null Comment summary: Cooperation needed for the digital leap forward to become permanent

Comment summary: Cooperation needed for the digital leap forward to become permanent

Press release 01.09.2020 08.15 fi sv en

Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka (Photo: VNK/Laura Kotila, LVM)

On 31 August 2020, the Ministry of Transport and Communications released a summary of comments on the interim report of the working group examining how to turn the steps taken during the coronavirus crisis into a permanent digital leap forward. According to the comments, digitalisation would increase the transparency, equality and flexibility in society. In order to achieve this, cooperation is needed among the operators involved.

At the beginning of May, the Ministry appointed a working group on the digital measures in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis. The group has representatives from a wide range of sectors across business, industry and administration.

The tasks of the group are to assess the effects of the digitalisation process that took place during the emergency conditions due to the coronavirus crisis and to draw up proposals on how to speed up the recovery process and to develop the legislation and administration to be more favourable for digitalisation. The group’s interim report has already been used in the preparation for the work of the crisis follow-up group chaired by Martti Hetemäki, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance.

The consultation round for the interim report was closed on 22 June 2020.By the deadline, comments were submitted by 130 different parties. The report, the proposals for measures and the summary of comments are available in the database for Government projects.

Proposals to accelerate digitalisation supported

On the basis of the comments, the important aspects in future work of the working group are to identify the measures that are essential for accelerating the digitalisation process and to focus on addressing the key targets or bottlenecks that are slowing or impeding digitalisation. According to the comments, the greatest added value would be provided by coordination of various digital functions and by effective cooperation and coordination between the operators involved and central government administration.

Several contributors proposed that priority be given to measures that have a strong impact on increasing the degree of digitalisation in society. For example, by switching to genuinely electronic receipts and invoices, it is possible to lay the foundation for the real-time economy, to combat the shadow economy and to promote sustainable development. Trust and transparency would provide a favourable environment for new business models and foreign investments.

The comments showed broad support for legislative amendments that would promote time and location independent everyday life, including work. In the comments, communications connections were seen as an essential element in safeguarding the availability of remote services.For ensuring smooth daily life, issues related to operational security and safety were emphasised.

The comments emphasised that the measures presented in the interim report should promote the equality of society and the accessibility of services. It was also stated that digitalisation is not only about technology but also about developing and consolidating new operating models and practices.Several comments stressed that human and customer-oriented approach must be included in the measures. People’s digital competence and motivation to use the digital services and take part in societal activities have a significant link to the progress of digitalisation in society.

Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka wishes to thank the contributors for their great effort put into the comments and for the many suggestions and observations for further preparation and implementation of the measures.

“The interim report of the working group and the abundant feedback it received show that there is a desire to consolidate and strengthen the positive development. Once the digital leap has been established, the entire society is ready to take the next step towards permanent benefits, better services and efficiency gains,” Minister Harakka says.

What are the next steps?

Based on the comments, the working group will prepare the final report in which it will present proposals for measures and their implementation.

The final report is due to be published after the end of the working group’s term of office on 30 September 2020.

Inquiries:

Matti Sadeniemi, Special Adviser, tel. +358 40 586 7234

Laura Vilkkonen, Director General, tel. +358 40 500 0817