To be published on 7.2.2023
The Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland (ARA) as the housing policy implementing body
The objective of the audit is to assess the performance of ARA’s tasks, the effectiveness of its activities, and its risk management. In addition, the audit assesses the activities of the National Housing Fund (VAR) and the State Treasury in so far as they relate to the activities of ARA or VAR. The audit topic is of considerable significance to central government finances. The National Housing Fund had a subsidized loan capital of EUR 17 billion, of which EUR 12 billion consisted of subsidized loans to housing corporations and EUR 4.1 billion of ASP loans. The subsidized loans granted by ARA in 2020 amounted to EUR 1.617 billion.
To be published on 13.2.2023
Finnfund's investment activities and risk management
A significant part of Finland’s development aid is channelled through Finnfund. In the audit, the NAOF examines whether Finnfund’s investment activities and risk management have been effective. In addition, the NAOF assesses the functioning of the ownership steering of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
To be published on 24.2.2023
NAOF's Final accounts 2022
The final accounts include the NAOF's financial statements and management report for 2022. In the final accounts, the NAOF reports on the progress and implementation of its performance targets. View the final accounts at www.vtv.fi/en/naof/planning-and-monitoring.
To be published on 28.2.2023
Report on the oversight of political party funding 2023
Each year, the NAOF audits political party funding and the government subsidies granted to political parties, i.e. party subsidies. The NAOF oversees that those subject to the disclosure obligation submit the disclosures prescribed in the Act on Political Parties on the funding they have received. The aim of the oversight is to increase the transparency of funding.
To be published on 22.3.2023
General housing allowance
The general housing allowance is an integral part of the benefit scheme. The direct expenses arising from it are significant in view of central government finances. It is very common to receive different benefits and allowances at the same time. The basic unemployment allowances paid by the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) are typically complemented with the general housing allowance and basic social assistance. The audit assesses the success of the reforms of the general housing allowance carried out during the last ten years. In addition, the audit examines the estimates of expenditure trends made during the preparation of the reforms, the materialization of the economic impact assessments, and the appropriateness of the financial management processes related to the general housing allowance. The audit provides Parliament and the Social Security Committee with information on the appropriateness and significance of the general housing allowance for central government finances as part of the benefit scheme. The audit also produces information on the preparation and impacts of the reforms of the housing allowance. The audit aims to improve the knowledge base related to the general housing allowance and to produce new information to support future reforms of the general housing allowance.
To be published on 5.4.2023
Effectiveness of the business service system
The purpose of the audit is to look into the effectiveness of the business service system. The audit assesses the steering of the system and the coverage or possible shortcomings of the services, as well as the cooperation between the different actors. Special attention is paid to how the business service system manages to support the growth of SMEs. A strong business sector increases the central government’s tax revenue and reduces pressure on unemployment and social security expenditure, which strengthens central government finances. Effective business services may have very significant indirect impacts on central government finances, which makes this an important audit topic.
To be published on 18.4.2023
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 28.4.2023
Related party relationships and transactions in the central government
The purpose of the audit is to provide information on the central government's related party relationships and to ensure that transactions with related parties have been carried out lawfully, appropriately and under normal terms and conditions and that the related internal control procedures are adequate. The audit of related party relationships and transactions is relevant in order to ensure good governance, transparency and lawfulness.
To be published on 8.5.2023
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 10.5.2023
Central government financial audit reports for 2022
The NAOF audits annually the final accounts of central government, ministries, other agencies obliged to prepare final accounts, and three off-budget funds. The financial audit reports and a summary of the most important findings are published on the NAOF's website. The reports will be published starting from March 2023 as the audits are completed.
To be published on 17.5.2023
Legacy information systems
Information systems that have been in use for a long time may cause government authorities a wide range of problems related to, for example, performing their statutory tasks, increasing operating and maintenance costs, vendor traps and information security. The aim of the audit is to produce information on the current state of the lifecycle management of information systems in different central government units and to promote the cost-effectiveness of the lifecycle management. The audit assesses the lifecycle management of legacy information systems by combining methods of performance audit, compliance audit and system audit.
To be published on 31.5.2023
Fiscal policy monitoring assessment on the management of general government finances, spring 2023
In its report, the NAOF will assess, for example, the General Government Fiscal Plan for 2024–2027, the progress of the objective to stabilize the government debt ratio, and the situation with fiscal regulation on the road towards normal circumstances. The NAOF reports on the findings of fiscal policy monitoring twice a year, in spring and in autumn.
To be published on 31.5.2023
Separate report on the audit of the final central government accounts and the Government’s annual report for 2022
The aim of the audit is to examine to whether the final central government accounts have been prepared according to legislation and whether the budget and budget provisions have been complied with. In addition, the NAOF audits whether the Government reports on the state of central and general government finances and the operational performance in its annual report as required by law.
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 21.6.2023
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 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 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 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 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 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.