Developing service structures
Public administration provides services to the customers through various channels. The Ministry of Finance constructs and develops services with the aim to build a customer-oriented, harmonised and multichannel customer service package.
Key perspectives in developing the service structure include increasing the provision of electronic services and new ways of organising customer services. The aim is to construct and further improve the customer service package in a way that electronic services provide the customers with a readily accessible, easy-to-use option to the traditional direct ways of contacting experts and public authorities. The focus is on electronic services, but work is also done to improve the telephone services and customer service points.
The aim is to introduce electronic services to respond to the needs of all citizens in all the different life situations and companies throughout their life cycle, whenever this is effective and feasible. Administrative services, forms and information services for citizens can be found at a single site at the suomi.fi citizens’ portal. In the same way all business services can be accessed at EnterpriseFinland.fi. These portals will be gathered to one single citizens/business service view. The.beta.suomi.fi version of citizens service view has opened.
Telephone services offer a familiar, location-independent channel for citizens to contact the authorities. Many public authorities have introduced national service numbers and set up customer service centres where citizens have access to expert help by telephone.
The main purpose of the Public Service Info is to guide citizens to the correct authority, answer general questions concerning the services of public administration, and help citizens to use the support services for e-services. The Public Service Info was introduced at the State Treasury on 25 November 2013 and it was further developed in the Citizens’ Advice Service Project as part of the Action Programme on eServices and eDemocracy (SADe programme) completed on 31st of December 2015.
The development of joint customer services is based on the Citizen Services Act (223/2007). The provision of public administration and other services at a single service point is based on cooperation and voluntary agreements between local and central government authorities. At present there are about 190 joint service points in Finland.
The joint services of public administration were further developed in in 2012–2015 in the Customer Service 2014 project steered by the Ministry of Finance and in its follow-up work.
Summary of the development of joint customer services 2012–2015.
The premises and objectives of the reform of the public administration customer service model are:
priority is given to digital services and practices
joint customer services are developed on a voluntary and contractual basis
At the customer services point, whenever possible, the customer is first offered the opportunity to use electronic services via the public terminal. Other channels offered at the customer service point include live video connection to the authority at a distance or face-to-face contact with a service adviser or public servant at the service point.
On 13 October the Government gave a proposal for an act amending the Citizen Services Act to the Parliament. The new act is to enter into force in the beginning of 2017. The legislative proposal was circulated for comment in April-May 2016. The aim is to promote digitalisation and enable access to customer services in a cost-effective way in collaboration between the authorities.
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