The Government gave new impetus to Finland's information society development
The Government Information Society Programme will end in April 2007. The main achievements of the programme include the introduction of the model of corporate management to state information management, increasing cooperation between state and local authorities in relation to information society issues and considerable developments in the health sector.
”I am personally very pleased with the results of the Government Information Society Programme – it has significantly contributed to intersectoral preparation of issues", said Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen who was responsible for the overall coordination of the programme.
The projects and results of the Government Information Society Programme were presented at the programme’s closing seminar in Helsinki on Tuesday, 6 February. “The main achievement of the Information Society Programme is the establishment of processes with continuity. Good examples of this are the public sector cooperation in information management and the information society strategy as a whole”, summarised Heikki Lunnas, Head of Information Society Issues at the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, in his speech at the seminar.
Programme Director Katrina Harjuhahto-Madetoja thanked the strong will to cooperate that the involved societal actors expressed during the programme.
Finland’s information society development made positive progress during the present Government’s term of office. There are now approximately 1.5 million broadband connections in Finland whereas at the beginning of the Government’s term the corresponding figure was only 300,000 connections. 84 per cent of Finns use the Internet, e-commerce has grown strongly and, in terms of e-business, Finland is the European leader. Citizens’ confidence in and willingness to use e-services has clearly increased as, for example, 90 per cent of Finns consider netbank services safe.
The Information Society Programme consisted of 150 different measures and projects including:
• The reform of the steering mechanisms and structures of state and local level information management (ValtIT, KuntaIT, and social and health sector
• The implementation of national level information system solutions (including electronic recognition and the national electronic archiving system for the social and health sector)
• The preparation of a national information society strategy for 2007-2015 (A creative, humane and competitive Finland)
• The implementation of the national broadband strategy
• A 15 per cent increase in the number of customer terminals in libraries between 2005 and 2006
During the programme, considerable structural reforms were carried out with regard to the public sector information management and coordination of information society issues. A project to reform state information management (ValtIT) was launched and the state IT management unit was established in the Ministry of Finance in spring 2005 on the basis of the work conducted by the TIME working group, appointed on the request of the Information Society Programme. A KuntaIT Unit, which coordinates information management cooperation between Finnish municipalities, was established in the Ministry of the Interior on the basis of the work conducted by the working groups on KuntaTIME and KuntaIT.
Further information on the Government Information Society Programme and the national Information Society Programme at:
Further information: Katrina Harjuhahto-Madetoja, Programme Director, tel. +358 9 1602 2363 and Ville-Veikko Ahonen, Programme Coordinator, tel. +358 9 1602 2364, Government Information Society Programme, Prime Minister’s Office
The Information Society Programme, chaired by Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen, is one of the Government's four intersectoral policy programmes. The programme aims to boost competitiveness and productivity, to promote social and regional equality and to improve citizens' well-being and quality of life through effective utilisation of information and communications technologies in the entire society.