Audit operations: A Safe, Healthy and Affluent Society

The audits conducted in the impact area focus on assessing the functioning, efficiency and impacts of different areas of an affluent society and their interconnections. The audits are often conducted from the perspective of indirect economic impacts.

The sub-areas of the impact area A Safe, Healthy and Affluent Society are social security benefit systems, healthcare and social welfare service system, employment and entrepreneurship, continuous learning, research, development and innovation, and comprehensive security.
Figure: Sub-areas of the impact area A Safe, Healthy and Affluent Society

 

The focus in our audits is on social security benefits that are significant for general and central government finances and on the effectiveness, economic efficiency and coordination of services related to these benefits ─ such as health and social services, employment, and education and learning services. In addition, the audits deal with employment, entrepreneurship, and research, development and innovation issues supporting and promoting economic growth ─ and also with comprehensive security for ensuring social peace and order.

Multi-channel financing, where the state is one of the key providers of financing, is typical of these areas. National steering plays a prominent role in the operating environment, while the results and societal impact are created regionally and locally. Social and health, education and training, and employment policies fall within the scope of national regulation, whereas in security, growth, and research, development and innovation policies, a major role is played by EU cooperation and funding.

We provide reliable information on complex issues through our audits: we focus our resources on topical issues that are significant for society and utilize different audit types, the competence of our personnel, and external specialist services in a versatile manner.

Social security benefits

We audit the knowledge base of central government finances and the state’s financial management on which the decisions on the social security reform are based by

  • identifying risks related to central government finances and the state’s financial management

  • assessing the interconnections of benefits and services, their cost-effectiveness, and their impacts in relation to each other and to the targets set

  • providing information on systemic interdependencies for the preparation of the social security reform

  • assessing the impacts of social security expenses on the development of general government finances.

In 2021, we will complete an audit and a briefing paper where we assess the effectiveness of the legislative measures aimed at removing unemployment, income, bureaucracy, and information traps. Our new audit topics also include interconnections between the student financial aid and housing allowance and housing policy.

Health and social services

In our expert opinions, we will take a stand on the economic aspects of the health and social services reform and produce audit information to support the decision-making related to the reform. In 2021, we will complete two audits related to the social welfare and health care system. The aim of one of the audits is to assess whether the provision of information on health and social services and the related indicators and assessment model have been planned appropriately. The audit also aims to investigate whether they provide a true picture of the need for and sufficiency of funding for health and social services and of the efficiency of the operations. In the other audit, we will examine whether the administrative branch of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has taken consistent actions when planning, steering, and overseeing the quality management and self-monitoring in health care and social welfare.

Employment and entrepreneurship

In 2021, the Government will launch a large number of measures and experiments to promote employment. We will provide decision-makers and those who implement decisions with information on previous employment-related audits. The audit topics of 2021 include measures for promoting the growth and competitiveness of regional trade and industry, incentives for entrepreneurship and the functioning of the service system, as well as obstacles and incentives to employment-based immigration.

Continuous learning

A reform of continuous learning will be launched in 2021. It is based on the policy lines and roadmap of the reform, published in December 2020. We will launch an audit of the starting points and funding of the reform of continuous learning. In 2021, we will also complete an audit where we assess the implementation of the objectives set for the reform of vocational education and the reconciliation of its implementation with savings.

Research, development, and innovation

During the past ten years, investments in research and development (R&D) have decreased by about EUR 1 billion. Public sector funding to support R&D activities in enterprises is now only 0.08% of GDP. In the current government term, one-off RDI funding constitutes 80 per cent of the additional state funding for supporting RDI. In the audit “Utilization of research data in business”, we will assess the steering and management of the utilization of research data on both strategic and programme level.

Comprehensive security

We will monitor the progress of the project “Capacity of and planning criteria for rescue services and civil emergency preparedness”, which was launched in the spring of 2020. The project is part of the implementation of the rescue services reform. The purpose of the project is to create a comprehensive knowledge base to support the planning, proactive operations, and management of rescue services.