KI comments on the Swedish National Audit Office’s report
Comment: In a recently issued report, the Swedish National Audit Office notes that the state universities and other institutions of higher education have accumulated over twelve billion kronor (SEK) in unused appropriations and other surpluses. The Swedish National Audit Office believes that this indicates an inefficient utilisation of resources, and recommends that the Swedish Government improve its governance. Karolinska Institutet’s public capital amounts to approximately SEK 1.5 billion, and KI has already commenced efforts prior to this report to reduce it to a lower level.
“For a long time now we have called for a definition of what level of public capital is appropriate for an organisation such as ours, as there are no rules presently, and I welcome this review by the Swedish National Audit Office,” comments Eva Tegelberg, Director of Finance of Karolinska Institutet.
The approximately SEK 1.5 billion that the Karolinska Institutet has in public capital is distributed not only among its 22 departments and their research groups, but also among asset management and holding companies. In recent years, the amount has increased approximately at the same rate as the revenues. Thus, measured as a percentage of revenues, the public capital of the Karolinska Institute has not increased.
The Swedish National Audit Office concluded in its report that most institutions of higher education have commenced with work to slow down this growth, and that the public capital has begun to decline at half of them. Efforts have also been initiated at Karolinska Institutet to reduce the public capital.
“It is clear from the forecasts in our budget estimates that KI will reduce its public capital over the next few years,” remarks Eva Tegelberg.