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National Audit Office’s Annual Report to Parliament 2021

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Sectors to which business development aid was granted in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the development of their turnover

When the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, a total of EUR 1.3 billion was granted in business development aid  through Business Finland and the ELY Centres (Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment). The figure illustrates how the business development aid granted was divided between different sectors and how the pandemic affected the turnover of these sectors. The size of the circles reflects the amount of business development aid granted to the sector in relation to the other sectors. The vertical axis shows the change in the sectors’ turnover in April 2020 compared with their average turnover in March–June 2019. The change in turnover is also expressed as a percentage in the middle of the circle.

In the menu above the figure, you can select the group of sectors you wish to examine. This will open information below the menu on the development of the turnover and on the amount of business development aid granted to the group of sectors. Sector-specific information also opens, and you can thus examine the development of the turnover and the aid granted to an individual sector. You can also select a group of sectors by clicking on the circles in the figure. You can remove your selection by clicking the X at the group of sectors. You can examine only one group of sectors at a time.

The figure shows that the largest share of the total business development aid granted was allocated to wholesale and retail trade. The sectors where the turnover declined the most were accommodation and food services. Based on the figure, it can be stated that the business development aid was not targeted at the sectors that suffered the most from the pandemic.

The information on the business development aid is based on the data received from Business Finland and the ELY Centres. The data extends to the end of October 2020 and thus includes almost all of the business development aid granted. The illustration of the different sectors’ turnover is based on the turnover index data of Statistics Finland. The classification used is the standard industrial classification TOL 2008.

Financial audit findings 2018–2020

Visualisointi – Tilintarkastuskertomus visualisoituna: huomautukset

In the figure, you can view the audit findings of the National Audit Office for 2018–2020. The data presented in the figure are based on the financial audit reports of the accounting offices and disclose whether

  1. the final accounts present true and fair information
  2. the internal control of the accounting offices is effective
  3. the accounting offices have complied with the budget
  4. the accounting office has been obliged to report what measures it has taken as a result of the caution issued to it.

The figure shows which accounting offices have been cautioned concerning the above issues (“Show cautions”). To see the reasons that have led to the cautions, click on the name of the accounting office.

The number of cautions has slightly increased compared with the past two years as

  • in 2018, cautions were issued to 16 accounting offices,
  • in 2019, cautions were issued to 15 accounting offices,
  • in 2020, cautions were issued to 18 accounting offices,

The number of accounting offices audited per year can vary: in recent years, the number has been slightly over 60. This means that in 2018–2019 every fourth and in 2020 about 29 per cent of the accounting offices were cautioned.

In the financial audit for 2020, more than one caution were issued to

  • Finnish Courts
  • National Police Board
  • Finnish Defence Forces
  • Ministry of Finance
  • Finnish Government Shared Services Centre for Finance and HR
  • Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
  • Development and Administrative Centre for ELY Centres and TE Offices
  • Business Finland – the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation

For 2020, the National Audit Office obliged three accounting offices to report to it on the measures they have taken to remedy the state of affairs for which they had been cautioned.

Finnish Courts were to report how they would remedy the deficiencies in the allocation of certain compensations to the correct budget year.

Business Finland, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, was to report how it will remedy the deficiencies in a procedure that was related to the use of authorization and that was in violation of the state budget.

The Finnish Government Shared Services Centre for Finance and HR was again obliged to report on the organization of the internal control of the financial and HR service processes.

Key phases and risks of a reform

Identifying a need for a reform

  1. Problem

    Identifying and describing the problem or way of operating that calls for a reform

    No clear information on the current problems

    A reform is needed as the current situation is not found to be appropriate. Has it been examined what the actual problem is? Is there research-based knowledge on the problem or just ideas and speculation?

    An unnecessary reform is implemented

    What is the objective of the reform? Is it needed? Are there alternatives? Is the problem such that it can be addressed by a legislative amendment or an administrative action?

  2. Looking into alternatives

    Assessing alternative ways to address the problem and their schedules and costs

    Alternatives are not looked into

    When the reason and impacts of the problem have been examined, alternative ways to act and their impacts are assessed. What is the best way to address the problem: a new law, a legislative amendment, another administrative action, or some other way?

  3. Preparing the reform

    Taking preparatory measures: legislative drafting, impact assessments, and IT and system changes

    The preparation is inadequate and carried out in haste

    When the best solution has been found, the measures to be taken are prepared: law drafting, impact assessments, as well as IT and process changes. The schedule and costs are assessed in detail. Defining the steering and coordination responsibilities – this is important especially in large projects. Sufficient time is reserved for the preparation.

  4. Implementing the reform

    In the implementation, it is important to manage the whole.

    Management of the implementation fails

    In the implementation phase, it is important to manage the process as a whole – particularly the schedule and costs. It is important to define the roles and responsibilities of the different actors and who has the overall responsibility. The changes made to information systems must be integrated with the rest of the reform.

  5. Monitoring the reform

    After the implementation, the way in which the reform affects the problem that was to be solved is monitored.

    Monitoring fails

    After the implementation, the way in which the reform affects the problem that was to be solved is monitored. In addition, it is assessed whether the reform has unexpected (adverse) impacts. If necessary, corrective actions are taken.

The reform has been implemented

The figure illustrates the reform process. The process begins by identifying the need for a reform. At first, the problem to be solved by the reform should be defined. After that, alternative ways of operating are examined, and the reform is prepared. After the preparation, the reform is implemented. Finally, the impacts of the reform are monitored. By clicking on the numbered patterns of the different phases of the reform, you can open the major risks of each phase, which are explained briefly in the figure.

Targeting of performance, compliance, and fiscal policy audits at different administrative sectors during the past five years

The figure illustrates how our performance, compliance and fiscal policy audits have been distributed between the different administrative sectors during the past five annual report periods. Select the administrative sector you wish to view in the figure. When you click on an administrative sector, a list of all audits targeted at it per year opens.

The figure shows that a different number of audits are targeted at the different administrative sectors in different annual report periods. During the past five annual report periods, the largest number of audits, 46 in total, have been targeted at the financial administration, while the smallest number, 8 in total, have been targeted at the justice administration.