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Swiss Federal Audit Office publishes its 2022 annual report

The Finance Delegation and the Federal Council have taken note of the annual report of the Swiss Federal Audit Office (SFAO). In light of related expenditure in the billions, the SFAO's activities continued to focus on COVID-19 measures and ICT and digitalisation projects. It also took up its new mandate regarding political funding.

The fight against COVID-19 remains a key focus area. At end-2022, pandemic-related federal expenditure amounted to some CHF 39 billion. In addition to this, there were outstanding federal liabilities totalling CHF 13.4 billion from sureties for companies' bridging credits.

Against this background, the SFAO continued its monitoring of federal measures. The aim was to identify errors and abuse. For instance, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs reclaimed more than CHF 85 million in short-time working compensation. Whistleblowing is still the most important tool: around 75% of the investigated reports proved to be justified; in the case of joint and several sureties, the figure was even around 85%.

In connection with the health crisis, the SFAO audited the procurement of the IT application for managing vaccination appointments. While recognising the challenges presented by the extraordinary situation, the SFAO nonetheless found that there were substantial weaknesses. Moreover, when auditing the invoicing of COVID-19 tests, the SFAO identified considerable gaps in the combating of abuse.

The ICT and digitalisation projects require ongoing attention

The largest federal ICT and digitalisation projects are complex, have long horizons and carry considerable financial implications. These projects are necessary to drive public services forward, but they present risks as well as opportunities. The SFAO's audits revealed successes, but also a need for action in some areas. Close attention needs to be paid to the skills shortage.

Whistleblowing is well established and important for the work of the SFAO

In 2022, the SFAO's whistleblowing platform received 279 reports (2021: 402 reports). Both of the previous years had seen a sharp increase in reports, linked to the federal support measures during the COVID-19 pandemic. If these reports are excluded, however, the number of processed cases increased by 33% to 232 (compared to 174 in 2021). Around 57% of reports were useful and will help to improve how the Administration works.

In 2022, the SFAO published 81 reports, more than ever before and 20 more than in the previous year. At end-2022, the SFAO had 140 staff (128.8 FTEs), compared to 135 the year before (123.7 FTEs). SFAO expenses amounted to CHF 31.7 million, including funds for the new mandate regarding transparency in political funding.

Political funding: the SFAO is gearing up to perform its new mandate

Since August 2022, the SFAO has been responsible for monitoring, inspections and publications relating to transparency in political funding. It will check whether all disclosure obligations have been complied with for the first time in October 2023, at the federal elections. The information on the funding of politicians will be made available on the SFAO's website.

The SFAO has taken up its new mandate: for example, it has clarified numerous questions on the application of legal provisions, held meetings of specialists and organised training on issues of application and interpretation.

Press release Annual report 2022

Annual report 2022

Further details:

Swiss Federal Audit Office, tel. 058 463 11 11 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.