Public Service Leadership

The objective is that Finland's public administration will continue to be a shining example of the reforming Nordic model in which well-functioning and cost-effective administration is a national success factor. As part of the public sector, central government is able to secure the sustainable development of the national economy and the wellbeing of citizens. Strategic capabilities and proactive management help Finland succeed in international competition. 

Public service leadership is built on a set of values in which the emphasis is on the principles of good administration and the requirements of professional management. Key values in management include trust, courage and responsibility. Development reconciles both pluralism and the common interest, which is built on a common and open dialogue also between the state and municipalities. Its special features are related especially to political steering, the regulation of public finances, legislation and the requirement for the publicity of information. Individuals holding senior managerial positions in public administration play a key role in the implementation of the objectives set by the Government and in responding to the needs of citizens and clients.

Good management is supported by well-functioning administrative structures, management systems and other operating conditions. Trust and collaboration between different parties are resources for society as a whole, and they are supported by Group-like, cross-administrative processes and practices in administration. Sustainable development cannot be achieved without taking into account the special features of public service leadership, interaction and learning from the management practices of other sectors.

The Ministry of Finance models and supports the management reform in central government. The work is based on the view of good management, in which the key areas are the implementation and service capacity of the administration, exemplary personnel management, the realisation of good governance and bold change management. 

Vision and focus areas in the development of management

Good governance requires both continuity and change also in the future. In the management of large and complex phenomena, the emphasis should be on cross-administrative objectives and cooperation between individual sectors, administrative branches and agencies. The aim of Sanna Marin’s Government is that by 2030, Finland will be a society based on socially, ecologically and economically sustainable development and with the best public administration in the world. In the vision, public administration, i.e., both central and local administration, forms an entity that is capable of responding to the requirements of the operating environment with a phenomenon-based approach. The Government will draw up a public administration strategy, in which the key objective is to improve the quality and availability of the services received by citizens. 

The starting point for the development of management is the reform of public administration as a whole to safeguard the stability and integrity of society. Development forms a sustainable continuum over government terms, and it will focus on the entire field of public service leadership, emphasising priorities under the Government Programme 2019-2023, in particular on cross-administrative aspects, the development of public services and the utilisation of knowledge-based management and digitalisation, the sustainability of public finances, the development of personnel management and the development of open governance.

The Government Programme of Sanna Marin’s Government 

OECD Recommendation on Public Serivce Leadership 2019

Contact information

Ari Holopainen 
Senior Ministerial Adviser, Financial Affairs 
Tel. +358 295 530 520 
[email protected]