- Transport and communications connections and services
- A legislative authority in the transport and communications sector
- European Union cooperation
- International cooperation
- Steering and monitoring the administrative branch
- Budget economy
- Licences and state subsidies
- Ministry communications
The Ministry of Transport and Communications is responsible for the provision of safe and secure transport and communications connections and services. It also enables the use of new digital services. The aim is to create a favourable operating environment for the services and new business models.
One of the Ministry's main responsibilities is law drafting. Government proposals drafted at the Ministry are discussed at government plenary sessions. The Ministry is also responsible for the preparation of decrees in the transport and communications sectors. It can also issue its own decrees.
The focus in law drafting of the Ministry of Transport and Communications is mainly on the implementation of EU legislation.
A major part of transport and communications legislation is being drafted in the European Union. The Ministry is responsible for national-level preparations and follow-up of transport and communications matters. The Minister of Transport and Communications represents Finland at the meetings of the EU Transport and Telecommunications Council. Operating within the EU means that influence is actively exerted before decisions are made. Ministry employees take part in the preparatory work in the Council and Commission working groups.
The Ministry of Transport and Communications also participates in international work carried out at forums such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Universal Postal Union (UPU).
The Ministry of Transport and Communications participates in work carried out at international forums. It is particularly involved in international cooperation not only with the other countries of the European Union but also with the other Nordic countries and the Baltic states.
One of the Ministry’s main responsibilities is to provide strategic performance guidance for its administrative sector. The Ministry guides and supervises the operation of its agencies and monitors their development. The group strategy for the Ministry of Transport and Communications’ administrative branch implements the Government Programme and provides guidance for the entire branch. Performance targets are set for the agencies every year. The Ministry is also responsible for the ownership steering of state majority-owned companies in its administrative sector.
The Ministry provides guidance for them and makes sure that their performance targets and operations are in accordance with the Government Programme. The limited liability companies under the Ministry’s ownership steering have societal duties laid down in legislation.
The agencies in the administrative branch include the Transport and Communications Agency, the Transport Infrastructure Agency and the Meteorological Institute. The companies operating under its ownership steering are Fintraffic Ltd, Cinia Oy, Nordic Railways Ltd (Pohjolan Rautatiet Oy), Finnish Rail, Turku One Hour Train and East Railway. The Finnish Broadcasting Company also falls within the Ministry’s administrative branch. It is steered by an Administrative Council appointed by Parliament.
Within its administrative sector, the Ministry deals with budget economy. It prepares spending limits as well as an annual budget proposal and an operating and financial plan. The Ministry also monitors the use of funds allocated to its sector in the state budget and describes their use in its annual report.
The work of the Ministry also includes matters related to licences and state subsidies. These tasks have decreased in recent years, because administration has been lightened and these matters have been transferred to regional and municipal levels. Licences are granted, for example, for the construction of mobile communications networks and for radio and television broadcasting. By purchasing services the Ministry finances public transport in sparsely populated areas, for example.
The goals of the Ministry are promoted through communications and stakeholder cooperation. Communications increases the ability of the Ministry, administrative branch and stakeholders to discuss, participate and take a stand on matters in preparation and take part in the decision making process. Open, anticipatory communications and interactive cooperation with the stakeholders form the basis of communications in the entire administrative branch.
The Minister of Transport and Communications is the head of the Ministry and handles matters covered by the Ministry.
The most senior official at the Ministry is the Permanent Secretary. The Ministry employs some 190 people and has four departments: Ministerial Governance Department, Services Department, Data Department and Networks Department. The departments, which are subdivided into units, are headed by Director Generals. In addition, the Strategic Analysis, Communications, International Affairs Unit and the Director of Cyber Security report directly to the Permanent Secretary.
From the transport system committee to the Ministry of Transport and Communications
The Ministry dates back to 1892, when a transport system committee was set up in the Senate of Finland, then an autonomous Grand Duchy of the Russian empire. The committee later became the Ministry of Transport and Public Works which was further divided into the Ministry of Labour and the Ministry of Transport and Communications in 1970.