• Government responsibility reporting to be initiated in 2020

    Ministries, agencies and institutions are active social operators with responsibility built into their social mandate. As part of the operational reporting scheme for 2020, government agencies will be required to prepare a responsibility report. The report helps shed light on the responsibility-related aspects of an agency’s operations. The starting point of the responsibility report is to describe the agency’s current operations and present a plan on how to respond to future challenges, such as the scarcity of natural resources and slow economic development.

    The State Treasury is currently working on updating its guidelines so that accounting units will be instructed to report on their operational responsibility for 2020 in spring 2021. The most important thing is to start carrying out reporting as soon as possible, as the gradual further development of reporting will be easier than a direct transition to comprehensive reporting based on detailed guidelines a few years from now.

     

  • Towards harmonised reporting practices

    A need for harmonised standards and a reporting framework has been identified in the field of responsibility reporting. The State Treasury is working with a group of pilot agencies to develop a unified reporting framework for central government in order to enable the responsibility of agencies to be compared across administrative branches going forward. The purpose of the Making Responsibility Visible pilot is to government bureaus’ experiences regarding the possibilities associated with, perspectives to be considered and amount of work involved in preparing responsibility reports.

    The aim is to form as comprehensive an understanding as possible on the views of those participating in the pilot on the current state and future development trends of the central government’s responsibility reporting. The central government’s responsibility reporting pilot group consists of the National Land Survey of Finland, the Finnish Tax Administration, the State Treasury of Finland and the Office of the President of the Republic of Finland.

    During the Making Responsibility Visible pilot, we have identified several elements of responsibility the reporting on which could be automated to the central government’s group operators. This would not only enable consistent reporting on shared functions, but also decrease the information collection work of agencies.

  • Aiming for a sustainable future

    Based on the responsibility reports prepared by the pilot bureaus in spring 2020, launching the central government’s responsibility reporting would be possible even on relatively short notice, as long as the requirements set for the report are initially kept as narrow as possible and as long as the guidelines allow the implementation of the report to be adapted based on the bureau’s own needs.

    For organisations, responsibility is a strategic tool for increasing and developing the transparency and sustainability of their operations. Questions regarding responsibility are multifaceted and wide-ranging – responsibility can be achieved in many ways. Let us work together for a more sustainable future.

  • Responsibility reporting – what, why and when?

    Businesses, public administration bodies and other organisations are responsible for the impacts of their operations on the surrounding society, interest groups and the environment. The presentation below describes how the central government will begin implementing responsibility reporting.

    Responsibility reporting – what, why and when? (presentation materials, PDF)

     

  • Schedule – how will the process move forward?

    All government agencies will prepare a responsibility report as part of their 2020 operational reporting. In the responsibility report, the organisation details the impacts of its operations on the surrounding society. Within central government, reporting is based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the Global Reporting Initiative foundation’s GRI standards.

    Progress towards a shared framework for central government responsibility reporting will be made in stages. More detailed information on the schedule coming in June 2020.

  • Social change, responsibility and sustainability

    The core idea of sustainable development is to secure good living conditions for current and future generations. The aim is to find an appropriate balance between human well-being, the economy and the environment. The Commission on Sustainable Development handles the incorporation of national sustainable development goals in the national policy.

    Sustainable development has had an important role in the strategies and programmes of the Finnish Government since 1990. The current government programme aims to mould Finland into a society that follows the principles of social, financial and ecological sustainable development by 2030.

    Well-being through a sustainable economy

    The United Nations (UN) has defined 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) that must be achieved by 2030. The efforts to reach the goals is guided by the UN’s Agenda 2030 programme. It emphasises that the methods of implementation are equally important as the goals themselves.

    According to the Agenda 2030 programme, the resolution of global problems requires multifaceted collaboration and partnership between countries, operators and citizens. Active exchanging knowledge and experiences, sharing best practices and ensuring systematic policies are some of the means that can be used to tackle the challenges involved.

    The aim of the sustainable development goals is to make the world a better place for us all. This can be achieved by merging the social, environmental and economic perspectives more efficiently than at present.

  • Responsibility highlighted on the forum and valtiolla.fi website

    The responsibility forum brings together central government operators that are interested in responsibility and sustainable development. The forum serves as a place for sharing experiences and good practices, which can provide agencies with support for the promotion of responsibility and the themes of sustainable development. From autumn 2020 onwards, the State Treasury will be organising various events and workshops, more information on which will be provided after the summer.

    Responsibility as a phenomenon is still relatively new at the central government, and few people are well-versed on the subject. Come and join the forum to define what we want to achieve together with the central government’s responsibility reporting! To sign up for the forum and for more information, please contact Henni Purtonen, the coordinator of the Making Responsibility Visible pilot: henni.purtonen(at)valtiokonttori.fi.

    Do you want to write a blog about responsibility?

    You can also sign up as a blog writer on the valtiolla.fi website (in Finnish), where responsibility has been highlighted as one of the central government’s development areas in working life. If you do not want to write yourself, you can also submit suggestions for new posts or point out a civil servant who would be interesting to interview.