More detailed information will be used in the future to develop the Finnish Immigration Service
The Ministry of the Interior’s project examined ways to clarify the picture of migration to Finland in the next few years and its impacts on the Finnish migration administration, especially the Finnish Immigration Service. The aim is to ensure that the migration administration meets the needs of society by means of smooth services.
The Finnish population is ageing, which means that immigration plays an important role in improving the dependency ratio and increasing the working-age population. Migration is part of a vibrant society.
“The immigration of workers, students and families to Finland has increased steadily in recent years. However, the appropriations allocated to the Finnish Immigration Service within the central government spending limits will decrease in the coming years. This means that we have to find ways for the agency to bridge the gap between the growing number of asylum applications and the resources at its disposal,” says Sanna Sutter, Director of Development and Steering from the Ministry of the Interior’s Migration Department.
The project examined tools that the Finnish Immigration Service can use to develop its foresight activities and the measuring of the impact and productivity of its activities.
Publicity of foresight information supports political decision-making
Foresight work is related to the anticipated number of applications and the resources required for processing the applications. During the project, the anticipation models of migration authorities in the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden were examined, from which viable solutions were selected for Finland’s use. In addition, workshops were organised for the Finnish Immigration Service’s employees, which resulted in a proposal for the agency’s own foresight model.
The project working group recommends that the Finnish Immigration Service establish the activities of the agency’s foresight network, involve all units and processes in it and assign a clear lead responsibility to someone. External experts should also be involved in the process.
The intention is to publish the foresight information based on the new model. This way, the information can also be used in public debate and political decision-making, for example concerning the agency’s resources.
Social impact measurement must be continuously developed
With regard to impact, the project began to explore how to better measure the social impact that can be obtained in return for the money invested in the migration administration. The figures in the Budget do not seem to describe the impact of the migration administration in the best possible way.
The project initiated the development of a more comprehensive set of indicators, but the work must continue in a systematic manner both within the Finnish Immigration Service and in cooperation with other parties in the migration administration. The Immigration Service will produce new indicators for the budget proposal and its performance agreement in spring 2022.
“Developing impact indicators is a continuous process. However, better indicators are not an end in themselves or a technical exercise. They are used to assess how the operations of the Finnish Immigration Service affect our society,” says Sutter.
Productivity was explored by examining human resources and allocation of working hours
Productivity refers to the input-output ratio. Productivity increases if the output grows relatively more than the use of inputs. Improving productivity requires that productivity can be measured.
The thematic entity on productivity examined the allocation of personnel resources and the use of working hours at the Finnish Immigration Service. It was also noted that there is a need to get a clearer picture of the impacts of automation on the work of the agency as well as the kinds of savings that can be expected from digitalisation and the timescale within which these savings will take place. As a whole, ways to develop analyses of productivity were considered.
During the project, the agency carried out pilot projects on monitoring the use of working hours and examined recruitment processes. However, consideration of how productivity can be measured should be continued. The project working group recommends that in the future the Finnish Immigration Service utilise external expert expertise in the development of productivity indicators.
Finnish Immigration Service wants to serve both the client and society better than before
The Finnish Immigration Service will start developing the monitoring of foresight activities, productivity and impact in accordance with the recommendations. The future Finnish Immigration Service will produce accurate and up-to-date information for the planning and management of its activities and for support of political decision-making.
“Many development measures are already under way, such as the ‘Lupa22’ project, which streamlines the residence permit process for employees and students, along with the development of knowledge-based management and continued digital transformation. The recommendations we have now received further boost our activities. Our aim is to serve our clients and society even better than before,” says Elina Immonen, Deputy Director General of the Finnish Immigration Service.
The project was carried out under the direction of the Migration Department of the Ministry of the Interior from 20 November 2020 to 31 December 2021. The working group also included representatives from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Finance and the Finnish Immigration Service.
Sanna Sutter, Director of Development and Steering, Ministry of the Interior, tel. +358 295 488 200, [email protected]
Elina Immonen, Deputy Director General, Finnish Immigration Service, tel. +358 295 433 842, [email protected]