Project governance in state-owned enterprises: The case of major public projects’ governance arrangements and quality assurance schemes
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionAdministrative Sciences. 2021, 11 (3), 1-27. 10.3390/admsci11030066
Societal development is increasingly undertaken as major public projects in different sectors. Project governance is important for strategically successful outcomes; thus, a broad societal perspective should be kept throughout the governance process. State ownership exists in many forms, and major public projects’ governance arrangements differ. Quality assurance is a recommended part of the arrangements, yet knowledge of them is limited. This study investigates relatively recent governance arrangements in state-owned enterprises in Norway, emphasizing their content and organization of quality assurance. The arrangements are compared with the more established “State Project Model”, a governance arrangement set up by the Ministry of Finance in 2000, including major public projects with budgets exceeding USD 110 million. Through case studies, comprising documents and interviews, and using the State Project Model as a reference frame, differences in the studied arrangements’ comprehensiveness were found. Finding the appropriate level of governance is challenging, yet potential for mutual learning and improvement across different arrangements is revealed. For state-owned enterprises with sectoral policy objectives, the government should ensure that political control is not undermined. This study provides recommendations for further improvement of governance arrangements and adds to the general understanding of state-owned enterprises and major public projects’ front-end phase.