Oversight activities: Oversight of the legality of election campaign and political party funding

As a politically independent actor, the National Audit Office is a credible and fair oversight authority in issues concerning election campaign and political party funding. The oversight operations can detect and prevent funding that is in violation of the Act on Political Parties or the Act on a Candidate’s Election Funding and thus influence the legality of election campaign and political party funding. The oversight enables improper funding to be detected.

Based on legislation, the tasks include reception and publishing of funding disclosures, communication with the disclosers, verifying the correctness of the received documents, and actions for verifying compliance with the statutory limitations. The National Audit Office has a purpose-built information system for the document management and the publication of disclosures.

The oversight of election campaign and political party funding is an established part of the operations of the National Audit Office. As far as the tasks laid down in the Act on Political Parties are concerned, it is a permanent duty requiring permanent resources. The duties regulated by the Act on a Candidate’s Election Funding are election-specific but constitute a recurrent process. The tasks related to post-election reports require resources even during years when there are no elections.

Targeting of the oversight

According to the Act on Political Parties (10/1969, amended by 683/2010) and the Act on a Candidate’s Election Funding (273/2009), it is a duty of the National Audit Office to receive election campaign funding disclosures and oversee their correctness. From the beginning of 2016, the National Audit Office has also overseen the state subsidies granted to political parties.

Focus areas in development

A working group set by the Ministry of Justice to develop the legislation on political party and election campaign funding started working in 2019, and its mandate expired in December 2021. The National Audit Office holds two permanent expert positions in the working group. Any legislative amendments will be taken into account in the development work. The information system used in the oversight activities will be reformed so that the NAOF can receive election funding disclosures at the same time for both the municipal elections and the county elections in 2025. The audit of political parties and district organizations is based on electronic materials to the extent possible.

Plan for the oversight of political party and election campaign funding in 2022–2026

The content and schedule of the oversight reports are governed in material respects by the Act on Political Parties and the Act on a Candidate’s Election Funding. The National Audit Office will meet the statutory reporting requirements. The reports will present views on the functioning of the legislation.

The following reports will be submitted to Parliament based on the Act on a Candidate’s Election Funding:

  • a report on the 2021 municipal elections will be published in February 2022,

  • a report on the 2022 county elections will be published in September 2022,

  • a report of the 2023 parliamentary elections will be published in December 2023,

  • a report on the 2024 presidential elections will be published in September 2024,

  • a report on the 2024 European Parliament elections will be published in February 2025,

  • reports on the 2025 county and municipal elections will be published in December 2025.

The following reports will be submitted to Parliament based on the Act on Political Parties:

  • a report on the oversight activities in 2021 will be published in March 2022,

  • a report on the oversight activities in 2022 will be published in March 2023,

  • a report on the oversight activities in 2023 will be published in March 2024,

  • a report on the oversight activities in 2024 will be published in March 2025,

  • a report on the oversight activities in 2025 will be published in March 2026.