Changing NAOF: Strategy of the National Audit Office focuses on renewal and cooperation

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We share a goal with our stakeholders: we strive for the sustainability of central government finances and want finances to be managed in an efficient manner in the short and the long term. In this blog series, we discuss the changes occurring in the audit work of the National Audit Office of Finland and our operating environment from the perspective of our renewed strategy.

The audit industry and the utilisation of audit information will experience quick changes in the next few years, because automation and more widespread use of data analytics will change our operating methods. For the National Audit Office, these changes mean that we must invest in the development of our competence, interaction and cooperation. Our new strategy, prepared in cooperation with our personnel and stakeholders, paves the way for innovative reforms.

We support the sustainable development of the public sector

When you’re gliding on a frozen lake in the spring, the beauty of nature is simply blinding. A tour skater can plan their trip ahead, but they will ultimately choose their route based on the state of the ice and the weather conditions. In addition to the beautiful nature, a successful skating trip requires risk management, knowledge based on experience and observations, and the appropriate equipment.

Societal effectiveness of audit operations is based on an independent and objective assessment of matters, which supports the reform of public administration in its part. Changes in central government finances, steering systems, policy-making and administrative structures are absolutely necessary when reforming public administration, but they also bring with them new kinds of challenges.

With our audits, we can help organisations in identifying development areas in their operations and in learning from their previous decisions and performance. We ensure that central government finances are strong to carry us over the frozen lake  and that any cracks in the iceare detected on time.

We want to provide relevant information that impacts societal change

Mutual trust of the different parties involved in a change can be promoted by means of risk management, openness and transparency. With our audits and expert work, we do our part in ensuring that taxpayers and international parties operating with Finnish society can trust in the ability of the Finnish central government to act openly, efficiently and in a financially sustainable manner. This trust promotes civil peace, taxpayers’ willingness to pay their taxes, wellbeing and competitiveness of Finland.

Our effectiveness objectives (see the figure) depict our strong desire to support and secure sustainable reform of public administration and the sustainability of general government finances. Our position offers us a comprehensive view of central government finances across different policy sectors. We monitor changes in central government, observe system-level opportunities and identify risks. Even an experienced skater should have with them the appropriate navigation tools and ice picks.

Interaction and flexible structures support learning

In the spring, we will enjoy the sunlight and create an organisation to support the implementation of the new strategy. Our effectiveness is based on the sustainability of general government finances, the welfare state and public administration, as well as functional information management. Our new project-based organisation offers us an opportunity to continuously learn and to generate information in a versatile manner. Our vision will take us forward, we will use our strategy as our map and our competence will act as our ice pick whenever necessary.