Mari Kiviniemi: Striving for a more open, innovative and inclusive public administration
OECD’s Ministerial Meeting on Public Governance draws closer. It has been wonderful to see how great the interest in participating in the event has been. There will be more than 30 countries represented, over 20 of which will send a minister or a permanent secretary to the event. In addition to the OECD countries, out of the countries that have applied for membership in the organisation, Lithuania and Costa Rica will join the meeting, as well as other partner countries such as China.
The interest in the meeting shows that public governance is a key development target all over the world. There is a desire to exchange experiences with other countries and, above all, to learn from the pioneers of well-functioning public administration. In fact, Finland has much to give in this respect. Finland chairing meeting has no doubt played its part in increasing the interest in the event. The host country is valued in the field of the development of administrative governance.
Inclusive growth is on the OECD’s agenda
In addition to the member states, expectations of the meeting in the OECD are also high. The meeting considers inclusive growth from the point of view of administrative governance, which has become refined into a key theme as well as our recommendation based on the work done in our organisation. The economy must grow, but economic growth is not a value in itself; it is primarily a way of increasing the well-being of people and their participation in the functioning of the society.
In our opinion, decision-makers should aim at growth with fruits that will spread out throughout the society. This is even more important now, when many countries are still struggling with the aftereffects of the economic crisis. Economic growth has not yet picked up everywhere. In addition, the recession has left many countries with an unfortunate legacy in the form of high unemployment and increasing inequality. At the same time, the public administration is also burdened by other global challenges such as climate change and the refugee crisis.
Finland is in the forefront of administrative development
Public administration and services hold a key position in achieving inclusive growth. It must be possible to offer citizens an opportunity to build the future they want, and the administration must be lighter, more transparent and more innovative than before. Communication with the rest of society must work both ways, and regulation must be of high quality.
Finland is involved in creating new ways of operating in an exemplary way, because innovation in the public sector and reasonable regulation have a central position in the Government programme. The fact that renewing operating methods with the help of digitalisation, experiments and dismantling norms has been set as one of the Finnish Government’s strategic goals is a direct response to the challenges of administrative development.
Therefore, Finland acting as the chair offers an excellent starting point for attaining the central goal of the meeting. The aim is to picture a shared vision for the future of public administration through discussions. This means that we can expect an interesting, goal-oriented meeting. In addition, on a personal level it is very nice to have a meeting in Finland and to meet former colleagues, from both the Ministry of Finance as well as the rest of central government, and of course also other participants from all over the world.