Opening up and using public data

The aims set out in the Government Programme of Prime Minister Marin’s Government include adding depth to the management of information policy and making the openness of public information the overarching principle of information policy. The project on opening up and using public data, set up by the Ministry of Finance, will put into effect the aims given in the Government Programme by promoting wider and more effective use of public data throughout society. The project term is from 30 April 2020 to 31 December 2022. The project will make use of the valuable work already undertaken on furthering the opening up and use of public data by a great many contributors, for example in the Open Data Programme 2013–2015.

What is the aim of the project on opening up and using public data?

The aim of the project is to draw up a proposal concerning the strategic objectives for opening up and using of public data that can be implemented by government entities, and to prepare and introduce measures to promote the opening up and use of public data. The strategic objectives will add detail to Finland’s national information policy.

What will the project produce?

The project has involved working with the other participants to draw up a proposal concerning the strategic objectives for opening up and using data. These objectives will allow the Government Programme’s objective concerning the management of information policy to be put in concrete terms as packages that can be implemented. The objectives also guide and direct the actions of the different participants in opening up and using public data, ensuring they are all working towards the jointly agreed national goals. These strategic information policy objectives were adopted on 17 March 2022 as part of the government resolution on the opening up and use of public data.

The project has created an operational framework for government entities to make public sector data available more systematically either as open data or for wider use than at present, primarily via application programming interfaces (APIs). This framework for making public data available was published in spring 2022. The project will help government entities and publicly owned companies to adopt the operational framework and will support implementation of the Open Data Directive in Finland as well as the opening up of high-value datasets as referred to in the Directive. 

A set of quality criteria for data opened up by government entities and publicly owned companies will be created and introduced in close cooperation with a sub-project of Statistics Finland. National API guidelines have already been drawn up, helping the information owners in technical distribution matters and in improving interoperability. The API guidelines for government entities were published in spring 2022.

Who are the participants in the project?

Extensive and open collaboration is an essential part of the project’s implementation. The project group, consisting of representatives of the main stakeholders, play a key role in preparing and implementing the measures.

At a practical level, key partners include Statistics Finland, which is in charge of the data quality sub-project, and the Digital and Population Data Services Agency, which is responsible for the website. The main responsibility for the project on opening up and using public data rests with the Ministry of Finance. The principal project participants are central government, local government, joint municipal authorities and publicly owned companies.

Read more:

The project has prepared material to support public administration organisations in sharing and improving the quality of data. The file contains links and descriptions of the project’s key outputs.

Tiedon äärellä – Tietopolitiikasta tekoihin is a series of podcasts in Finnish exploring information policy measures and themes in a broader sense: what is information policy and why should everybody be interested in the openness, quality and interoperability of public data?

The online training produced in the project supports public administration organisations in the efficient and seamless use of information. Dealing with Data – More Efficient Use of Information is a training programme open to everyone. It has three sessions related to the project outputs and one previously published session on information policy. 

The subtitled recordings of the events organised by the project can be viewed on the Ministry of Finance’s YouTube channel.


Heidi Innanen, Project Coordinator, [email protected], +358 2955 30315