Transparency of governance supports efficient use of public resources

“Good governance is crucial for efficient use of public funds,” Tytti Yli-Viikari emphasised in her speech in Costa Rica.

Tytti Yli-Viikari, the Auditor General of the National Audit Office of Finland, participated in the Congress on Public Sector Efficiency arranged in Costa Rica on 18 and 19 September 2018. In the event, Ms. Yli-Viikari also gave a speech about the role of supervisors in enhancing the efficiency of public administration.

According to Yli-Viikari, good governance is crucial for efficient use of public funds. One of the key principles of good governance is transparency. Public administration constantly faces new transparency issues as agencies and ministries become more isolated and information no longer circulates. If information is not exchanged between administrative branches, problems can escalate and become more complex, which can also affect transparency.

Good governance also requires predictable leadership. This helps to ensure the continuity, stability and timeliness of operations. All this benefits both citizens and public servants alike, and ultimately also promotes efficient use public resources.

According to Ms. Yli-Viikari, future challenges for efficient public administration include changes in the operating environment brought by digitalisation. Digitalisation is a cross-sectoral phenomenon and it should also be harnessed to the efficient use of central government. Recent audits have revealed many challenges in public digital services, which can obstruct efficient use of public funds. Opportunities created by digitalisation should also be taken into consideration in collaboration and networking with various professionals.

Ms. Yli-Viikari considers that the role of a good leader is to guarantee good governance and to support public sector innovation and development. This can be achieved by emphasising personnel development and high-quality people management.

In addition to utilisation of new technology and data analytics, the themes of the national congress for public administration leaders in Costa Rica included method development, collaboration, service design, and change management as part of the enhancement of public administration efficiency. A significant portion of the congress was reserved for workshops for managers in the public sector which examined leadership from the perspectives of self-management, change management and the future of Costa Rica (long-term vision).

Ms. Yli-Viikari also discussed with the management of the Supreme Audit Institution of Costa Rica about the changing role of audit institutions and audit work. The Costa Rican SAI operates in accordance with the ISSAI 12 standard and promotes dialogue and interaction with stakeholders to improve efficiency of its activities and to incorporate the citizen perspective in its audit work.