The up-to-date disclosures concerning political party funding together with supplements are correct in essential respects and provide correct information on the financial support received by the monitored entities in essential respects. Monitored entities’ accounting has as a rule been managed properly. The National Audit Office 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 2014 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 2015, disclosures concerning contributions totalling more than 3.2 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 the year 2014 were almost 3.2 million euros; for 2013, almost 2.8 million euros; for 2012, 3.1 million euros; and for 2011, 2.6 million euros. The information supplementing the disclosures also apply to earlier years so that the additions made during 2015 totalled about 0.4 million euros (for 2014), about 0.2 million euros (for 2013) and about 0.1 million euros (for 2012 and 2011 each). Some of the information supplementing the disclosures are the result of audits of political party funding conducted during the past five years.
A total of 35 audits were conducted in the audited district organisations and affiliated entities. On the basis of the audits, the up-to-date disclosures concerning political party funding together with supplements are correct in essential respects and provide correct information on the financial support received by the monitored entities in essential respects. However, especially in the audits of the affiliated entities there have also been cases where the reci-pients have not filed up-to-date disclosures of all the contributions provided by the affiliated entities.
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.
As in previous years, there were again shortcomings in the manner in which the monitored entities had elected their auditors and prepared 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.