The counties’ preparation and implementation tasks have been supported and will be supported further from an appropriation reserved for this purpose in the State budget for 2018–2019. Funding for projects implemented at the national level has been gathered to an item under the Ministry of Finance’s main title, and policies on its use are contained in the ministries’ joint plan. The digital transformation programme Project Office drafts the proposals for both the funding of portfolio projects implemented nationally and the granting of discretionary government grants intended for the counties’ ICT implementations.
In 2017, a total of approx. EUR 15 million was allocated to the regional councils, which are responsible for preparing the reform. The funding was provided in two instalments. The first instalment was intended for mapping the current status. The second instalment finances the planning and preparation of the requisite change. The regional councils may continue using the discretionary government grants made available for them in 2017 in 2018 until the preliminary preparation phase has been concluded.
In 2018, the funding for the counties will amount to a minimum of EUR 71 million. Funding is applied for on the basis of individual counties’ detailed plans and granted to cover pre-approved and specified costs. The applications will be processed in two batches and referred for approval in March and April. The flexible schedule is based on the different paces of progress in the counties. As the decisions are made in two batches, the counties whose plans are more advanced can move on to the implementation phase.
Senior Specialist Vesa Lipponen, vesa.lipponen(at)vm.fi