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Finland: New Online Portal Gives Easy Access to Public Services
Source: hs.fi
Source Date: Monday, November 01, 2010
Focus: Citizen Engagement
Country: Finland
Created: Nov 01, 2010

Suomi.fi web pages include over 4,000 printable forms
State and municipal public services are now available through a single website. The Suomi.fi portal gives access to various municipal and state services.
The portal contains e-services and forms, information links, information packages, legislation, and news from different areas of public administration.
     
The services on the portal are grouped under 14 different subjects. The front page also has shortcuts to ten of the most popular services and forms.
There are separate services for users of sign language and for the elderly.
Pages for senior citizens contain a fairly broad selection of information for elderly people and their next of kin. The pages also help those whose jobs put them in contact with seniors.
     
The portal includes thousands of links to various services. It has more than 4,000 printable forms. The forms and instructions linked with each of the various services are available on the same page.
      The portal brings together the services of all of Finland’s 342 municipalities and about 300 organisations of the state administration.
     
A new service account will be added to the pages later this year.
The service account will allow users access to electronic versions of official decisions and other documents pertaining to themselves.
Opening the portal on Wednesday, Minister of Administrative and Municipal Affairs Tapani Tölli (Centre) said that the website had been set up to rationalise public administration and to reduce costs.
     
Tölli said that the present government is promoting data management legislation which would include the obligation to maintain compatibility of the data systems of public administration.
The portal has been accessible already before Wednesday’s official opening. Suomi.fi online editor Mari Kervinen says that the use of the portal has increased rapidly.
In September about 300,000 people visited the pages, and about half of them used some document or other.

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