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The OECD public governance recommendations for Finland:
Create a clear vision, break down barriers and link IT projects to government reform – "Just do it"

Ministry of Finance
24.2.2015 12.08
Press release

The OECD has sent us a clear message. We agree with their findings and, fortunately, the work has already begun. In our OHRA project, we have been preparing a new government strategy planning model, involving a two-stage process split between the planning of the Government Programme and the subsequent Government Action Plan. The key principles of this reform include a break-down of sectoral borders and allocation of economic and employee resources to the areas where they are needed to drive change. Decision making should invariably be supported by impact assessment and verified data. "Findings of the OECD review support the implementation of the OHRA project," said Minister of Public Administration and Local Government Paula Risikko in her opening speech in the seminar where the OECD's recommendations were published.

The first joint Public Governance Review between two countries in the OECD's history

The OECD conducted a joint review of public governance in Finland and Estonia.  The OECD's recommendations for Finland were published in the Finest seminar held in Helsinki on Tuesday, 24 February 2015. The recommendations for Estonia will be published in Tallinn on Friday, 27 February 2015.

The strategic objective of country reviews is to support the development of political decision making, and the structures and processes in policy implementation. In order for the policies to achieve the sought-after social changes, effectiveness of resource allocation must be maximised in society. This cannot take place without an improved ability to solve problems that cross administrative boundaries.

Whole-of-government steering and digital services under review

The joint country review focused on two themes: the whole-of-government steering and e-government.

The OECD lists 21 recommendations for Finland. Among those are the recommendations for including only a few key priorities in the Government Programme, and for aligning the objectives set out for the ministries with these priorities. Cooperation between ministries should be strengthened, and the Budget should be developed in order to provide enhanced support for strategy implementation. The OECD also recommends that Finland strengthen its regulatory impact assessment.

More effective leadership for developing e-government

With regard to e-government, the OECD's recommendations concerned both national and cross-border services. While the OECD considers Finland to be able to maintain its position as an international leader in e-government, it recommends harmonisation of strategies, stronger leadership, involvement of municipalities, and a clear message that would act as wake-up call for the actors. Efficient project management and impact assessment will be required to ensure implementation. The OECD sends us a strong message: "Finland wake up!"

Sharing of information between the authorities is stressed in the cross-border services between Estonia and Finland. Parts of Finland and Estonia now form a single geographical area for finding employment. Demand for the sharing of information has increasingly been found in such areas as taxation, social benefits, and health care. Regulatory control by the authorities should also be improved.

Finland to hold the OECD Ministerial Meeting on Public Governance in October 2015

Finland will host the OECD's Ministerial Meeting on Public Governance, held every five years, in October 2015 in Helsinki. Approximately 100 participants are expected at this first ministerial meeting held in Finland during Finland's membership of the OECD of more than 40 years.

OECD Integrated Public Governance Review Finland
Fostering Strategic Capacity across Government and Digital Services across Borders

A summary of the recommendations will be published in Finnish at the beginning of March on the Ministry of Finance website.

Further information:

Ministry of Finance
Senior Financial Adviser Katju Holkeri, tel. 02955 (public governance)
Senior Adviser Olli-Pekka Rissanen, tel. 02955 30364 (e-government)
[email protected]

Prime Minister's Office
Head of Government Policy Analysis Unit Sirpa Kekkonen, tel. tel. 02951 60181
[email protected]



Headquartered in Paris, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is a cooperation body for developed countries committed to market economy. Most of the OECD's work seeks to harmonise the member states' policies in sectors of the economy and society. The OECD provides expertise in support of economic and political decision making in its member states.

Governance Policy Paula Risikko