Finland has mainly succeeded well in safeguarding its security of supply during the Covid-19 pandemic. The most significant problems were related to the availability of protective equipment used in healthcare at the early stages of the pandemic. In other sectors of key importance for security of supply, Finland has managed to prevent disruptions.
The NAOF has audited Finland’s security of supply and safeguarding it during the Covid-19 pandemic. The audit focused particularly on those sectors of security of supply that were expected to be most affected by the pandemic. These sectors include healthcare, transport and logistics, food supply, and critical industrial production. From the perspective of central government and the national economy, it is important that society can function as normally as possible even in the event of a pandemic.
The costs of security of supply and related measures are not monitored systematically at the national level. The assessment of the total costs of security of supply is complicated by the fact that, in addition to the state, security of supply is maintained by the entire public sector, private companies, and citizens. The balance sheet of the National Emergency Supply Agency and the National Emergency Supply Fund was about EUR 2 billion in 2020.
The Covid-19 pandemic proved the importance of the National Emergency Supply Fund in providing funding for rapid emergency supply measures. In the early stages of the pandemic, the funds of the National Emergency Supply Fund ensured, for example, the operation of maritime transport, which is essential for Finnish freight transport. The pandemic has also proved the importance of human resources in safeguarding security of supply. Finland has managed to adequately ensure the health security of employees in sectors critical to the functioning of society as well as the adequacy of personnel.
The National Audit Office recommends that the preparedness of the National Emergency Supply Agency to carry out key procurements in the event of a crisis be further enhanced so that it can, if necessary, arrange the human and competence resources needed to carry out procurements sufficiently rapidly. When public administration functions are outsourced, the contracts concluded should also take more systematically into account the obligations related to security of supply.