Meistaravörn verkfræðideild - Steinunn Marta Gunnlaugsdóttir

Project Governance Frameworks of Large Public Projects in Iceland and Norway: Perceptions and Practices

  • 5.12.2019, 13:00 - 14:30, Háskólinn í Reykjavík

5.12.2019, 13:00 - 14:30, Háskólinn í Reykjavík

  • Time: December 5th, 13:00
  • Room: M201
  • Student: Steinunn Marta Gunnlaugsdóttir
  • Thesis Title: Project Governance Frameworks of Large Public Projects in Iceland and Norway: Perceptions and Practices 
  • Supervisors: Þórður Víkingur Friðgeirsson Lektor, Reykjavik University and Helgi Þór Ingason, Professor, Reykjavik University
  • Examiner: Halldór Ó. Zoega, engineer and MPA


This study is a contribution to the debate about the over-running of large public projects in terms of cost and time. The main aim of the study is to examine the current state of project governance when it comes to large investment projects in Iceland and Norway. In Iceland, ministries and agencies are required to follow the law on public projects followed with official procedure guidelines when it comes to carrying out initial project analysis.

The Norwegian government has successfully developed a project governance framework that is intended to thoroughly analyze projects in their early stages.

That analysis seeks out solutions for projects at a conceptual level. Also, the Norwegian model requires the use of external parties to quality assure that work.

This thesis seeks to define the elements and methods that characterize a robust project governance framework. The main objective is to benchmark these criteria with the content of the Icelandic law on public project arrangement. Also, examine practices carried out in the ministries and agencies through interviews with stakeholders.

The result indicates that the official guidelines include only a basic set of criteria. Most agencies and ministries exceed the given requirements, but not significantly.

A more detailed analysis of critical factors at an early stage is needed and more consistency in practices within the administrative system of project governance, as well as place more emphasis should be set on ethical values, such as transparency and accountability.

To increase consistency and transparency at an early stage of decision-making, the legislator must provide a more significant requirement that standardized methods be applied.



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