The National Audit Office (NAOF) has updated its audit and oversight plan, which guides its work, for the years 2023–2026. Twelve new audit topics were added to the plan. Changes are expected in the focus areas of fiscal policy monitoring.
The NAOF audits and oversees topics that are significant to central government finances and to society. You can find the audit and oversight plan for 2023–2026 here. The selection of topics is based on monitoring the operating environment and analysing the risks identified in the state’s financial management.
Twelve new audit subjects were added to the audit and control plan. In the next few years, audits will also be targeted at changes in public administration and measures to promote sustainable and balanced public finances.
Topics related to the sustainability of public finances include the methods of forecasting general government debt and the knowledge base of climate and energy policy.
Topics focusing on measures to promote balanced central government finances include funding of energy solutions for the green transition, planning of public investments and the knowledge base of investment decisions. In addition, the NAOF will audit the state funding of universities of applied sciences and the coordination of national and EU-level RDI funding.
Topics related to administrative activities include information system projects in the police and the judicial administration, preparation extending beyond parliamentary term and the operation of performance management in public administration.
The plan also includes the prevention of money laundering and the 2019 agency reform in the administrative sector of the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
In the next few years, the NAOF will also audit whether the services and benefits offered to young people outside employment and education are appropriate.
The audit and oversight plan will be updated annually and, if necessary, more frequently. More detailed planning of the topics now added to the plan will begin in 2023.
Financial audits will continue to be conducted largely in a centralized manner
Financial auditing was reformed in 2020, and the reform has proved successful. A significant part of the audit of budgetary compliance and shared financial management processes will continue to be carried out in a centralized manner. Items and processes that cannot be audited in a centralized manner will continue to be audited by accounting office.
The NAOF carries out annual financial audits of all ministries and accounting offices, which are obligated by law to prepare final accounts. In addition, financial audits are conducted on three off-budget central government funds.
In a financial audit, the NAOF ensures that the audited entities comply with the state budget and the key regulations on the state’s financial management and that the reports provide true and fair information on the revenue, expenditure and financial position of the central government, agencies and institutions.
Fiscal policy monitoring becomes a separate function, and preparations for new tasks will continue
The NAOF’s reorganization strengthens the independence of the fiscal policy monitoring function in line with the recommendations. The focus of the monitoring is likely to be shifted to possible changes in the fiscal framework, public debt projections, and other budgetary projections.
The first audits of the wellbeing services counties will be carried out in 2023–2024. Preparations for the new task are about to be completed. The NAOF will audit the activities of the counties and the health and social services and rescue services of the City of Helsinki for the part of state funding.
During 2023, an information system will be built for the transparency register. In addition, preparations will be made to offer extensive guidance and advice to those subject to the disclosure obligation and to stakeholders in the use of the new register.
Read about the audits and the monitoring and oversight reports to be completed in spring 2023 in the upcoming publications section of the VTV.fi web service.