitution?    
Whom does the Office of the Auditor General report to?    
How is the public access to the work of the Office of the Auditor General ensured?    
What is the organization structure of the Office of the Auditor General? What are three types of auditing carried our by the auditing departments?    
What duties are ascribed to the Office of the Auditor General?    





At the beginning of 2001, particularly in January, Microcomtec Corporation, a small manufacturer of industrial microcomputers and application - specific software was having a difficult time competing in both the domestic and international markets. Actually, sales of its primary product, the Microcomtec 100 Microcomputer, were slow, and the company’s profit was practically nonexistent. It was obvious that Microcomtec was facing a serious financial crisis. In an attempt to save Microcomtec, its president, Mr. David Robinson, hired an outside consultant, Ms. Pauline Stanley, a seasoned professional with years of high-tech marketing experience. After scrutinizing the situation for a couple of weeks, Ms. Stanley made three recommendations. The first called for closing down the European sales office in Rotterdam and concentrating on the U.S. market. The second recommendation was for Microcomtec to shift from a hardware to software emphasis. Specifically, Ms. Stanley advised the company to begin manufacturing IBM-compatible software for general-purpose laboratory/technical uses. The third recommendation called for Microcomtec to shift its advertising and sales promotion from heavy reliance on journal advertising and press releases to direct mail advertising and trade show exhibits. All three conclusions, though not explicitly critical of the vice-president for sales and marketing, Mr. Henry Dixon, were implicitly so since Mr. Dixon had been instrumental in implementing the present marketing strategy. It was now up to the company to decide whether to risk its remaining capital on an entirely new direction or stay with the present course, namely, continuing Mr. Dixon's strategy of industry-specific hardware/software production.


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