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National Audit Office’s Annual Report to Parliament 2021

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Exceptional circumstances brought exceptional procedures to the management of central government finances

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the NAOF has targeted its audits at the impacts of the situation. In particular, we have audited the business subsidies granted in response to the Covid-19 crisis as well as security of supply, and we have taken into account the impacts of the crisis on central government debt management and the spending limits procedure.

This website presents the NAOF's key conclusions regarding the state of central government finances and public administration, and a review of its operations during the past year.

Matti Okko, Deputy to the Auditor General: Public administration is being reformed in the midst of crisis management

The central government has succeeded relatively well in meeting the requirements set by the exceptional times, but the state's financial management should be improved. Administrative reforms should focus on high-quality preparation and implementation even in times of instability. At the NAOF, we also scrutinize our own activities and financial management.

Covid-19 changed the management of central government finances

In 2020, the Government dispensed with the spending limits temporarily but has not yet succeeded in returning to them. Finland also took additional loan by exceptional means.

There was a slight decrease in the legality of the management of central government finances

As a rule, central government finances have been managed in compliance with the regulations, but there has been an increase particularly in the number of procedures contrary to the state budget.

Reforms should focus on legislative drafting and information systems

Good preparation requires a clear understanding of the problem to be solved by the reform. Haste is a recurrent challenge in the preparation of reforms of public administration.

The National Audit Office responds to changes in the operating environment

We audit topical risks to central government finances and, annually, the final accounts of the central government. We targeted audit work at the management of the Covid-19 crisis already in summer 2020.

Visualizations

On this page, you can view dynamic visualizations that provide background information and more detailed data on the themes discussed in the annual report.