Central government financial administration
The central government financial administration is a function that runs across the administrative branches, securing the appropriate use of central government finances and maintaining good administrative practices. Actors in the central government financial administration are jointly responsible for the expert and efficient management of financial administration.
The key actors in the central government financial administration are the ministries and agencies in the various administrative branches, the Finnish Government Shared Services Centre for Finance and HR (Palkeet), the State Treasury and the Ministry of Finance. Financial administration legislation, group-level strategy and strategic steering are within the domain of the Ministry of Finance. The State Treasury steers the accounting units and off-budget entities in order to ensure that their bookkeeping and other accounting functions are managed consistently. The financial management in each agency is responsible for financial planning and monitoring in that agency and for implementing and steering the duties within the purview of the agency. Palkeet is responsible for support and expert services for financial administration and HR in government agencies and institutions.
The Government Financial Administration Strategy 2020 outlines activities and development in financial administration for the near future. The trend sought in central government finances is to work in closer cooperation so as to produce financial administration data supporting decision-making, employing consistent processes in the context of each operator’s area of responsibility, making use of shared information systems and developing needs-based expertise. These measures will also serve to improve the overall productivity of the financial administration.
Central government financial administration strategy
The Ministry of Finance adopted key strategic goals and policy guidelines for attaining those goals and published them in the Government Financial Administration Strategy 2020. Publication of the Strategy was accompanied by a letter entitled ‘Central government financial administration strategy’ (VM/1777/02.02.00.99/2014).
The purpose of the Strategy is to set the goal for financial administration to be efficiently and excellently managed in 2020. The central government financial administration is being improved and made more coherent on the basis of the policy guidelines in the Strategy. Performance management by the Ministry of Finance regarding the provision of financial administration services by the State Treasury and Palkeet will be based on the Strategy. Shared processes, IT systems and information structures will be adopted in financial administration in all agencies and institutions.
The Cabinet Finance Committee discussed the new operating model for financial administration and HR and its goals on 28 May 2010, and was in favour of introducing the Kieku information system in central government administration. On 4 March 2014, the Committee stated that ministries should exercise steering in order to promote the introduction of the Kieku information system, avoiding customised solutions and ensuring that the changes required to achieve the productivity improvement envisioned in the financial administration and HR reform in their respective administrative sectors are implemented.
On 9 October 2012, the Ministry of Finance set up the Financial Administration 2020 Project to draw up a strategy for government financial administration. The project was run by a working group led by the Ministry of Finance and including representatives from the State Treasury, Palkeet, seven ministries and one other accounting unit. The draft Government Financial Administration Strategy was published as a working group memo of the Ministry of Finance (7/2014).
On 14 March 2014, the Ministry of Finance circulated the Strategy as drafter by the working group for comment among key players in financial administration; 14 statements were received. These statements were taken into account as applicable in the appended implementation plan for the Government Financial Administration Strategy 2020.
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