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OECD publishes recommendations to Finland for improving proactive government guidance – work continues on four pilot projects

Ministry of Finance
Publication date 1.9.2021 13.00
Press release

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) issued its recommendations on Wednesday 1 September. Work based the recommendations will continue in four pilot projects. The project outcomes will be of international value.

For example, the OECD recommendations include linking forecasting to the preparation of policy measures, strategy processes and innovation work. More appropriate application of various means of guidance is also recommended to achieve the desired effects. The aim is to make the necessary decisions and implement the reforms that are essential for society more swiftly and effectively in a world of complex problems.

Pilot projects develop proactive government guidance

The pilot projects include lifelong learning, children, young adults and families, the transition to a carbon-neutral society, and dialogue between politicians and public servants.

The lifelong learning reform seeks to improve the employment rate and the availability of a skilled workforce, and to increase equality of participation.

“This is not possible through the actions of any individual branch of government; systemic change is needed. Government guidance must be strongly forward-looking and innovative,” explains Anita Lehikoinen, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Education and Culture.

The review of budgets is seeking to stress the perspective of the rights of the child.

“It is essential for central government, future wellbeing sectors and municipalities to assess the impact of budget decisions on children. Child-oriented budgeting paves the way for a humane approach, evidence-informed policymaking, and more effective use of public funds with respect to other population groups as well,” notes Maria Kaisa Aula, State Secretary to the Ministry of Finance.

Governments also need new tools for planning and deciding economic policy and financing solutions to ensure a fair transition to a carbon-neutral society.

“Public authorities will play a key role in change. Good foresight, investment in expertise, and modes of policymaking and management are extremely important areas for development,” says Pekka Morén, Senior Ministerial Adviser at the Ministry of Finance.

Trust is a key factor in a pilot project concerning dialogue between politicians and public servants.

“When making government guidance more proactive, it is important for political policymakers and officials to have a common understanding of objectives, and of the roles of actors in achieving them,” explains Päivi Nerg, Permanent Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Finance.

The work of the OECD and the pilot projects will provide the foundation for formulating an operating model or new steering framework during the coming autumn and spring, which will keep pace with the times and be capable of generating the solutions that they require. The project is financed by the European Commission.

Katju Holkeri, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Finance, tel. +358 29 553 0087, katju.holkeri(at)
Sirpa Kekkonen, Counsellor, Government Programme Monitoring, Prime Minister’s Office, tel. +358 29 516 0383, sirpa.kekkonen(at)