Built real estate assets owned by the state are worth about EUR 4.2 billion and consist of approximately 9,000 buildings, about 600 of them protected buildings. The facilities used by the state total six million square metres; about one fifth of this area consists of offices, and the remainder of other premises such as courtrooms, museums, police departments, laboratories and storage facilities. The defence administration occupies the largest number of facilities, with the Finnish Defence Forces taking up almost half the total square footage. Information on the use of the state premises and the related costs is available at exploreadministration.fi.
The central government premises strategy (2021) aims to create workspaces that support effective performance, flexible work and in-person services arrangements, and enhanced cost-effectiveness. The need for social, ecological and economic sustainability is observed in the space solutions used. The increase in remote work and multi-location work will affect the use of and need for space. Shared use of facilities, in other words having employees from different agencies coworking in the same premises, is an objective set for the end of the decade. Facility sharing between public sector agencies will be increased, especially in customer services.
The current central government leasing system came into effect at the beginning of 2016. The rents applying to government agencies and public bodies that are tenants of Senate Properties and Defence Properties Finland are determined on a cost price basis. To make lease agreements more flexible for government agencies and public bodies, the process for withdrawing from state-owned premises they no longer need has been simplified.
Senate Properties is a central government procurement unit through which facilities may be leased in properties owned by the state or an external lessor. This allows Senate Properties to provide solutions to the facility needs of different agencies, and sell facilities the state no longer needs.
Defence Properties Finland is the central procurement unit responsible for the facilities of the Finnish Defence Forces. The leasing system is described in more detail in the leasing handbook.
The ownership policy applicable to the state’s real estate assets is outlined in the state real estate strategy (2021), which aims to manage the state’s real estate assets efficiently and sustainably while protecting the overall interests of the state without overlooking cultural heritage and comprehensive security. When state property is sold, the principles of transparency and non-discrimination are observed. The property sold consists mainly of assets no longer needed by the state. The state’s property operators set themselves targets for climate impact reduction and adaptation to climate change.
Unincorporated state enterprises responsible for the management, development and sale of the state’s real estate assets include Senate Properties and, for assets in forested and waterway areas, Metsähallitus, which operates under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. State-owned road, rail, airport and other transport facilities fall principally within the administrative sector of the Ministry of Transport and Communications and within the field of the Transport Infrastructure Agency. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs is responsible for state properties located abroad.
Senate Properties and Defence Properties Finland – providing government work environment and facility services
Senate Group consists of Senate Properties and Defence Properties Finland. These organisations are tasked with providing contractual real estate and facility services primarily for the central government.
As unincorporated state enterprises, Senate Properties and Defence Properties Finland finance their operations independently and are not included in the government's on-budget resources. The most important decisions concerning guidance for unincorporated state enterprises are made annually by Parliament in connection with the Budget. Each year, following the decisions made by Parliament, the Ministry of Finance sets detailed financial and operating targets for Senate Properties, and the Ministry of Defence for Defence Properties Finland.