Up-to-date disclosures concerning party funding together with supplements are correct in essential respects and provide correct information on financial support received by the monitored entities in essential respects. There were again shortcomings in the monitored entities' election of auditors and in their auditor's reports. NAO verifies that all disclosers file the disclosures required under the Act on Political Parties.
The Act on Political Parties contains mandatory provisions aimed at promoting the transparency of funding for political parties and party associations.
The objective of provisions is to increase the transparency of party funding, particularly taking into consideration the recommendations made to Finland by the Council of Europe Group of States against Corruption (GRECO). The public should have adequate information on the funding of parties’ basic activities and election campaigns to evaluate possible ties.
The National Audit Office monitors compliance with the provisions in the Act on Political Parties concerning financial support, the disclosure of election campaign costs and funding and the preparation and submission of related documents by monitored entities. Financial statements for 2013 of political parties, associations referred to in a party subsidy decision and entities affiliated with a party have been sent to the electronic party funding register.
In 2014 disclosures concerning contributions totalling almost 2.8 million euros received by political parties, party associations and affiliated entities were reported to the party funding register in up-to-date disclosures. The contributions disclosed for 2011, 2012 and 2013 totalled 2.6 million euros, 3.1 million euros and more than 2.6 million euros, respectively. Some of the information supplementing the disclosures are the result of audits on political party funding conducted during the past four years.
On the basis of the audit, up-to-date disclosures concerning party funding together with supplements are correct in essential respects and provide correct information on financial support received by the monitored entities in essential respects.
Monitored entities’ accounting has as a rule been managed properly so that monitoring compliance with the provisions in the Act on Political Parties has been possible on the basis of the accounts. The National Audit Office also points out that under the Accounting Act, all organisations obliged to keep accounts must keep their accounts up to date. Attention should also be paid to the documentation of loans, agreements and contracts, keeping and itemisation of accounting records, the processing of petty cash, membership fees and accounting errors and the return of contributions. The itemisation of election campaign costs and funding should be traceable from bookkeeping and other accounts and should be reconcilable with them.
There were again shortcomings in the monitored entities’ election of auditors and in their auditor’s reports. Authorised auditors have not always been elected as auditors. Neither have the auditors always included the statements required under section 9 c of the Act on Political Parties in the auditor’s reports.
Substantial contributions violating the restrictions laid down in section 8 b of the Act on Political Parties were not discovered in the audit.