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Press release by the Ministry of Finance and the Digital and Population Data Services Agency
Financing provided to make digital support a permanent service for citizens and businesses

Ministry of Finance
3.12.2021 9.00
Press release

The Ministry of Finance has granted the Digital and Population Data Services Agency EUR 1.8 million for building an operating model for digital support. A pilot project is to be completed in 2022, and the model is to be later adopted nationwide as a permanent service. The financing was granted from the Programme for the Promotion of Digitalisation. One of the programme objectives is to expand the national operating model to cover digital support to business operators.

“Digitalisation will affect our daily lives and revolutionise the way we use services, whether provided by public authorities or private service providers. Digital development must be inclusive; no one is to be left out.  It is therefore our first priority to ensure that people’s needs and their ability to use digital services are taken into account in the digital transformation. One way of doing it is to provide digital support,” says Minister of Local Government Sirpa Paatero.

Digital and Population Data Services Agency will be responsible for further development of digital support and for extensive cooperation with networks and stakeholders representing multiple sectors. Digital support services will be developed taking into account the needs of both citizens and business operators.

“The digitalisation programme supports and encourages public authorities to make their services available digitally to citizens and businesses by 2023. The financing for digital support aims to ensure that the digital transformation leaves no one behind, and that the digital support operating model moves forward,” says Heli Hänninen from the Ministry of Finance.  

Financing enables digital support needs assessment and customer-oriented development

Digital support development and digital skills enhancement will involve multisectoral cooperation. National cooperation within networks and with various interest groups, along with digital support services provided locally, will continue to serve as a cornerstone for the digital support operating model. The roles of digital support service providers will remain unchanged in the operating model.

Financing to the Digital and Population Data Services Agency is allocated for the preparation of a permanent digital support operating model in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance. Adoption of the model is scheduled for 2023.

“The Digital and Population Data Services Agency hopes to promote the quality and accessibility of digital support services, offer assistance to national, regional and local digital support providers, enhance the skills needed in digital support services, and maintain up-to-date situational awareness of the need for digital support and digital competence,” says Mikko Mattinen, Head of Unit at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.

Digital support helps to improve the digital skills of individuals and communities

Measures in the Government Programme to promote equality include digital support, which aims to strengthen the inclusion of individuals and communities. Digital support services consist of teaching people how to use digital services and devices, and helping individuals and communities acquire better digital skills. Gaining digital skills lowers the threshold for accepting and adopting new electronic services.

“With this financing, we will be able to expand the digital support operating model and to maintain the situational awareness necessary for the development of digital support. In a digital society and service network, information is constantly needed on changes in the way digital services and devices are used, and on user motivation, attitudes and skills. At the same time, we can assess the effects of service quality and user experience on the need for digital support. People need sufficient skills and motivation to embrace the digital transformation. Equipped with these, they will be able to enjoy the benefits of digitalisation rather than consider it a nuisance,” says Minna Piirainen, Project Manager at the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.

Since 2018, the Ministry of Finance has awarded discretionary government grants to regional digital support projects of regional councils. Digital and Population Data Services Agency is responsible for digital support development nationwide. Regional councils’ digital support projects for which government grants were awarded ended at the end of October 2021. The Digital and Population Data Services Agency will now assume full responsibility for building a national operating model for digital support services.

Inquiries:
Valtteri Aaltonen, Special Adviser to the Minister of Local Government, tel. +358 29 553 0399
Heli Hänninen, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Finance, tel. +358 29 553 0255
Minna Piirainen, Project Manager, Digital and Population Data Services Agency,  tel. +358 295 535 280, firstname.lastname[at]dvv.fi 

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