The report presents the conclusions made on the basis of the audit findings as well as summaries of the audit findings that are of material importance to Parliament. The report also assesses whether positions adopted by Parliament on the basis of reports of the Audit Committee have resulted in any measures. Furthermore, the report presents a review of the National Audit Office’s activities and their effectiveness during the 2016 budget year.
The National Audit Office focuses its audit and monitoring activities on risks that are material in terms of central government finances. The objective is to promote effective and high-quality management of central government finances. This annual report presents conclusions essential from the perspective of Parliament on the audited entities and themes and evaluates the performance of the National Audit Office. This year, audit activities have dealt with, among other things, the structural reform knowledge base; health, social services and regional government reform; operational reliability and information security of central government digital services and encouraging business investments.
In accordance with an established practice, the National Audit Office monitors the measures arising from its reports to Parliament and the compliance with the related reporting obligations. By carrying out financial audits, the National Audit Office ensures that the state budget is complied with and that information on operational efficiency contained in the reviews of operations is true and fair. The reporting on productivity and economic efficiency is on a fairly good basis but deficiencies in the setting of targets interfere with the effectiveness of performance guidance. Compliance with the budget should be an important consideration.
As regards the promotion of business activities, the annual report assesses, for example, how good practices have been applied in public procurement. Public procurement involves a great potential to promote innovativeness, but so far innovative public contracts have been scarce and mainly made by municipalities. The national innovation strategies need to be implemented more efficiently in all procurement units in public administration.
The health, social services and regional government reform is reviewed from central government perspective. Attention is drawn to material implementation risks and the fact that achieving the savings target requires setting milestones and intermediate objectives whose achievement is systematically monitored.
In terms of digital public services, attention is paid to the fact that interdependencies between different actors in the service provision process have increased, which endangers the transparency on costs and risk management and impedes the usability and incident management.