The National Audit Office monitors the impacts of the coronavirus situation on general government finances and adapts its operations

The current exceptional circumstances increase the value of risk management competence and crisis management preparedness. A vital role is played by work stamina and successful collaboration. We want to contribute to central government’s ability to act in a timely and effective manner. We guarantee that Parliament obtains information even under the exceptional circumstances, and we will continue to produce information to support decision-making.

The situation caused by the coronavirus outbreak also affects the operations of the National Audit Office of Finland (NAOF). We will monitor the operations of central government and public authorities, seeing to it that our work will not unnecessarily burden public officials working in difficult conditions.

We will adapt our operations so that our audit work or requests for information will not cause an extra load on the authorities and public administration working amid the coronavirus situation. We will give the launch of new audits particularly careful consideration. We will support our employees in carrying out specialist work over remote connections for a long period of time and in achieving a balance between everyday life and telework.

According to the assessment of the Bank of Finland (18 March), the coronavirus will have a significant impact on the Finnish economy, which will plunge into a recession during the year. It is the NAOF’s duty to assess and monitor compliance with national and EU fiscal policy rules under the Fiscal Policy Act. We assess the outlook and risks of general government finances, which are now substantially affected by the coronavirus. The exceptional circumstances caused by the coronavirus outbreak has an impact on general government finances through both the overall economic trend and direct fiscal policy measures, and therefore we will monitor both of these particularly closely.

We are preparing to report on the management of general government finances as planned in May based on the decisions following the government spending limits discussion in the spring and the General Government Fiscal Plan. The coronavirus pandemic will have an impact on fiscal policy measures, the objectives set by the Government, the mechanism for exceptional circumstances, and the EU regulations. When giving our assessment on the management of general government finances, we will naturally take the exceptional circumstances and measures into account.