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Perspectives on reviews

By publishing Perspectives on reviews Statskontoret wants to contribute to the discussion about central government commitments and the forms for reviewing them. Through this publication we want to communicate some perspectives that we think are of importance in bringing about a more systematic and regular discussion of reviews in central government administration.

Reviews are often initiated as a result of some form of crisis, major external changes or strong political pressure. But, in view of the many societal challenges facing central government, we think that it is important to discuss questions concerning central government commitments in a systematic and regular way. In this publication we present some ideas about how to put that kind of review in place in practice.

Statskontoret thinks, for instance, that the tasks of the various government agencies should be related to central government commitments as a whole, and not solely to needs in a single expenditure area. One way of bringing about a more systematic review is to examine new commitments as a rule after a certain period. Existing tasks can be reviewed by setting them in relation to the original reasons given for the particular central government commitment. To obtain supporting information for these analyses, the Government can raise the matter more clearly when it adopts terms of reference for inquiries and gives commissions to Statskontoret and other evaluation and analysis agencies.

This publication has been produced as part of our role, under our statutory instructions, of providing the Government with supporting information for the development of its policy for public government administration.