Targets set for the Group

The goal of the assessment

The Audit Committee has previously assessed the achievement of the targets set for the City Group’s subsidiaries. Until the 2021 budget, the City Council set performance targets specific to each subsidiary receiving city subsidies, as well as for other key subsidiaries such as Helen Ltd, Port of Helsinki Ltd and the Stadion Foundation. The City Council discussed the failure to meet the targets. The 2022 budget no longer specifies targets to be reported to the City Council.

Conclusions

Starting with the 2022 budget, the City Council has no longer set operational objectives for the subsidiaries, but instead the City Board sets operational objectives when deciding on ownership strategies. The 2022 budget sets out the ownership strategy goals for the subsidiaries receiving city subsidies and certain other key subsidiaries. Setting goals for subsidiaries has also changed in that only some of the targets or their indicators have target values.

Helen Ltd is the City of Helsinki’s most important subsidiary. Despite this fact, the city’s budget for 2022 and 2023 do not set any targets for it. This is because, starting with the 2022 budget, setting targets in the city budget was linked to ownership strategies, but the ownership strategy for Helen Ltd was not approved by the City Board until 27 February 2023. The company had already begun operations on 1 January 2015, but the ownership strategy was not specified until eight years later.

According to the Audit Committee’s interpretation, the City Council’s decision-making power for setting the Group’s objectives has been delegated in practice to the City Board by the Group Guidelines that the City Council adopted on 1 March 2023. If the City Council wanted to set targets in future, there is a theoretical possibility of doing so. However, there is no procedure by which the City Council can communicate to the City Executive Office that it wants to set targets for the subsidiaries.

The Audit Committee concludes that

the City Executive Office should

  • as part of the city’s budget, prepare targets for the most important subsidiaries, which are to be reported to the City Council. These targets may be selectively chosen based on ownership strategies, but in a way that sets target levels for the indicators, which allows their realisation to be assessed.
  • ensure that an ownership strategy is defined for new subsidiaries without delay, and that the ownership strategies of existing subsidiaries are kept up to date.

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