Management and coordination in the Government during the COVID-19 epidemic

Changes have been made to the way management and communications are organised in the Government due to the COVID-19 epidemic.

The COVID-19 Coordination Group oversees implementation and cooperation

The joint COVID-19 Coordination Group implements the decisions made by the Government to curb the COVID-19 epidemic. The group also coordinates cooperation between ministries. The group meets at least twice a week.

In addition to the Permanent Secretaries of the ministries, the Coordination Group consists of Director of Government Security Ahti Kurvinen, Director of Government Communications Päivi Anttikoski, Head of Unit Heikki Hovi and Director of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare Mika Salminen. It is chaired by Henrik Haapajärvi, State Secretary to the Prime Minister. The coordination group is supported by the ministries’ Heads of Preparedness and Preparedness Secretaries, who are responsible for operational activities and cooperation.

COVID-19 communications centralised at the Prime Minister’s Office

The Government Communications Department is responsible for managing and coordinating COVID-19 communications within the Government and its ministries during the current state of emergency. The aim is to provide the public and communities with clear and understandable information on the development of the epidemic, the actions taken by the authorities to combat COVID-19 and the reasons for these actions. 

The organisation of COVID-19 communications is based on section 106, subsection 1 of the Emergency Powers Act. The Prime Minister’s Office made a decision on the matter on 18 March 2021. The decision will remain in force until 30 April 2021 or, at the most, for as long as Finland is in a state of emergency as defined in the Emergency Powers Act. 

A strategic steering group for COVID-19 communications, chaired by Director of Government Communications Päivi Anttikoski, has been appointed to manage and coordinate COVID-19 communications.

The Government Situation Centre monitors the development of the epidemic

The Government Situation Centre, which operates within the Prime Minister’s Office, is responsible for maintaining situational awareness based on information from the authorities. During the epidemic, the main task of the Situation Centre is to monitor the situation with regard to COVID-19.

The Operations Centre provides an overall picture of the Government’s decisions

An Operations Centre has been established under the Prime Minister’s Office. It maintains an overall picture of the progress made in implementing the Government’s decisions. The Operations Centre is led by Head of Unit Heikki Hovi.