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Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment to inspect the funding granted by Business Finland to tackle disruptions caused by the coronavirus

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Publication date 21.4.2020 17.16 | Published in English on 23.4.2020 at 16.31
Press release

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment has paid attention to the legality of Business Finland’s financing activities and the importance of supervision from the first day of funding provision. In addition to the internal control and audit activities of Business Finland, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment will also launch its own supervisory activities with regard to Business Finland's financing activities as well as other financial activities in the administrative branch of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.

In addition, the National Audit Office of Finland is likely to audit the provision of business subsidies granted to manage the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, but not any individual financing decisions made by an individual entity in this situation.

Funding supervision in place since the beginning

Business Finland conducts supervision through its own processes and internal control activities. The purpose of Business Finland’s internal control is to ensure legal compliance of its financial arrangements and operations. Business Finland conducts regular inspections to monitor the use of its funding and the quality of its operations. With these quality audits, the quality of the funding decision preparations and the monitoring work during projects is assessed. Weekly audits on the effectiveness of the preparation and decision-making process for funding in disruptive circumstances are carried out. In addition, separate risk assessments regarding funding in disruptive circumstances are prepared.

How is funding paid out to companies?

The remainder of the funding will be paid once the company has submitted a final project report to Business Finland, and the report and project costs have been approved. The company’s accounting records must show that costs have been paid in full at the time the final report and cost calculation are submitted.

The company’s auditor must confirm that the costs are incurred by the project. In addition to the standard project supervision, Business Finland will conduct a more detailed post-completion inspection of some projects. Projects to be inspected after completion are selected randomly, on the basis of a risk assessment, or if there is any suspicion of abuse. Business Finland checks the backgrounds of its customers to prevent money laundering and to make sure funding will not be used for illegal and unethical activities.

What does funding for disruptive circumstances mean?

Funding available from Business Finland for disruptive circumstances is intended for companies that were financially sound before the coronavirus pandemic and that are now suffering from the effects of the coronavirus crisis.

In the coronavirus outbreak, funding had to be launched quickly. The fastest method available was to use an existing channel, in other words the development funding provided by Business Finland.  According to law, Business Finland’s funding is intended for research, development and innovation activities.

The form of support may be better suited to certain types of companies than others. Particularly in emergency conditions it is advisable, in the interest of all parties concerned, to check that support is granted and used correctly. This is a standard procedure with all funding granted by Business Finland.

Sampsa Nissinen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 504 7189
Antti Joensuu, Director, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 29 506 3697

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