The Ministry of Finance prepares the general principles for developing public administration for political decision-making. In addition to central government, the preparations also extend to improving the general conditions for the functioning of municipalities. The purpose is to develop the functioning of public administration and to ensure comprehensive services of a high quality. At the same time, the Ministry of Finance aims to ensure the effectiveness and performance of public administration and public services.
Finnish administrative structure
The administrative structure in Finland consists of the highest bodies of the state, which include Parliament, the President of the Republic, and the Government, the independent courts as well as the central government and other public administration.
Central government consists of the state's central, regional and local administration. The state's central administration consists of ministries and the government agencies and institutions in their administrative branches. There are 12 ministries. All in all, there are approximately one hundred organisations of central state administration, ministries included. Six Regional State Administrative Agencies as well as 15 Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centres) act as regional administrative authorities. There are 11 police departments, 11 local register offices, 22 enforcement offices, 11 prosecutor's offices and 15 Employment and Economic Development Offices (TE Office) acting as local state authorities.
Other public administration includes local self-government (municipalities), the administration of the church, and indirect public administration. Indirect public administration comprises independent bodies governed by public law (such as the Social Insurance Institution of Finland, the Bank of Finland, the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, the Finnish Forest Centre and universities). Corporations, institutions, and foundations which perform public duties by virtue of delegated legislative powers, and private individuals exercising public power, such as supervisors in fishing and animal protection, also fall within the scope of indirect public administration.
The Åland Islands are autonomous as laid down in the Act on the Autonomy of Åland.
Developing administrative structures
In the Government, preparations for a reform of central government are under way. The goal is both functionally and financially to make Government a more unified structural entity than before.
The Ministry of Finance has set up a project for the assessment of central and regional administration (VIRSU) for the term of 11 April – 31 December 2014, based on Section 3.9 of the Government's structural policy programme. The project investigates the structure of agencies in central and regional administration.
Starting from early 2010, an extensive overall reform (the ALKU project) was carried out in state regional administration. The current Regional State Administrative Agencies and the Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centres) were established at that time. A report on the effects of implementing the reform was submitted to Parliament in February 2013. The development of regional administration will continue, based on the policy definitions in the report and the Parliament's response.
The local authorities' fields of activity have expanded over the past few years, and they extend mainly over the current provinces.