Open government

Openness is a key value of the Finnish general government. The government's activities are open when its actions are transparent and the information and services are easily accessible.

The Act on the Openness of Government Activities obliges public authorities to act openly. The purpose of the Act is to promote openness in government and to provide private individuals and corporations with an opportunity to monitor the exercise of public authority and the use of public resources, to freely form an opinion, to influence the exercise of public authority, and to protect their rights and interests.

Under the Act, the authorities shall, upon request, provide information on the public documents in their possession. The authorities also have an obligation to promote the openness of their activities and to produce and disseminate information.

The Finnish Transparency Register as part of open government

The purpose of the Finnish Transparency Register is to improve the transparency of decision-making, combat inappropriate influencing and strengthen citizens' trust. The Transparency Register supports democracy and the rule of law, supplements the Finnish legislation on openness and strengthens the principles of open government.

Traditional, often official, forms of preparation and hearing have been replaced in the past few decades by more flexible and unofficial forms of cooperation. This has increased the opportunities to influence as well as direct contacts with individual decision-makers and the officials in charge of preparation. It is therefore even more important to ensure that the activities are transparent.

The Transparency Register includes information on lobbying and lobbying consultancy targeted at the decision-making of Parliament or the ministries. The information in the Transparency Register is published in full in the public service. The information can be used, for example, by journalists, researchers and citizens.

When the Finnish Transparency Register Act was prepared, the following reports of lobbying-related research projects were used, for example:

  • Towards more open lobbying: Current state of lobbying in Finland at central government level (2021) (in Finnish only). According to the study by the Ministry of Justice, there are shortcomings in the openness and transparency of lobbying in Finland. For example, there is official published information available on lobbying, but the content is limited and difficult to utilise. There is also much room for improvement in the legislation on lobbying.

  • Registers for Lobbyists: International Examples (2018) (in Finnish only). The report published by the Prime Minister's Office examines how national lobbying registers have been implemented in different countries. The report compares the registers of different countries, examines the role of public authorities and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of the registers.

Open information sharing in the central government

Open government requires open and interactive communication about the preparation of issues and decision-making. The ministries and government agencies provide plenty of materials on their websites.

The links take you directly to the site maintained by the information provider. Each actor is responsible for the correctness of the information themselves.

Information on matters discussed in Parliament and the ministries

The ministries implement the Government Programme, prepare laws and regulations, and take forward reforms in various projects, working groups and institutions.

  • The Government's website for statute drafting and development projects (in Finnish and Swedish only) provides useful information on the ministries' current projects. The website also contains information on statute drafting, working groups and strategy work.

  • The Parliament's website provides citizens with a lot of information on the activities of the Parliament. The documents discussed in Parliament or resulting from the work of Parliament are parliamentary documents (the page is available in Finnish and Swedish only).

  • The most important task of Parliament, enacting legislation, takes place in plenary sessions, of which you can find live webcasts and recordings on Parliament's web service. The public can also follow Parliament’s plenary sessions from the gallery.

  • Parliament is also obliged to consider a legislative initiative by citizens, i.e. a citizens’ initiative, if at least 50,000 citizens support the initiative.

  • Parliament's decisions are prepared in committees. As a rule, the documents discussed in parliamentary committees become public once the consideration of the matter in the committee has been closed.

  • Parliament organises open days, exhibitions, lectures and training. Parliament's Communications Unit and the information service of the Library of Parliament serve citizens, researchers and representatives of the media. The services of the Library of Parliament are available to everyone.

  • The Finnish Transparency Register increases the transparency of lobbying targeted at the decision-making of Parliament and the ministries. The use of the Register is overseen in Finland by the National Audit Office of Finland.

Information on the central government and central government finances

Information on the central government and central government finances is available, for example, in the following services:

  • The Explore Public Spending service increases the openness and transparency of the use of public funds. The service provides information on the purchases made by the central government and other public organisations.

  • The web service compiles information on the central government, such as central government finances and personnel, public procurement, and the performance targets of central government agencies and their achievement.

  • In the (“Explore grants”; in Finnish only) web service, you can examine the government grants applied for and awarded.

  • The web service provides information, for example, on government borrowing, debt and cash management, and related statistics.

Information on democracy and opportunities to influence

Services related to democracy and lobbying include the following:

  • The (“Democracy”) website provides up-to-date information about how matters are prepared at the local, national and EU level.

  • Democracy indicators is a web service for monitoring the state and development of Finnish democracy with indicators illustrating the development of democracy and related phenomena.

  • In the service (“Citizens’ initiative”; in Finnish and Swedish only), you can submit municipal initiatives to the municipalities included in the service as well as support and follow the initiatives taken by others.

  • In the service (“Local residents’ initiative”; in Finnish and Swedish only), you can submit local residents’ initiatives to the municipalities included in the service as well as support and follow the initiatives submitted by others.

  • (“Take a stand”; in Finnish and Swedish only) is a forum for interaction between citizens and public administration. It makes it possible to monitor and comment on the latest initiatives and to participate in discussions and hearings.

  • (“Opinion service”; in Finnish and Swedish only) provides an opportunity to request and issue opinions electronically. All public authorities may publish requests for opinions in the service. Opinions can be issued by all organisations and citizens.

Information on elections and political parties

You can find information on political parties, elections and their funding on the following websites:

Information on corruption

Information on corruption can be found, for example, on the following websites:

Information on open government

Information on open government is available, for example, on the following websites:

  • is an online service of the Ministry of Finance. It compiles up-to-date information on the preparation of issues related to open government at local, national and EU level. It also brings together different channels of influence.

  • The Ministry of Finance has compiled information on its own website on the openness of Finland's administrative policy, trust and ethics.

  • Finland's member website of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) includes action plans and commitments for achieving the OGP targets.

Promoting transparency in civil society

Various non-profit organisations contribute to open government and transparency in society.

  • Transparency International Finland is an autonomous, politically independent and non-profit-making association that aims at preventing corruption and promoting transparency, responsibility, ethics and integrity in various areas of society. Through its activities, Transparency International Finland promotes the rule of law.

  • Finnwatch is a non-governmental organisation that investigates the global impacts of business. It seeks to promote ecologically, socially and economically responsible business conduct by influencing companies, economic regulation and public discourse. Finnwatch highlights business-related human rights problems, environmental impacts and tax dodging.

  • The special task of the Union of Journalists in Finland is to defend journalism and oversee compliance with its ethical rules. The Union promotes freedom of expression and safeguards media diversity.

Transparency of government in international context

International efforts to promote openness of government and combat corruption are carried out by a wide range of actors.