FINLAND: Performance Audit - current status and development of the services


The audit was targeted at the services, which are support services for digital transactions. The services are an essential part of public administration's shared digital infrastructure, and public sector organizations are, as a rule, obliged to use them. In its audit, the National Audit Office of Finland (NAOF) examined whether the services support the activities of the Finnish public administration in line with the objectives set for them and whether they are developed according to need. services are intended to provide organizations with solutions and tools for improving their digital services and their delivery to end users easily and reliably.

The following services were included in the audit:

  • fi web service
  • Service catalogue
  • e-Identification
  • e-Authorization
  • Data exchange layer
  • Messages
  • Payments
  • Maps

According to the audit findings, the services have promoted the digitization of public administration. However, the benefits achieved and the extent of service use vary considerably between different services, and overall, a lot of potential has not been utilized. The audit revealed a number of examples where the service development has not met the needs of the user organizations, as a result of which the services are not used actively.

Ensuring the continuity and reliability of the services is of paramount importance to the organizations using them in their own activities, as the services are an integral part of their digital services. The organizations responsible for critical services have identified risks that the services are continuously subject to and have tried to prepare for them.

Based on the audit, the strategic steering of the services has been fragmented and has not met the expectations of different parties. The Ministry of Finance should clarify and strengthen the strategic steering in order for the service development to be determined and systematic. In addition, the organizations using the services feel that they can hardly influence the development of the services. Information is available on the planned development road maps but there is no open dialogue on development needs, and the prioritization of development areas is not considered to be transparent. The NAOF recommends that the Digital and Population Data Services Agency should ensure sufficient customer interaction when developing the services. Also the procedures for introducing the services should be further clarified and streamlined in order to make the use of the shared support services as easy as possible.