EUROSAI. Magazine N26 - 2021

EUROSAI 86 Studies and other articles subsidies was exceptionally incorporated in our audit plan in the middle of the planning period, and both public administration and the media were informed of this. The other audit topic that we immediately started to work with concerned security of supply. Finland has maintained an emergency supply organization, although many other countries have abandoned similar organizations. At the unexpected outbreak of the pandemic, the expectations for the emergency supply organization’s operations did not meet reality. You can find more detailed descriptions of the findings and recommendations of the two audits through the links below. The NAOF was not the only one collecting information It became evident very quickly in the NAOF’s monitoring that, because of the pandemic, society as a whole had woken up to a new kind of information need. The production of information increased considerably and, in the early stages of the crisis, the same issues were monitored in many places and in many ways. However, the production of information became quickly more efficient. The producers of original statistical data started to publish information in a faster cycle – in some cases almost in real time. Economical survey data was produced to an increasing extent by public actors. An example is the data the tax administration has collected on the impacts of COVID-19 on taxes; this data can be distributed very quickly to those who need it. The cycle of collecting data through surveys was also shortened considerably in order to provide a quick idea of the state of the economy, for example. It became evident very quickly in the NAOF’s monitoring that, because of the pandemic, society as a whole had woken up to a new kind of information need In addition to data collection, data analysis also increased. Various studies were launched quickly. In the area of economic data, the Helsinki Graduate School of Economics established an economic situation room, which – unlike in the case of traditional peer-reviewed research data – started to make rapid analyses of the state of the economy on the basis of the available data. The NAOF also visualized the state of central government finances and the growth of supplementary budgets, combining the visuals with brief descriptions of the importance of the matter to different sectors. International cooperation has suffered with the exception of data production At the outbreak of the pandemic, it became evident that the world continues to be formed of nation states. Each country strived to ensure the safety of its own citizens only – even through very radical lockdown decisions. In reality, the actions taken may not always have protected people in the best possible manner. This kind of approach was particularly illsuited to preventing a pandemic, which specifically poses a threat to the whole of humanity.