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Digitalisation would make daily life easier and help the society run smoother – if legislation permitted

Publication date 30.1.2023 12.11 | Published in English on 1.2.2023 at 10.16
Press release

By means of digitalisation, the Digital and Population Data Services Agency can make the everyday life of Finns run smoother. Digitalisation brings obvious benefits for both organisations and the general public. However, there are certain obstacles to the full use of digital services that are due to the legislation in force.

– The majority of Finns can and want to use digital services. However, services in Finland are by default based on paper forms, and that is something we wish to change. Not everyone needs to use digital services, but it could be the primary way of managing official matters, says Janne Viskari, Director General of the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.

If the majority of Finns were to manage their official matters through electronic services, it would save time for both the citizens themselves and the agencies. It would also save money.

Guardians in need of more comprehensive digital services

In the context of certain life events in particular, digital services could greatly benefit the citizens, authorities and companies. There are currently few electronic services available for guardians, for example. Due to the changes in the age structure of the Finnish population, the number of guardians and, consequently, their need for services are on the increase.

– We are fully prepared to provide the growing number of guardians with more comprehensive electronic services, for example for on-behalf transactions. But introducing these solutions would require legislative reforms, Janne Viskari continues.

Electronic registers to assist in the management of estates

Another life event where digital services would be particularly useful is the management of the affairs of a deceased person. Today, the estate administrator has to communicate separately with a large number of different parties.

– Managing the affairs of a deceased person could be made much smoother than what it is at the moment, if legislation permitted the transfer of the deceased person’s data between different organisations. Electronic records for estates would enable this. Such a reform would significantly ease the workload of the estate administrator and make managing the affairs faster, says Janne Viskari.

Smoother processes for work-based immigrants

Finland has a great need for foreign labour, and countries are competing for experts. The smoothness of the immigration process could make Finland an attractive alternative for immigrants.

– Immigration processes have already been developed a lot. But after arriving in Finland, the immigrant still has to visit several different agencies in person, and their documents need to be verified separately by each authority. The process would be much smoother for both the immigrant and the authorities if documents verified by one agency could be used by all the other authorities as well. This is not possible under the current legislation, and therefore a reform is needed, says Janne Viskari.

The Digital and Population Data Services Agency's suggestions for improvements also promote Finland's national digitalisation strategy, which is an EU requirement.

– The legislation in force does not enable the use of all the digital services we have developed that would make everyday life easier. We hope that the next Government of Finland will understand the need for legislative reforms and decides to incorporate the issue in the Government Programme, says Janne Viskari.

Watch the videos about the reform needs (in Finnish):

We also welcome you to follow the Sujuva Suomi (“Smoothly functioning Finland”) discussion organised by the Digital and Population Data Services Agency on 20 February 2023. The topic of discussion is whether and how legislation slows down digitalisation. Register.

For additional information:
Janne Viskari, Director General, Digital and Population Data Services Agency, tel. +358 295 536 000, [email protected]