The National Audit Office of Finland has overhauled its strategy and management system. The NAOF is now an organisation with four effectiveness areas. The aim of the overhaul is to ensure wider societal effectiveness, a management model in which consideration is given to the rapid changes in the operating environment, agile processes and competence development in a broad range of different fields.
“The aim is to ensure that the National Audit Office is effective, efficient and unified. Our work is guided by the generation of information that supports public administration in its development processes. It is extremely important for us that central government can extensively use the audit information that we have produced ,” explains Auditor General Tytti Yli-Viikari, summing up the agency’s mission.
The National Audit Office now has four effectiveness areas
The new effectiveness areas of the National Audit Office are as follows: 1) Sustainable General Government Finances, 2) Sustainable Governance and Public Administration, 3) A Safe, Healthy and Affluent Society, and 4) Information Governance. The NAOF’s audit and evaluation work is managed in the effectiveness areas and they are also responsible for enhancing the societal effectiveness of the information produced by the agency.
Planning and management of general government and central government finances are at the core of the Sustainable General Government Finances effectiveness area. Drafting and implementing fiscal policy as well as the management of central government assets, liabilities, investments and financing risks are the themes examined in the effectiveness area. The effectiveness area also covers the monitoring and regulation of the financial sector, which is relevant to the risks affecting central government finances. The audit and monitoring information helps to ensure that general government and central government finances are managed in a sustainable, responsible and transparent manner. Independent evaluation of fiscal policy also helps to ensure the functioning of rules-based fiscal policy and the appropriateness of the rules. The effectiveness area is headed by Matti Okko.
In the A Safe, Healthy and Affluent Society effectiveness area, the focus is on the pillars of the welfare state, which are the social security benefit systems, social welfare and health care service system, employment and entrepreneurship, continuous learning, research, development and innovation as well as comprehensive security. The audit information helps to enhance the economic sustainability of these sectors. The effectiveness area is headed by Anna-Liisa Pasanen.
The Information Governance effectiveness area covers all areas of central government. The focus is on financial information management, enhancing operational performance, ensuring better information on central government operations, developing risk management and internal control, as well as on compliance with the Budget in central government. The effectiveness area is headed by Jaakko Eskola.
The key themes in the Sustainable Governance and Public Administration effectiveness area are unified Government, structural administrative reforms, experimental culture, central government as employer, sustainable development and quality of the legislation. The position of the director of the effectiveness area is still vacant and will be filled in spring 2019.