"A strong public administration underpins the functioning of the rule of law"

4.5 Best public administration in the world

In the light of several indicators, the Finnish public administration is performing admirably in international comparisons. Finland is the most stabile society in the world, the realisation of fundamental rights and human rights is at a high level, and we have a comprehensive system of public services. A strong public administration underpins the functioning of the rule of law while creating the foundation for the development of even more people-oriented public services.

With this in mind, the Government will prepare a public administration strategy that will have at its core a service pledge to the citizens. The strategy will seek to strengthen the presence of public administration in the daily life of the Finnish people across the country and in both national languages. It will strive to improve digital accessibility and encourage wider use of plain language in administration. As part of its strategy work, the Government will improve risk management in public administration and reinforce the public administration’s ability to respond to crises that occur in normal conditions.

The measures outlined in the strategy will strengthen the realisation of fundamental rights, sustainability of public finances through improved productivity, coordination of information policy and use of new technologies. Better interactivity of the public administration along with improved quality, functioning and availability of the services provided for the citizens will be at the heart of the reform. During this government term, we will also reinforce horizontal cooperation and implementation capacity by appointing one body that will take overall responsibility for the development of administration. The Government will initiate measures that will tackle silo mentality and reduce duplicate work in central government administration.

The Government will add depth to the management of information policy. Openness of public information will become the overarching principle of information policy. The Government will advance the primacy of open source software in public information systems and in the related procurement. To this end, the Government will lay down provisions on an obligation to purchase open source software for public information systems, unless there are serious grounds for acting otherwise. The Government will continue resolutely the earlier efforts to open up public information resources, and it will draw up binding quality criteria that can facilitate the use of such resources. Furthermore, the principles of the Act on the Openness of Government and the requirement to open up information resources will be extended to publicly owned companies.

The Government seeks to advance the transition to real-time economy and make Finland a lead market in real-time economy. We will encourage the adoption of electronic invoices and receipts, and the public sector will take the lead in introducing these practices. The citizens’ rights to their digital data and to privacy protection will be strengthened. We will provide an opportunity for individuals to manage their personal data in public information systems in accordance with the MyData principle and to give permission for their use in other services. A commitment to developing digital services in public administration will create a foundation for new private-sector innovation and at best reduce costs to the companies.  

In order to deliver the service pledge and to develop digital services, public administration will have to gain new competencies. In the near term, the key challenges faced by the central government will include the large number of retirees and the need to recruit new skilled workers owing to the transformation in digital technology. In order to secure success in the competition for skilled professionals, we will launch a programme of human resources management across the central government. The programme will improve the central government’s competitiveness as an employer and pave the way for a major recruitment drive. The Government strives to tackle silo thinking in central government administration, to develop career paths and internal job rotation, and to continue to advance the harmonisation of pay. We will develop central government human resources policy and administration in collaboration with the main parties to the agreement and in compliance with good human resources policy.