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 reorganization 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, healthcare and social welfare 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, digitalization, 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 general and central government finances and potential audit topics, and draw up reviews, expert opinions and other statements to support Parliament and central government in decision-making.

The audit and monitoring topics are:

  • Shared processes audit team (financial audit)

  • Government grant team (financial audit)

  • Balance sheet team (financial audit)

  • Security team (financial audit)

  • Backbone team (financial audit)

  • Final central government accounts (financial audit)

  • Statistical knowledge base of fiscal policy

  • Medium-term budget frameworks

  • Centralized audit of compliance with the budget

  • Audit of EU funds

  • Implementation of the Competition Act

  • The state’s climate financing 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 and competitiveness of regional trade and industry

  • Incomes Register

  • Production of financial data on health and social 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

  • Reform of vocational education

  • Utilization of research data in business: funding and incentives

  • Future workforce 2030

  • Regular reports on fiscal policy monitoring

  • Central government debt management

  • Multiple steered central government organizations

  • Jointly funded activities of on-budget entities

  • Organizational mergers and changes

  • Security of supply

  • Business subsidies granted during the Covid-19 epidemic

  • Renovation of the Olympic Stadium

  • Taxation procedure for self-assessed taxes

  • Effectiveness of the entrepreneurship service system

  • Reform of continuous learning and its funding

  • Recruitments and competence development in implementing central government’s personnel policy targets

  • Incentives and obstacles to employment-based immigration

  • Finnfund’s investment activities and related risk management

  • State pension scheme and central government liabilities in other pension schemes

  • Impacts of the reform of student financial aid in 2016

  • Settlement of gambling proceeds and government grants allocated from them

  • Monitoring of the operating environment and foresight in strategic decision-making

  • Centralization of central government functions: Economic efficiency, quality and steering of Palkeet’s service portfolio

  • Funding from the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility (initially as part of the audits targeted at EU funds)

  • General housing allowance

  • Activities of the Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland (ARA) in the implementation of development measures