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One of the objectives of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s Government is to make Finland a pioneer in cleantech. In its audit, the National Audit Office assessed how well the policy objectives set for cleantech acquisitions have been achieved and how the related procurement process could be further developed. So far, the policy objectives have not yet been achieved.

Over the recent years, Finland has invested heavily in bioeconomy and clean technology, i.e. cleantech. One of the objectives of the Strategic Programme of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s Government is to make Finland a pioneer in the bioeconomy, a circular economy and cleantech. In the Government Programme, a total of more than EUR 300 million was allocated to the priority area ‘Bioeconomy and clean solutions’ between 2016 and 2018.

The Government aims is to promote this policy objective by creating markets for sustainable cleantech solutions through public procurements. Public procurements could have considerable impacts as the value of public procurement in Finland totals around EUR 35 billion each year, which accounts for approximately 17% of the GDP. For this reason, the National Audit Office has found it important to assess how well the policy objectives set for cleantech acquisitions have been achieved and how the related procurement process could be further developed.

According to the findings of the NAOF, so far, the Government has not yet been successful in creating any significant market opportunities, and the objectives set out in the Government Programme have not yet been achieved. Achievement of the common objectives is challenging because the responsibility for the development of procurement activities is dispersed to a number of actors across public administration. The majority of cleantech acquisitions are made by municipalities, which operate relatively independently of the state. At the central government level, cleantech acquisitions are also dispersed to a number of different ministries.

The commitment of different central and local government actors to the common objectives could be improved with a national procurement strategy and concrete long-term environmental objectives, which should be systematically monitored. In the same connection, coordination between different administrative branches and competence and practices of procurement units in the area of cleantech acquisitions should be enhanced.

The audit findings will be reported in two parts.

The audit report ‘State as a promoter of cleantech acquisitions – Implementation of cleantech procurements’ examines the development of procurement activities through case studies on individual procurement processes and organisations.

The report ‘State as a promoter of cleantech acquisitions – Implementation of cleantech procurements in public administration’ assesses the achievement of the policy objectives set for cleantech acquisitions, as well as the related environmental objectives.