Operating environment and the risks related to it
When assessing the operating environment and the risks related to it, the National Audit Office takes into account general government calculations and verified information but also future scenarios and phenomena that will have an effect on the audit environment and the organization of audit operations.
The general government finances in Finland will probably continue to show a deficit until the end of the decade. The ageing population, the decreasing the birth rate, and the high level of structural unemployment cause pressures for indebtedness to persist in the long term. Other major risks to the Finnish economy continue to include the level of state guarantees and liabilities, and the significant interest risk related to the central government debt. The management of these risks will depend on the success of the significant structural societal reforms to be launched during the government term.
From the perspective of the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it is important that Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) contribute to the national implementation through their audit work. The National Audit Office will direct its audit work at the risks it has identified in the implementation and strive to take special account of the challenges caused by political coherence.
The NAOF has assessed Prime Minister Marin’s Government Programme (Prime Minister Rinne’s Government Programme until 10 December 2019) from the perspective of how the NAOF can supports the public administration and the decision-making capability of Parliament in the achievement of the goals. We will produce audit evidence for measures prepared during the Government term and ensure accountability for the decisions taken by Parliament on the implementation of the Government Programme. In addition, we will audit the implementation of administrative measures proposed in the Government Programme in relation to the objectives set by the Programme.
Constructive audit work can support the reform of public administration and structures, as well as innovation. The National Audit Office believes that experimental culture and networking offer important opportunities and strives to support administrative reforms with its audit work and by setting an example.
An increasing number of public services and processes have become digital and automated. Well-functioning financial administration controls and other process controls have a critical role when the operating environment is changing. By developing our audit work and concentrating our operations, we can provide our stakeholders with even more comprehensive information.
The competence of the NAOF’s personnel will be developed diversely to ensure that we can manage the risks identified in the operating environment. The NAOF will develop its own operations actively in order to be able to offer its stakeholders with more up-to-date information. At the same time, we will strengthen citizens’ trust in good governance.
The impact portfolio provides an overall picture of the audit types and topics and of the main risk areas identified in the risk analysis of central government finances and the national economy. The impact portfolio shows on an annual level how the NAOF will target its audit topics to the main risk areas. The impact portfolio also shows the audit type or monitoring activity the NAOF will use to conduct the audit and whether the focus of the audit will be on verification or development.
Spending calculation of the operating and financial plan, OFP calculation, and human resource framework
The spending calculation for 2020–2024 (Appendix 1) assesses the total value of the annual budget proposals per year. The calculation indicates how much of the budget proposal is allocated to salaries, office rents, and other operating expenses. The operating and financial plan (OFP) calculation (Appendix 2) also indicates VAT expenses and changes in expenditure in 2020–2024. Human resources are allocated by function in compliance with the 2020–2024 human resource framework (Appendix 3). The human resource framework indicates the expected trends in salary expenses and person-years during the planning period.