The work of the National Audit Office of Finland (NAOF) is guided by the audit and oversight plan, which is updated annually. The plan was supplemented with 23 new audit topics for the next few years.
The NAOF audits and oversees topics that are significant to central government finances and to society. Auditors monitor the financial management of central government authorities comprehensively and annually assess the risks related to the cost-effectiveness and legality of the various central government activities. Audit topics are selected based on the monitoring of the audit area and risk analyses and decided by the Auditor General.
Topics related to preparedness and the operation of the wellbeing services counties
The topics to be audited in the next few years include, for example, the security of electricity supply, the operation of the power system, preparedness for cyber threats in the central government, the steering and monitoring of the wellbeing services counties, and the procurement of the wellbeing services counties. The audit topics also include the family leave scheme, the activities of family centres, and the promotion of road safety.
The plan also discloses the audits on which a follow-up will be completed during the next 1.5 years. The aim of follow-ups is to examine whether the audited entities have taken adequate measures on the basis of the conclusions and recommendations presented in the audits conducted.
More than 60 financial audits each year
The NAOF carries out annual financial audits on 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.
With financial audits, the NAOF ensures that the state budget and the key provisions on the state’s financial management are complied with, and that the reports provide true and fair information on the revenue, expenditure and financial position of the central government and its agencies and institutions. Financial audits are carried out both specifically per each accounting office and in a centralised manner across accounting office boundaries.
The NAOF has diversified oversight tasks
The National Audit Office oversees election campaign funding and political party funding and acts as the registrar of the Finnish Transparency Register, launched this year. The NAOF also processes complaints submitted to it concerning compliance with the state budget, the legality of the state’s financial management, or election campaign and political party funding. In addition, it processes reports of irregularities submitted to it by public authorities.
The NAOF provides Parliament regularly with information on its oversight activities. A report on the oversight of political party funding is submitted annually in March. A report on the oversight of election campaign funding in the presidential elections held this year will be submitted in September and a report on the oversight of election campaign funding in the European Parliament elections in February 2025.
A separate appendix on fiscal policy monitoring and audit
The NAOF is a national independent fiscal institution (IFI). The purpose of fiscal policy monitoring is to ensure that fiscal policy promotes the sustainability of general government finances and complies with fiscal rules. The NAOF reports on the main observations of its fiscal policy monitoring twice a year.
In 2024, the fiscal policy monitoring function will launch a study to analyse the fiscal policy measures taken in 2020–2022 due to the Covid-19 pandemic to support the economy. The analysis will focus on the allocation and timing of the measures, and the appropriateness of their size.
The NAOF also conducts fiscal policy audits, which are typically targeted at the information base and steering framework of fiscal policy. A new fiscal policy audit to be launched in 2024 will focus on the assessment and reporting of discretionary fiscal stance.