Reform of county government progresses – project group and preparatory working groups to begin working

Ministry of Finance 22.4.2016 14.27
Press release

The Ministry of Finance has appointed the project group and preparatory working groups to prepare the reform of county government. The project group is chaired by Tuomas Pöysti, Project Manager, Permanent State Under-Secretary, who is also chairing the project group preparing the social welfare and health care reform, and serves as the Project Manager of that reform. The term of office of the project group on the reform of county government will run from 22 April 2016 to 15 April 2019.

The reform of county government (previously, reform of regional administration) is one of the Government's structural reforms. According to the policy outline agreed on by the Government on 5 April 2016, the counties' tasks will be based on a clear division of duties between municipalities, counties and the State. In addition to social welfare and health care responsibilities, the counties will take over the majority of the tasks of the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, the statutory duties of regional councils, the responsibility for organising the duties of Employment and Economic Development Offices and certain tasks from municipalities and Regional State Administrative Agencies. The counties will begin operating on 1 January 2019.

Six preparatory working groups will support the project group appointed in charge of the reform of county government. Preparatory working groups are responsible for the transfer and reform of tasks in various sectors, the steering and financing system of the counties and the financial arrangements required by the reform, the position of staff and occupational well-being during the process of change, information management and shared information systems of counties, organisation of preparedness and contingency planning duties, and the reform of Regional State Administrative Agencies. The preparatory working groups are broad-based, including representatives of various bodies.

The steering group of officials on social welfare and health care, establishment of autonomous regions and preparation of the reform of county government is responsible for ensuring the project's progress, attainment of objectives and resourcing, and the prioritisation and coordination of work in ministries. New members were appointed to the steering group of officials with regard to matters concerning the preparation of the reform of county government. The steering group of officials in matters concerning the reform of county government is chaired by the Ministry's most senior civil servant, Permanent Secretary Mr Martti Hetemäki, of the Ministry of Finance.
The Project Manager will report, and be responsible for presenting matters regarding the project, to the Ministerial working group on reforms, led by Ms Anu Vehviläinen, Minister of Local Government and Public Reforms.  

For further information, please contact:

Mr Sami Miettinen, Special Adviser, Ministry of Finance, tel. +358 46 9234695, firstname.lastname@stm.fi
Mr Tuomas Pöysti, Permanent State Under-Secretary, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health/Ministry of Finance, tel. +358 295 163012, firstname.lastname@stm.fi
Ms Tarja Hyvönen, Senior Government Adviser, Head of Administration Unit, Ministry of Finance, tel. +358 50 5555230, firstname.lastname@vm.fi

Letter of appointment for the project group on the reform of county government (PDF)
Letter of appointment for the preparatory working groups of the project group on the reform of county government (PDF)
Change to the composition of the steering group on social welfare and health care, establishment of autonomous regions and preparation of the reform of county government (PDF)