International activities

Through international cooperation and interaction, the National Audit Office is able to draw on the experience of other supreme audit institutions in its work and share its own expertise. This supports the efficient implementation and development of external audit and monitoring and thereby creates preconditions for a sustainable reform of public finances and administration both in Finland and internationally.

The key focus areas in the NAOF’s international audit cooperation in the planning period 2021–2025 are:

  • the societal impact of audit work and the role of supreme audit institutions (SAIs) in promoting general government reforms and sustainable financial management

  • digitalization and data analytics

  • the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN 2030 Agenda

  • environmental auditing

  • responding to emerging issues, e.g. sharing peer information and developing competences needed in audits of measures related to the pandemic and climate crises.

The National Audit Office participates extensively in cooperation projects on these themes and shares information and experiences by various means in accordance with the principle of joint development of external auditing.

One of the core tasks of the international cooperation in which the NAOF participates is the development of the standards and guidelines of external audit (INTOSAI Framework of Professional Pronouncements). The NAOF participates in this development work in the International Organization for Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI). The National Audit Office also participates in international audit and monitoring cooperation within the scope of external audit of the EU financial management and independent fiscal policy monitoring and is the national audit body that acts in cooperation with the European Court of Auditors.

In 2021–2025, the National Audit Office of Finland holds the presidency of the INTOSAI Working Group on Environmental Auditing (WGEA). The secretariat of this working group, which is the largest one in the INTOSAI (76 participating countries), operates at the NAOF and is responsible for the practical issues of the working group and for implementing the work programme. During the planning period, the NAOF will also participate in several other INTOSAI working groups, e.g. the working groups on public debt, big data, financial modernization and regulatory reform, SDGs and their indicators, and the impact of science and technology on auditing.

Until April 2021, the NAOF is a member of the Governing Board of the European Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (EUROSAI). The NAOF is responsible for the area of Emerging Issues and Forward Thinking and serves as Vice President in two Covid-19-related project groups: Auditing the Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic, and Preparing for Future Risks and Climate Crisis. The NAOF also participates in the EUROSAI working groups on environmental auditing, audit ethics, and IT audit.

Within the framework of the EU Contact Committee, the Audit Office chairs the Fiscal Policy Audit Network and participates, for example, in the activities of the Banking Union Working Group. In addition, the National Audit Office participates actively in Nordic cooperation and in the Nordic Covid-19 and foresight networks.

The NAOF has a multilateral cooperation agreement in data analytics with the Netherlands, Great Britain, Norway, Germany, and Brazil as well as bilateral cooperation agreements with, for example, the SAI of Bhutan. The National Audit Office acts as the external financial auditor in the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission – Helsinki Commission (HELCOM), the European Southern Observatory (ESO), and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). The NAOF also cooperates with international organizations such as the UN, the EU Commission, and the OECD.