Audit and monitoring topics

The audit work of the National Audit Office is centred around four subject areas. Some of the audit themes or perspectives extend to several subject areas.

Audit topics and their themes. Topic 1, Sustainable General Government Finances. Themes: fiscal policy, financing risks, costs and financing of investments, asset management and reorganisation of central government operations, Ownership steering of state-owned companies, regulation and monitoring of the financing sector. Topic 2, Sustainable Governance and Public Administration. Themes: unified government, structural reforms of public administration and experimental culture, state as an employer, sustainable development, quality of legislation. Topic 3, A Safe, Healthy and Affluent Society. Themes: social security benefit systems, social and health care service system, employment and entrepreneurship, continuous learning, research, development, and innovation, comprehensive security. Topic 4, Information Governance. Themes: common information flows in the management of central government finances, reliability of central-government-level information, development of the cost-effectiveness of production, improvement of State Group information, central government risk management and internal control, compliance with the budget. Interfaces covering all the topics include quality of legislation, state budget, digitalisation, fiscal policy, sustainability gap of general government finances, ownership steering, asset management, tax system, data protection and cyber security, risk management and structural reforms.
Figure: Areas of audit operations

By monitoring the operating environment, we identify risks that are significant for central government finances and potential audit topics, and draw up expert opinions and other statements to support Parliament and central government in decision-making.

Audit and monitoring topics are (updated on 12 June 2020):

  • Shared processes audit team

  • Government grant team (as from 1 June 2020)

  • Balance sheet team (as from 1 June 2020)

  • Security team (as from 1 June 2020)

  • Backbone team (as from 1 June 2020)

  • Statistical knowledge base of fiscal policy

  • Medium-term budget frameworks

  • Management of employment: Reconciliation of fiscal policy and employment policy

  • Centralized audit of compliance with the budget

  • Uniformity of the budget

  • Audit of EU funds

  • Implementation of the Competition Act

  • Climate financing provided by the state to developing countries

  • Preparation and implementation of the removal of incentive traps (in the audit plan for 2020: Benefit system incentives for accepting untypical employment)

  • Measures for promoting growth of regional trade and industry

  • Incomes Register

  • Expenses of and funding for strategic capability projects of the Finnish Defence Forces

  • Lifecycle management of central government assets: Lifecycle management of central government building assets (in the audit plan of 2019: Management of lifecycle costs in financial planning: Real estate)

  • Lifecycle management of central government assets: Management of transport infrastructure repair backlog (in the audit plan of 2019: Management of lifecycle costs in financial planning: Transport infrastructure repair backlog)

  • Production of financial data on social and health services and utilization of assessment information in the steering of the service funding (in the audit plan for 2020: Assessment of the cost-effectiveness of social and health care services)

  • Steering and monitoring of patient and customer safety (in the audit plan of 2019: Implementation of reforms: Oversight of social welfare and health care services)

  • Reform of vocational education (in the audit plan of 2019: Implementation of reforms: Reform of upper secondary vocational education)

  • Utilization of research data in business: funding and incentives (in the audit plan of 2019: Implementation of reforms: Funding for commercialization of research and incentive impact of university funding)

  • Future workforce 2030

  • Management of employment: Promotion of employment 2015–2019

  • Regular reports on fiscal policy monitoring

  • Central government debt management

  • Implementation of joint purchases

  • Multiple steered central government organizations

  • Jointly funded activities of on-budget entities

  • Organizational mergers and changes

  • Security of supply

  • Business subsidies granted during the coronavirus epidemic

  • Refurbishment project of the Olympic Stadium