05/04/2018 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/04/2018 04:41
The Government proposes that the Finnish Transport Safety Agency, Trafi, the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority and certain functions of the Finnish Transport Agency be merged into a new Transport and Communications Agency. The current Transport Agency would continue as Transport Infrastructure Agency. The Government submitted a proposal on the matter on 3 May 2018. The proposal includes bills concerning the agencies, an implementation act and nearly 90 bills relating to the reform.
The reform would respond to the major changes taking place in the transport and communications sectors. Digitalisation, robotisation, the growing role of services and the increasing importance of data are changing customer needs and, consequently, the demands placed on the authorities.
'In future, transport and communications services will become increasingly interlinked and will complement one another,' says Minister of Transport and Communications Anne Berner. 'To be able to address versatile and changing challenges, the public administration must be able to increase strategic agility and reduce silo thinking,' she says.
The structures of the administrative branch are being changed to provide improved services and to enable a favourable business environment and improved utilisation of data. The reform is included in the Government's objective to create digital transport services. At the same time, the aims of the proposed act are to ensure reliable and well-functioning transport and communications networks, streamline regulation and improve the productivity and impact of administration through more versatile and effective use of resources and expertise of the agencies.
In terms of communications, the new Agency would be responsible for the current tasks of the Communications Regulatory Agency. The tasks related to transport would include the present duties of the Transport Safety Agency and the tasks to be transferred from the current Transport Agency relating to hydrographic surveys, merchant vessel subsidies and improvement of public transport services.
The current Transport Agency would be called Transport Infrastructure Agency and it would continue its operations without interruption. The Transport Infrastructure Agency would become a strong contracting agency focusing on the planning, development and maintenance of road, rail and maritime transport infrastructure and on the coordination of transport and land use policies. All those duties that are not directly related to transport infrastructure management would be transferred to the Transport and Communications Agency and the traffic control company.
The current traffic control and management services (road, railway and maritime transport) by the Transport Agency would be incorporated into a limited liability company and the functions transferred to a new state-owned company with a special assignment. The government proposal on the traffic control company (HE 34/2018) was submitted to Parliament on 5 April 2018. The aim is that the company would start its operations on 1 January 2019.
The Government proposes that the implementation act would enter into force as soon as possible. Acts concerning other aspects of the matter, including transfers of functions and employees, are to enter into force on 1 January 2019. In order to start the preparatory measures, a Director-General for the new Transport and Communications Agency could be appointed as of 1 October 2018.
The reform of the administrative branch of the Ministry of Transport and Communications has been prepared in cooperation with the stakeholders in the branch and personnel of the agencies. All the comments received on the draft proposal during the consultation round and events have been thoroughly examined and, as far as possible, considered in finalising the proposal.
A referral debate on the Government's proposal submitted to Parliament will be conducted in a Parliament plenary session. Information on the date of the session will be available on Parliament's web site (plenary session agendas).
After the referral debate, the proposal will be sent to a committee. Once the committee's report is ready, the matter will be again discussed in a plenary session.
Juhapekka Ristola, Director-General, tel. +358 50 512 8156
Silja Ruokola, Director of Legal Affairs, tel. +358 40 580 0894
Sanna Ruuskanen, Director of Unit, tel. +358 50 3762377
Chairs of the groups preparing the reform:
Kirsi Karlamaa, Director-General, Communications Regulatory Authority, tel. +358 40 823 2121
Mia Nykopp, Director-General, Transport Safety Agency Trafi, tel. +358 29 534 5200
Raimo Tapio, Division Director, Transport Agency, tel. +358 29 534 3614
Rami Metsäpelto, Division Director, Transport Agency, tel. +358 29 534 3018