The report presents the conclusions made on the basis of the audit findings concerning the current state of central government finances and the public administration from the viewpoint of Parliament and the summaries of the audit findings that are of key importance to Parliament.
The implementation of the positions issued by Parliament on the basis of the Audit Committee reports are also assessed in the report. The report also presents a review of the National Audit Office’s activities and their effectiveness in the 2015 budget year.
Under section 6 of the Act on the National Audit Office (676/2000), the National Audit Office (NAOF) must submit a report on its activities to Parliament.
The focus in the audits and supervisory work performed by the National Audit Office is on the material risks of general government finances identified in the risk analysis of central government finances and the national economy. The strategic objective of the National Audit Office is to promote effective and high-quality management of central government finances. The conclusions essential from the perspective of Parliament are presented in National Audit Office’s report on its activities.
In the report on its activities to the 2016 parliamentary session, the National Audit Office monitors the measures arising from its reports to Parliament and the implementation of the reporting obligations. The Parliament’s positions concerning the development of the report on NAOF’s activities and the establishment of a unit examining legislative impact assessments have led to measures that are in accordance with the positions.
Legality and proper conduct are part of good governance in central government finances. Based on the audit of the activities of the senior civil servants, the conclusion is that the senior civil servants have, in essential parts, complied with the procedures laid down in the law, contained in regulations and set out in agreements. The conduct of the senior management also contribute to the implementation of the principles of good governance in the public administration.
In the report on its activities, NAOF has drawn attention to the fact that in administrative steering, it is essential to achieve coordination between resources and performance targets. By carrying out financial audits, the National Audit Office ensures that the information on operational efficiency contained in the reviews of operations is true and fair, On this basis, the reporting on productivity and economic efficiency is on a fairly good basis but the inadequacies in the setting of targets interfere with the effectiveness of performance guidance. It has been noted that the challenge also exists at central government level in the audit of the report on final central government accounts.
As regards the promotion of business activities, NAOF has in the report on its activities assessed the manner in which the impact assessments have been prepared. Decision-making must be based on analysis and information on how the need for different types of subsidies can be justified and which of the anticipated impacts become reality.
The development of digital public services has been assessed from the perspective of customers’ and users’ needs. Instead of being built into comprehensive service packages, many of the electronic services provided by the public administration have been developed on the basis of individual authorities’ needs and it has been difficult to build systems across sectoral boundaries.
This report discusses cooperation between administrative branches in the preparation of EU matters. Consideration has been given to broad-based preparation, proactiveness and the concrete nature and prioritisation of the overall priorities in Finland’s EU policy. The role of the preparation of EU matters is highlighted as Finland is preparing for its next EU Presidency and the Commission is focusing on more extensive packages of measures in its regulatory work.