To be published on 7.6.2023
Risk management and safeguarding the continuity of operations in state-controlled and other state-owned companies of strategic interest
The audit examines whether the Ownership Steering Department of the Prime Minister's Office, which is responsible for the ownership steering of state-owned companies of strategic interest, and the Ministry of Finance have ensured that these companies’ risk management has been organized in accordance with the government resolution on ownership policy. In addition, the audit examines whether the Ownership Steering Department and the line ministries (the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of Defence, and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment) have contributed to safeguarding the strategic interest in the companies and the continuity of operations this requires. In state-owned companies of strategic interest, the state ownership is based not only on investor interest but also on strategic interest. The latter may be based, for example, on national defence, security of supply, infrastructure maintenance, or the fulfilment of the universal service obligation. It is very important that the risk management of these companies is in order and that the continuity of their operations is safeguarded because their products and services can be central or critical to the functioning of society as a whole.
To be published on 14.6.2023
Funding and steering of the digitalization of healthcare and social welfare
The digitalization of healthcare and social welfare plays an important role in the health and social services reform. It aims at many kinds of benefits that contribute to the efficiency of the services and thus curb the growth of health and social services expenditure. Bringing the wellbeing services counties into operation and the operational ICT changes supporting the objectives of the reform will cost hundreds of millions of euros. In addition, there are many development needs related to digitalization and information management, and their costs are estimated to amount to billions of euros. The audit aims to raise awareness of ICT and digitalization within healthcare and social welfare as a whole. The audit examines the funding and overall steering of digitalization within healthcare and social welfare. Another aim is to assess the realism of the estimated costs and benefits of digitalization within healthcare and social welfare. The work aims to support comprehensively the implementation of the benefits aimed at by the health and social services reform.
To be published on 14.8.2023
Financial audit reports for 2022, summary report
The summary report compiles the key findings of the 2022 financial audits of the central government. The report also discloses key information on the thematic audits conducted by the NAOF's financial audit. Thematic audits aim at producing government-wide information on the state's financial management.
To be published on 28.8.2023
Fiscal policy monitoring assessment on the reliability of the economic forecasts of the Ministry of Finance
The fiscal policy monitoring team assesses the reliability of the economic forecasts prepared by the Ministry of Finance (MoF). This ex-post assessment compares the forecasts of the Ministry of Finance with the actual figures by using non-parametric methods. The forecast error distribution of the Ministry of Finance is examined and compared with other forecast error distributions of key budgetary forecasters. In other words, the aim is to focus rather on the accuracy of forecasts than only on the average of forecast errors and whether it has been statistically significantly zero. Forecasters have produced forecasts of general government deficit and debt ratios in accordance with the EU rules related to the European Monetary Union to a greater degree only since the early 2000s. The low number of observations reduces the efficiency of parametric statistical tests. For this reason, this assessment focuses on a non-parametric approach. The assessment relates to the revenue, expenditure, deficit and debt of the general, central and local government and the social security funds.
To be published on 15.9.2023
Private forestry subsidies and compensations, and biodiversity
The audit is targeted at the government subsidies and protection compensations paid to private forest owners in the administrative sectors of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and the Ministry of the Environment, and at the tax subsidies for private forest owners that fall within the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance. The aim is to assess the criteria of each of the subsidy schemes examined as well as to make a cross-sectoral assessment of the coordination and combined effects of the different subsidy forms, with special focus on their impacts on biodiversity. The direct expenses of the audited subsidy and compensation schemes to the central government amount annually to approximately EUR 200 million. They also have potentially significant indirect impacts on the national economy. The issue is topical because ambitious targets have been set for the protection of biodiversity with a deadline in 2030.
To be published on 18.9.2023
National Audit Office’s Annual Report to Parliament 2023
The annual report contains a summary of the audit findings that are of key importance to Parliament, and the conclusions made on the basis of the audit findings concerning the current state of central government finances and public administration. In addition, the NAOF presents an overview of its own operations during the annual report period.
To be published on 25.9.2023
Central government’s long-term service procurements
The audit examines whether the long-term service procurements by the central government’s procurement units are lawful and economic, and whether the internal control of the procurement units is sufficient in the case of long-term service procurements. In addition, the audit examines why the procurement units have purchased services from the same suppliers over a long period of time. According to the final central government accounts, service procurements totalled EUR 3,054 billion in 2021. About a quarter of the service procurements consisted of repair and maintenance services, in particular by the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency and the Finnish Defence Forces. Office services were procured to almost as great an extent, and most of them were related to ICT services and data communications. In this audit, long-term service procurement refers to situations where the central government actually has a long-term cooperation relationship with a certain service provider. It can relate, for example, to a long-term indefinite contract or several shorter fixed-term contracts with the same service provider.
To be published on 8.11.2023
Steering, financing and effectiveness of the management of water resources and marine environments
The audit examines how the central government has tried to ensure the effectiveness of the management of water resources and marine environments in Finland and the use of central government funds allocated to them, and how this has succeeded. Eutrophication caused by nutrient loading is the single biggest problem in the inland and coastal waters of Finland, and most of the nutrient load comes from agriculture. Therefore, the audit pays particular attention to the effectiveness of the activities aimed at reducing nutrient loading in agriculture and to the steering measures public administration has taken to address the challenges identified in them. The purpose of the audit is to provide Parliament, public administration and the relevant stakeholders with information that can be utilised to ensure the effectiveness of the river basin management plans, the marine strategy and the related programmes of measures adopted by the Government in 2021. In addition, the results can be used in the forthcoming updates of these plans and programmes. The audit is mainly targeted at the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. In 2015–2022, approximately EUR 210 million in total have been allocated to water resources and marine environments management in the budgets of the Ministry of the Environment. In the same period, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has allocated approximately EUR 2 billion to activities that have at least partly had objectives related to the promotion of water resources and marine environments management. Environmental compensations for agriculture account by far for the biggest part of the amount.
