Investigation of fish resources in the Barents Sea and the Norwegian Sea - a parallel audit conducted by the Office of the Auditor General of Norway and the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation

Unregistered fishing and the illegal harvesting of fish in the Barents Sea and the Norwegian Sea, and the challenges these have set for the fishing authorities’ control work, have been central topics in the discussions of the Joint Norwegian-Russian Fisheries Commission in recent years.

From 2006 to 2007, the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) and the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation conducted a parallel audit of the management of fish resources in the Barents Sea and the Norwegian Sea. The investigation was formally launched after an agreement of intent between the OAG and the Accounts Chamber of the Russian Federation was signed in January 2006.

The objective of the investigation was to assess goal achievement and the efficiency and effectiveness of national follow-up and implementation of bilateral agreements between Russia and Norway and decisions taken by the Joint Norwegian-Russian Fisheries

According to the report, the audit was performed in parallel in the sense that common general audit questions and audit criteria were defined and the same outline used for the reports. The two audit reports were written separately and on the basis of independent information. A major element in the parallel audit has been reciprocal learning, and emphasis has therefore been placed on detailed descriptions of the organisation and working methods of Norwegian fisheries management.