Business Finland’s structure and operations reviewed by the Ministry
In a decision issued on 19 March 2019, the Deputy Parliamentary Ombudsman expressed its view on Business Finland’s operating model. This decision prompted the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment to explore the legislative or other measures required to clarify the public administrative tasks performed by Business Finland Oy in order to ensure they are authorised under Section 124 of the Constitution of Finland. The Ministry submitted its report on the matter to the Deputy Parliamentary Ombudsman on 30 August 2019.
The structure and operations of Business Finland are based on the Act on Innovation Funding Agency Business Finland and a limited liability Company called Business Finland (1146/2017), and the Government Decree detailing the said Act. It is the opinion of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment that the organisational structure of Business Finland meets its purpose.
Business Finland provides services for the promotion of export and internationalisation, foreign investment and tourism in a way that is effective and uncomplicated from the legislative perspective. As authorised by law, Business Finland Oy makes decisions on government aid up to a value of EUR 100,000. According to both the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and the Deputy Parliamentary Ombudsman, all of these services are duly organised.
The operating model of Business Finland has been partly revised after the legislation entered into force. However, further clarification in the roles and responsibilities of the Funding Agency and the limited liability company with regard to financing activities is necessary, in view of the Deputy Parliamentary Ombudsman’s decision and the provisions of Section 124 of the Constitution.
Management positions in financing activities in the limited liability company will be discontinued from 1 September 2019. With regard to the preparation of financing decisions made by the Funding Agency, measures still need to be taken to ensure that the Agency is exclusively responsible for the preparation of financing proposals and their content. With regard to the presentation of financing applications and the related decision-making, no action is required.
The Ministry will also initiate preparations to clarify the legislation concerning Business Finland in autumn 2019. According to preliminary estimates, areas in need of clarification include the roles and responsibilities of the Funding Agency and the limited liability company, and regulations concerning service agreements between the Agency and the company.
Innovation Funding Agency Business Finland is a government agency operating in the administrative sector of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. The objective of the Funding Agency and Business Finland Oy, the company under its management, is to drive the reinvention and development of the business sector through technology and innovation, to promote international networking, to promote tourism and to attract investment in Finland.
Report submitted by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment to the Deputy Parliamentary Ombudsman on 30 August 2019
Ilona Lundström, Director General, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 46 920 2344, [email protected]