Reforming public services

There are many different expectations regarding reforms to public sector services and activities. The challenges faced in society seem to be more complicated and multi-dimensional than ever before.

Public services and their current system of organisation are the target of both feelings of dissatisfaction and different desires and hopes. Finnish citizens – the users of these ser-vices – want increased freedom of choice and flexibility. The services must change as citizens’ needs change.

Current funding conditions in public finance force us to pay attention also to service pro-ductivity. Only by lifting the productivity of services is it possible to maintain high quality services with broad coverage. The problems posed by the ageing population and the resulting growth in service demand cannot be solved by increasing resources.

The need for new innovations and reforms to operating methods is as clear as can be. The public sector’s own operating culture should promote continual change and improvement. In place of disconnected individual actions, the public sector should be able to coordinate its actions towards common, measurable goals. Two ways to bring reform to public services are the use of private-public partnerships and experimentation in the development process.

Further information: Mikko Martikainen