Coordinating services and premises
The process of implementing significant reforms in central government administration in Finland began in 2021. These changes form part of the Strategy for Public Governance Renewal published in December 2020. The aim, in an increasingly diverse society, is to ensure equal, people-oriented public services that are economically sustainable.
Regional presence creates framework for changes
A regionalisation reform strategy was published in spring 2020. On the basis of this strategy and the Government Programme, the process of revising the legislation on regionalisation has begun. This reshaping is driven by the transformation of the operating environment as a result of the growth in e-services, the ongoing demographic changes and urbanisation, the significant decrease in the use of in-person customer services, and the increase in location-independent work.
Under the revised regionalisation arrangements, central government's regional presence would be largely based on the need to organise services and official tasks. A central government presence would also be needed to reinforce regional vitality, safety and security, and to boost the competitiveness of central government as an employer.
Network of central government services and premises will be reshaped and customer service standardised
The reshaping of the network of services and premises will enable standardisation of the customer service given as part of public service provision, and by having joint customer service points the future provision of in-person services would be guaranteed.
Combining the in-person services of central government, the Social Insurance Institution (Kela) and the current service points, it will be possible to create a more comprehensive service offering for customers, with a more condensed and cost-effective service network. By focusing on national remote services and operating a national remote interpreting service as well as a digital support service, it will be possible to reach and serve customers more effectively and equitably, irrespective of whether they live in a city or a sparsely populated rural area.
Digital public services are already the primary service channel and will continue to be so in the future.
About half of the tasks of central government can be performed on a multi-location basis, either in premises designated by the employer or as home-based remote working. To make good use of this opportunity, it is necessary to set out guidelines on the common objectives, methods and limitations applying to multi-location work in central government. Multi-location working offers a wide range of different opportunities to improve services and to work more cost-effectively; for employees it can bring a new kind of flexibility for reconciling work with other areas of life.
In spring 2021 the project produced the guidelines and various measures for helping central government organisations successfully apply the concept of multi-location working. The guidelines were drafted in parallel with the preparation of a new premises strategy for central government. Multi-location working will also be a key tool in the renewal of central government's regional presence and its service point network
Renewal of central government premises strategy
The current strategy for central government premises is based on the principle that the premises support cost-effective operations. The transformation of work, however, naturally means that premises and their uses should be reviewed.
Key themes in the renewal of the strategy for central government premises include: shared use of facilities; work performed in offices of the future; office space requirements in the future; safety and security of premises; and carbon neutrality of premises. There are also many central government premises that are tied to specific uses. These include museums, prisons, barracks, police premises, court buildings and laboratories. In these premises, too, planning is affected by changes in the way activities are carried out in them and by relevant evidence and knowledge.