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Presentation of the first strategy proposal on the use of ICT in public administration
Source: http://vm.fi/vm/en/03_press_releases_and_speeches/01_press_releases/20121019Firstc/name.jsp
Source Date: Friday, October 19, 2012
Country: Finland
Created: Nov 27, 2012

The strategy called "A strategy proposal for the use of ICT in the Public Administration 2012-2020" is the first of its kind. The vision of the strategy goes up to 2020, while the policy approaches and measures will run until the end of 2015. Its objective is for the central and local governments to better use technology and bring services and information closer to individual users, enterprises and the public administration. By the time the strategy finishes in 2020, services and data will be safely and easily accessible and available in various ways. 

“It is nice to see that now, for the first time, we have a comprehensive compilation of the use of ICT in both central and local governments. In the public sector, annual expenditure for ICT reaches about €2 billion, so from the public’s point of view, it is well worth putting it to best use,” - Virkkunen commented. The strategy highlights why the smooth functioning of ICT is crucial for the operation and development of the public administration. 

"Finland is a leading country in public sector ICT but there is still much to be done, especially in terms of interoperability and customer orientation. By making even better use of ICT, we can improve both service quality and productivity considerably. It is especially important to develop services in closer collaboration with the end users," the Minister observed. 

The strategy proposes the setting up of a platform that will enable the conducting of experiments in service provision, thereby establishing a centre of excellence and launching ICT training programmes for the public sector staff. Work related to IT management structures in public administration will also be examined.

Through its ten action plan proposals, the strategy aims - among other things - to reduce the risks related to large-scale ICT projects, to accelerate projects involving information systems and service development and to promote the adoption of innovative solutions or solutions coming from outside the central and local governments. Bringing ICT infrastructure together under one umbrella is intended to achieve cost savings.

The proposed strategy draws on the objectives of the Government Programme for using ICT, supporting the Government’s structural policy measures, such as the reform of local government structures as well as the effectiveness and productivity programme.

In January 2012, the Ministry of Finance set up a project to develop a strategy for the use of common ICT throughout the public administration. The preparation of the strategy was chaired by the Ministry of Finance as an open process, with hundreds of people from public administration, enterprises and NGOs taking part. The preparatory project included a steering group consisting of representatives from ministries, the Social Insurance Institution and municipalities. The steering group was chaired by Mr Timo Valli, Director General of Public Sector ICT, Ministry of Finance.

A round of consultation will be organised for October and November 2012. Based on this proposal and the consultation feedback, the Government will endorse a public sector ICT strategy by early 2013.
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