The Government has strengthened the steering of sustainable development, and sustainable development is now more strongly integrated into the Government Programme and Government-level documents. Ministries do not yet have models in place to assess compliance with sustainable development in their own policy-making process.
The National Audit Office of Finland has prepared a follow-up report on the performance audit ‘Promoting sustainable development’ (14/2019). The follow-up report examines what measures have been taken on the basis of the recommendations and other opinions presented in the audit report.
It was found in the audit (14/2019) that the steering impact of the report on sustainable development is limited and that the report failed to deal with the economic impacts of the measures. While ministries were giving more consideration to sustainable development than before, the steering impact of the report and its objectives was weak. Ministries had no specific tools to assess whether the policies that they had prepared were in line with sustainable development. Even though the ex-post monitoring and evaluation system was comprehensive and effective, the conclusion was that reporting on actions promoting sustainable development in the Government’s annual report should be improved.
Based on the follow-up, steering of sustainable development is on a stronger basis. Sustainable development is now more strongly integrated into the Government Programme and Government-level documents. As a separate document, the report on sustainable development has not changed significantly, but it still plays a key role as an instrument facilitating dialogue between the Government and Parliament. The report does not cover the economic dimension of sustainable development in more detail than earlier documents, but in the Government’s sustainability roadmap, the economy is discussed more extensively than before. Sustainable development objectives have become somewhat clearer after the Government report was structured in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN.
The recommendations set out in the audit report have been partially implemented. The steering of sustainable development and its link with economic planning have been strengthened to some extent. The objectives have become clearer. Ministries do not yet have models in place to assess compliance with sustainable development in their own policy-making process. Ex-post monitoring, evaluation and reporting are broad-based and comprehensive, but there is still room for improvement in the reporting on Government measures.