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All for one and one for all.
Better management of large entities. A cross-administrative approach. Effectiveness.
Creating the right conditions for collaboration and decision-making in public administration.
In practice, corporate steering in state administration means management between the Government and the various administrative levels.
For several years, corporate steering has been a target for development in Finnish state and municipal administration. Challenges of the public economy, including the changing age structure, increasing competition for workforce and the development of productivity have created pressure to build a stronger corporate steering model. The needs of the people are also often complex and require contributions from several authorities and administrative branches. Many issues could be processed and policies implemented in a consistent and focused manner, a development which would benefit all parties.
There have been no shared written principles or strategy for Finnish corporate steering. This absence has created a major problem. Corporate steering in state administrations has not developed as one. This challenge is now being addressed in, for example, the OECD evaluation of Finnish public administration. Attempts have been made to manage coordination issues through policy programmes, but greater capacity to make decisions across ministry borders is still needed.
Starting in 2010, the Sitra Public Administration programme began searching for opportunities to create the proper prerequisites for stronger cross-boundary cooperation and decision-making in public administration.
State corporate steering is a tool for the Government, led by the Prime Minister, to effectively administer the effects of its political-strategic objectives. The steering model includes processes, structures and a management model that the government uses to implement, assess and update its programme.
Good public administration also presupposes better horizontal cooperation between administrative levels, as well as increased interaction with various interest groups and the development of a more open, innovative operational culture. In addition to management systems, attention must also be paid to boosting the interaction and internal culture in public administration. This means building an operational method and community spirit based on commitment, shared operational principles, trust, openness and interaction.
The project aims to improve the quality and productivity of the legislative drafting process by creating new tangible operational models. The project also defines the objectives, tasks and tools of steering legislative policies. The Ministry of Justice implements the project in cooperation with the Sitra Public Leadership and Management Programme, from which it receives some of its financing. The pilot phase has involved the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Ministry of Employment and the Economy and the Ministry of the Environment.
How can we make more effective use of information based on research in political decision-making, and thereby improve quality? As a part of the state corporate steering project, Sitra has published the survey Tutkimustiedon ja vaikuttavuusarviointien käyttö poliittisessa päätöksenteossa – kokemuksia Alankomaissa, Tanskasta ja Isosta-Britanniasta (Use of researched information and impact evaluation in political decision-making – experiences in the Netherlands, Denmark and Great Britain).
The matter has also been discussed within the Prime Minister's Office in order to find ways to measure the effectiveness of the policy measures. The results of the project have been published in the report Improving the Information Base of Political Decision-making: From Goals to Reality.
The development project currently being planned analyses the Finnish and international work to develop the public administration's ability to change.
Sitra has cooperated with ministries, the Finnish Transport Agency and other key actors in the development of a new approach to transport and spatial planning in the Transport Revolution development programme. Under the programme, several concrete pilot projects have been launched in connection with the Government transport policy report. Sitra is involved in Lahti-MALPE, a scheme piloting different land use planning, housing, transport and service structures. It also fosters the integration of local and national planning. Sitra will bring strategic design expertise to interactive planning in the second part of the project.