To be published on 14.11.2023
Activities of the Service Centre for Continuous Learning and Employment
The reform of continuous learning aims to create a comprehensive system of continuous learning. By renewing the service system, the Service Centre for Continuous Learning and Employment (SECLE), established in autumn 2021, aims to ensure that the competence development of the working-age population follows both the labour market needs and the development and renewal of the regions’ economic activities and viability. SECLE's task is to finance competence services that complement and bring added value to existing competence services. SECLE's activities focus particularly on the so-called under-represented groups, such as learners with only basic education, elderly learners and learners with immigrant background. SECLE is also responsible for analysing and interpreting foresight data, developing information, advisory and guidance services and supporting regional cooperation networks and their effectiveness. The aim of the audit is to verify that the funding allocated to continuous learning and competence services is managed in a coordinated manner that makes it possible to achieve the overall objectives of the reform.
To be published on 28.11.2023
Promoting the employment of those with poor employment prospects
The objective of the audit is to assess the appropriateness of active labour market services, the cross-sectoral joint service promoting employment (TYP), the Nordic labour market service model and, of the performance-based operating models, particularly the Social Impact Bond (SIB) model, for promoting the employment of those with poor employment prospects. The audited entities include the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. Those with poor employment prospects account for almost two-thirds of all unemployed. Effective employment measures targeted at those with poor employment prospects are therefore a key factor when central government finances are to be strengthened by promoting employment and reducing social security expenditure. On the basis of the most recent statistics, unemployment-related social security expenditure totalled EUR 5.3 billion in 2020.
To be published on 30.11.2023
Special purpose entities in the planning of rail investments
The purpose of the audit is to assess the performance of the special purpose entity (SPE) model in the planning of major rail investments. The audit examines how well the application of the SPE model and the organisation of the entities support the achievement of the targets set for the SPEs. The audit also assesses whether the procurement processes of the SPEs comply with the legislation and whether their practices promote risk management and sustainability. The planning costs of the three major rail projects that are in the planning phase total around EUR 350 million. Decisions on whether these railway lines will be built will be taken at the earliest during the government term 2023–2027. The current estimates of the total costs of the Turku One Hour Train, Suomirata and Itärata projects are EUR 3.4 billion, EUR 4 billion and EUR 1.8 billion, respectively.
To be published on 4.12.2023
Fiscal policy monitoring report 2023
In its report, the NAOF will assess compliance with the fiscal rules, the achievement of the objectives set, the preparation and implementation of the General Government Fiscal Plan, compliance with the central government spending limits, the realism of the forecasts of the Ministry of Finance, and the fiscal policy stance. The NAOF reports on the findings of fiscal policy monitoring twice a year, in spring and in autumn.
To be published on 5.12.2023
Report on the oversight of election campaign funding in the 2023 parliamentary elections
The NAOF oversees that those subject to the disclosure obligation submit a disclosure on their election campaign funding under the Act on a Candidate's Election Funding. In parliamentary elections, the disclosure obligation applies to those elected as Members or deputy Members of Parliament. The aim of the oversight is to increase the transparency of funding.
To be published on 5.12.2023
Subsidies for agricultural investments
The audit assesses the impacts of subsidies for agricultural investments. These subsidies are targeted at various types of agricultural investments, such as the construction of cowsheds and pig buildings or the drainage of fields. The overall audit question is how the investment subsidies affect the profitability and competitiveness of agriculture. Investment subsidies account for only a small part of all agricultural subsidies. Of the agricultural subsidies totalling around EUR 2 billion, around EUR 100 million is spent on investment subsidies. However, investment subsidies are very important for the future of agriculture. In practice, no agricultural investments in Finland are made without subsidies, and investments shape the future agricultural production.
To be published on 25.1.2024
Effectiveness of the assessment procedure in balancing local government finances and safeguarding services
The purpose of the audit is to examine whether the municipalities’ assessment procedure, included in local government steering instruments, has succeeded in identifying and addressing problems in municipal finances, ensuring balanced municipal finances in the medium term, and safeguarding the availability of the statutory basic services in municipalities. The audit aims to provide information on the functioning and any development needs of the municipalities’ assessment procedure.
To be published on 1.4.2024
Relationship of Finland's RDI policy steering and other steering with the utilisation of EU programme funding
Relationship of Finland's RDI policy steering and other steering with the utilisation of EU programme funding The aim of the audit is to examine whether the state's RDI policy steering and other steering have been coordinated with EU programme funding and whether Finland has the prerequisites and incentives to utilise the EU's RDI funding as widely as possible. The audit aims to improve the effectiveness of the state's R&D funding and the knowledge base of the related decision-making. The audit focuses on the situation as from 2014. The audited entities are the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the Ministry of Education and Culture, Business Finland, and the Academy of Finland. In addition, the Ministry of Finance is audited because it has participated in monitoring the utilization of EU programmes during the Horizon Europe period and has also participated in the preparation of an act and plan on R&D financing.