Evaluation of the National Emergency Supply Agency completed
According to an evaluation published on 28 May 2021, Finland’s National Emergency Supply Agency (NESA) is an effective, flexible and agile agency, but due to changes in the operating environment, its regulation, structures and processes need to be reformed. A stakeholder survey carried out to support the evaluation shows that the operators involved in the security of supply consider the system to be working very well.
The University of Vaasa, the Laurea University of Applied Sciences, the National Defence University and the Police University College carried out the evaluation, which was submitted to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment today.
The evaluation calls for a broader perspective on the security of supply. The evaluation shows that the experiences gained during the coronavirus crisis confirm the ever-increasing global interdependence since the 2000s. This means that preparedness can no longer take place in narrow sectors or silos separate from each other.
“According to our evaluation, Finland’s security of supply system has been operationally efficient and yielded good results, but it should be reformed nonetheless. This need for reform is mainly driven by changes in the operating environment,” says Petri Uusikylä, Research Director at the University of Vaasa.
The evaluation looked at the operations of the NESA and, more broadly, those of the National Emergency Supply Organisation, the management system, performance guidance and the effectiveness and international dimension of the security of supply.
The report pays particular attention to the guidance and management system of the National Emergency Supply Organisation and to the operations of the National Emergency Supply Fund. According to the evaluation, the guidance and management systems appear somewhat unorganised with regard to the Government decision on the objectives of security of supply, performance guidance of the National Emergency Supply Agency and the guidance role of the Agency’s Board.
The report contains eight recommendations. They concern, for example, operational guidance and processes of the security of supply and the NESA, pool operations, coordination at the Government level, the National Emergency Supply Fund and development of the National Emergency Supply Organisation. The report also outlines alternative ways of organising security of supply activities. Their purpose is to provide ideas for the development of the security of supply system.
“The evaluation group has discussed the development of Finland’s security of supply in a comprehensive manner. The Ministry will take a careful look at the evaluation and recommendations, which provide a good basis for reforming our unique system to become even stronger,” says Director General Antti Neimala from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.
Concerning the development of the security of supply operations, Neimala points out that the strategy of the NESA has recently been updated and that an extensive development programme has been launched.
“Some of the recommendations of the evaluation go beyond parliamentary terms. Further work on these recommendations will begin immediately too and they will be coordinated with other projects that have an impact on the operating environment of the security of supply. In the autumn, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment will decide on the measures to be taken in response to various reports and recommendations,” Neimala says.
“Some of the recommendations can be implemented very quickly, such as the development of cooperation between different operators in the Government. Naturally, different administrative branches have cooperated in the past too, but this will shortly be made official through the establishment of an interministerial cooperation group on the security of supply. Its activities would enhance the joint preparedness of the Government, the development of security of supply and the coordination of measures on preparedness. Among other things, the group could promote and evaluate the implementation of the Government decision on the objectives of security of supply, support updates to it and lay the groundwork for the legislative reform on the security of supply,” Neimala adds.
Petri Uusikylä, Research Director, University of Vaasa, tel. +358 40 577 7516, petri.uusikyla(at)uwasa.fi (evaluation of the National Emergency Supply Agency)
Antti Neimala, Director General, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Employment and Well-Functioning Markets Department, tel. +358 29 504 7039