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Government responsibility reporting to be harmonised in 2020

Businesses, public administration bodies and other organisations are responsible for the impacts of their operations on the surrounding society, interest groups and the environment. As part of the operational reporting scheme for 2020, government agencies will be required to prepare a responsibility report. The pilot group led by the State Treasury aims to formulate a consistent reporting framework for government responsibility reporting.

Responsibility has become more central in the operations of various organisations as interest groups have begun to expect their partners to demonstrate an increasing level of responsibility in their operations. For organisations, responsibility is a strategic tool for increasing and developing the transparency and sustainability of their operations. In addition to its importance with regard to social norms and expectations, responsibility is closely linked to the nature of an organisation’s activities and its network of interest groups.

Making responsibility visible

Ministries, agencies and institutions are active social operators with responsibility built into their social mandate. 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.

The growing demand for finding solutions to global challenges provides companies with new business opportunities. In terms of central government, the rapidly-changing operating environment and increasing uncertainty are impeding its core mission. The aim is to make the responsibility report a joint monitoring tool for government agencies in order to assess the realisation of set responsibility goals in an objective manner.

Towards harmonised reporting practices

The pilot group put together by the State Treasury will also be preparing a responsibility report for 2019. The pilot group seeks to create a uniform government reporting framework within which comparable responsibility information on various agencies can be shared across boundaries between agencies and administrative branches. The group’s efforts are based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the Global Reporting Initiative foundation’s GRI standards. The pilot group’s work will begin in January 2020.

Responsibility reports have previously been prepared by the National Land Survey of Finland, Hansel and Kela (in Finnish), among other government bodies. In order to enable harmonised reporting, the State Treasury will be publishing guidelines for the responsibility reports of accounting units in early autumn 2020. You can follow the progress of the government responsibility reporting pilots on the State Treasury website (English version coming on Monday 13th January).

Further information:
Katri Kanerva, tel. +358 (0)295 503 364, katri.kanerva(at)valtiokonttori.fi
Henni Purtonen, tel. +358 (0)295 502 017, henni.purtonen(at)valtiokonttori.fi

Government responsibility reporting in brief

  • The State Treasury will be providing guidelines on the preparation of responsibility reports to all agencies in early autumn 2020.
  • The pilot agencies will also prepare a report for 2019.
  • Within central government, the reporting is based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the GRI standards.

Target group: Authorities

Additional theme