null Reforms in the administrative branch of the Ministry of Transport and Communications
Reforms in the administrative branch of the Ministry of Transport and Communications
The Ministry of Transport and Communications will reform the agencies in its administrative branch. The Transport Safety Agency Trafi, the Communications Regulatory Authority and the official functions of the Transport Agency will be integrated into one agency. The traffic control functions of the Transport Agency will be incorporated into a fully state-owned company/companies with special assignment. The remaining Transport Agency would continue to be responsible for the transport network. The new organisations will begin operating on 1 January 2019. The Meteorological Institute will continue to operate in its current form.
The reform will be largely carried out as proposed by the Director-Generals of the agencies in the preliminary report of February 2017. In terms of the Cyber Security Centre of the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority, the possible incorporation of cyber security matters or their transfer to the National Emergency Supply Agency will also be examined.
Why is this reform needed?
The primary goals of the reform are to improve the ability of the administrative branch to respond to the changes in customer needs and the operating environment, to develop and strengthen the strategic management of the administrative branch and to achieve synergy benefits. Another goal is to further improve the productivity and impact of administration through more versatile and effective use of resources.
The incorporation of traffic control functions also aims at clarifying the official duties and streamlining regulation in the transport sector. The reform aims at better use of transport-related data in the private sector and at generating new business activities. The objective is to better utilise the data collected through traffic control for the benefit of the whole society.
With regard to incorporation of traffic control functions, it will be examined whether the road and sea traffic control functions of the Transport Agency should be turned into one special assignment company or two separate companies.
“The transport and communications sectors are undergoing fundamental change. Digitalisation, service-orientation in transport and creation of transport markets with the support of new legislation are bringing the transport and communications sectors closer together. As the public sector resources are likely to shrink further, we must seek the identified synergy benefits more actively. The state ownership steering policy has evolved and incorporation of administrative duties is seen to provide new opportunities,” says Permanent Secretary Harri Pursiainen.
Organising the preparations for the reform
The reform calls for several new acts and decrees as well as amendments to the current ones. Five working groups will be set up with representatives from the Ministry of Transport and Communications, Transport Safety Agency, Communications Regulatory Authority, Transport Agency, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of the Interior. The personnel will be involved in the work. The views of the agencies and other stakeholders will be heard during the preparations.
In accordance with the provisions of the Public Servants Act or the Employment Contracts Act the current personnel will be transferred to the organisation where their tasks are transferred. The continuity of personnel’s employment relationships is safeguarded at the time of transfer.
The provisions of the Act on Cooperation within Government Agencies and Institutions and the principles of good governance will be applied in the project. In the preparations of the project, transparency and active communications will be emphasised.
Cooperation with central government and the authorities
The implementation schedule of the reform was extended so that the intersectoral approach could be strengthened and the duties of industrial policy actors as well as the joint activities of the administrative branches in service, information and network policies could be included in the review on a broader basis.
“I was pleased that in the comments received on the preliminary report the reform was seen to be well-justified. There were comments about the need for further research too, for example on the relation between the reform and other development projects in administration. These and some other matters presented in the comments call for preparation on a broad basis. In terms of administration, it is good that the new agencies and companies will start operating at the same time as the county government,” Permanent Secretary Pursiainen says.
To reinforce the intersectoral approach, further preparations will assess, for example, the possible transfer of the regulatory authority of railways to the new national supervisory authority that will start operating on 1 January 2019, transfer of vehicle taxation matters to the Tax Administration, transfer of consumer matters that are currently the responsibility of the Communications Regulatory Authority to the Competition and Consumer Authority, and incorporation or transfer of cyber security matters to the National Emergency Supply Agency.
Special attention will be paid to interfaces between the authorities and effectiveness of cooperation. The quality, reliability and uninterrupted continuation of the operations and the service level during and after the change will be ensured. The Ministry of Defence and Ministry of the Interior will be involved in the preparations of the project.
Harri Pursiainen, Permanent Secretary, tel. +358 50 598 6053, +358 295 34 2389
Juhapekka Ristola, Director-General, tel. +358 400 788 530, +358 295 34 2348