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Finland Implementation Report 2017-2019

Finland improved implementation of commitments in the third action plan. Notable achievements include improving the accessibility of state procurement data and the development of open government principles for public sector reform, which could be replicated in other sectors. The commitment on expanding the access to information principle to cover public services produced by corporate entities was not completed, as its implementation required legislative changes.

Table 1. At a glance

Participating since: 2013
Action plan under review: 3
Report type: Implementation
Number of commitments: 7

Action plan development
Is there a Multistakeholder forum: Yes
Level of public influence: Involve
Acted contrary to OGP process: No

Action plan design
Commitments relevant to OGP values: 6 (86%)
Transformative commitments: 0
Potentially starred: 0

Action plan implementation
Starred commitments: 0
Completed commitments: 5 (71%)
Commitments with Major DIOG*: 1 (14%)
Commitments with Outstanding DIOG*: 0
Level of public influence: Involve
Acted contrary to OGP process: No
*DIOG: Did it Open Government?

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) is a global partnership that brings together government reformers and civil society leaders to create action plans that make governments more inclusive, responsive, and accountable. The Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) monitors all action plans to ensure governments follow through on commitments. Finland joined OGP in 2013. Since, Finland has implemented three action plans. This report evaluates the implementation of Finland’s third action plan.

General overview of action plan

Finland completed five out of seven commitments in its third action plan. While this marks a major improvement compared to previous action plans, many activities in the third plan lacked specific and measurable indicators to accurately assess their impact on opening government. The Finnish government engaged civil society organizations (CSOs) in the implementation process to a limited degree but could increase the role of government-civil society partnerships in the implementation of subsequent action plans.

During the third action plan, Finland significantly improved the accessibility of public procurement data by creating a low-threshold online service that facilitates easier access to it. Finland also developed and applied open government principles in the context of a major public sector reform.

Table 2. Noteworthy commitments

Commitment description Status at the end of implementation cycle
3. Widen access to information principle

Extend the access to information principle to cover public services that are produced in a company format.

This commitment was not completed. The primary reason for the limited completion is that the commitment requires legislative change. In July 2019, the Finnish government committed to assessing whether the scope of application of the Act on the Openness of Government Activities should be broadened to cover legal entities owned or controlled by the public sector.
5. Publish state procurement data Through this commitment, Finland significantly improved the transparency of public procurement data by creating a low-threshold online service that facilitates easier accessibility. As a result, individuals and organizations are now able to access government procurement information without having to submit access to information requests.

Five Key IRM Recommendations

The IRM key recommendations are prepared in the IRM Design Report. They aim to inform the development of the next action plan and guide implementation of the current action plan. In Finland’s 2017-2019 Design Report, the IRM recommended the following:

1. Improve commitment quality through better problem-solution framing, clarifying relevance to OGP values, and identifying verifiable milestones.
2. Increase high-level government representation in a multi-stakeholder forum for a more ambitious action plan.
3. Allow for greater civil society participation in shaping the final scale and scope of commitments.
4. Extend commitments related to the Regional Government, Health and Social Services Reform to cover several action plans.
5. Assess the feasibility and legal status of proposed commitments during the action plan development process.

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