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Report of the Parliamentary Committee assessing Government structures
The Government’s ability to collective decision-making and strategic capabilities are prerequisites for Finland’s success

Ministry of Finance
5.3.2015 8.49
Press release

The parliamentary committee assessing the structural and operational unity of the Government (KEHU Committee) delivered its report to Prime Minister Alexander Stubb and Minister for Transport and Local Government Paula Risikko, as representatives of the Government, at Kesäranta, the Prime Minister’s Official Residence, on Thursday, 5 March 2015.

- Finland has become known as a small and agile country. Our central government also requires reform, flexibility and prioritisation. It is important for us to be able to reform decision-making to make it more unified and at the same time more transparent. Finland needs determined political decision-making and leadership. The committee’s report is a good basis for the reform work,” said Prime Minister Alexander Stubb on receiving the report.

The most important goal is effective governmental work that strengthens Finland’s decision-making and competitiveness

The parliamentary committee considers it important that the activities and management of the Government are developed so that collegial work is strengthened both in the Government’s decision-making and preparation of issues.  

- The joint responsibility of ministers in handling the most important issues for society is emphasised in the Government’s decision-making and preparation of issues. It is important that ministers have the time to participate personally in the preparation of key Government issues, said the Chair of the Committee, Member of Parliament Tapani Mäkinen on delivering the report.

For ministries, only one minister and cohesive areas of responsibility

To avoid siloes in the administration, the Government’s structure and preparation of issues should support collegiality. The committee also proposes that each ministry have only one minister and that the competences and duties of each minister form a cohesive entity. The fragmented ministry model should be abandoned.

Preparation of Government issues should be concentrated in Cabinet Committees, in fewer ministerial working groups than at present, and in so called unofficial “evening sessions”. The committee also emphasises the utilisation of diverse expertise in preparing issues. The committee agrees with the recommendation proposed elsewhere to have more strategic Government Programme.

Management responsibilities of political leaders and senior civil servants should be clear

The committee emphasises the importance of good management. The management responsibilities of political leaders and senior civil servants should be clear. The duties and powers of political assistants should be clarified. It is proposed that the system of political state secretaries be re-evaluated.

The resources of the Government and its ministries should be jointly utilised and, if necessary, transferred over administrative branch boundaries.

Government activities and management should be developed on a long-term basis over parliamentary terms

- In reforming central government, it is important to note that this is a long-term process extending over a number of parliamentary terms. Joint commitment is required in planning and implementing changes that are important for the overall interests of society. Change will not happen overnight, said Minister of Transport and Local Government Paula Risikko at the opening of the event.

The OECD has also just recommended that Finland strengthen cooperation between ministries.

- We agree with the recommendations. Work in the direction indicated by the OECD has already been done in the central government reform project. The policy outlines of the parliamentary committee will strengthen social decision-making while respecting parliamentarianism and observing good administration. Government does not exist for itself, but for society and its citizens, said Minister Risikko.

The work of the parliamentary committee is based on the project investigating reorganisation needs in central government (KEHU project). The goal of the project is to restructure central government into an operationally and financially more unified, structured entity. The parliamentary committee’s term of office was 1 February 2014 to 31 January 2015.


Päivi Pietarinen, General Secretary to the Committee, tel. +358 50 543 3403

Governance Policy KEHU Paula Risikko