The degree of utilization of the different Suomi.fi services varies considerably. In order for the shared support services for digitization to become more useful, the service development should be more focused on customer needs.
The Suomi.fi services are support services for electronic transactions, and they were created in the National Service Architecture (KaPA) Development Programme in 2014–2017. The purpose of the support services is, for example, to improve the accessibility and quality of public services and to promote the efficiency of the activities of public administration. In its audit, the National Audit Office of Finland (NAOF) examined whether the Suomi.fi services support the activities of the Finnish public administration in line with the objectives set for them and whether they are developed according to need.
The Suomi.fi services are an essential part of public administration’s shared digital infrastructure, and public sector organizations are, as a rule, obliged to use them. However, the services will only be useful when they have been integrated into the electronic services provided by different government agencies. The overall significance of the Suomi.fi services to central government finances depends on how well they can be used in the electronic services of government agencies.
Based on the audit, the organizations using the Suomi.fi services feel that they can hardly influence the development of the services. Information is available on the planned development measures but there is no open dialogue on development needs, and the prioritization of development areas is not considered to be transparent. The NAOF recommends that the Digital and Population Data Services Agency should ensure sufficient customer interaction when developing the services in order for the development to address the needs and use cases that are relevant to the customers, i.e. the organizations using the services.
It appeared clearly in the audit that the strategic steering of the Suomi.fi services has been fragmented and not met the expectations of different parties. The NAOF recommends that the Ministry of Finance should clarify and strengthen the strategic steering of the Suomi.fi services in order for the service development to be determined and systematic.