Services The processing times of the Digital and Population Agency have been stretched to months; according to the Director General, the development of a comprehensive electronic transaction system can take years

The Digital and Demographic Information Agency warns about delays on its website in several different areas, such as guardianship, the name change service and the registration of foreigners.

Of the year The Digital and Population Information Agency, established at the beginning of 2020, started operating a year ago by tangling and the processing of applications became congested. Specially the division of inheritance was delayed weeks.

There are also currently delays in personal customer service and guardianship, as well as in name changes, migration notifications and registration of foreigners.

Processing times are longer than they were before the merger of the local register offices and the Population Register Center into the new Digital and Population Information Agency, although the initial difficulties should be Timo Salovaaran be already over.

“Yes, it must be acknowledged that the founding phase is over,” says Salovaara.

Major the cause of delays in the agency, despite its name, is the lack of a comprehensive, electronic transaction system. According to Salovaara, it may take years to develop it.

“We haven’t yet got a comprehensive digital operation built, which means pretty much things get started on paper. We have to process them manually, for example by scanning and recording them, so that they can be processed electronically by us, ”says Salovaara.

The need for an electronic transaction system is greater after the end of regional operations.

“We are a nationwide organization where all things in one service are in one nationwide work queue. The new organization is not organized on a regional basis but on the basis of functions. ”

A total of 11 separate agencies were merged during the establishment phase of the Digital and Population Information Agency: nine local register offices, the Population Register Center and the local government control and development unit. The agency operates in 36 locations.

In some in cases, the delays are currently months long. For example, in registered name changes and guardianship cases, the estimated processing time is currently up to five months.

According to Salovaara, the handling of guardianship cases takes a long time, as it often requires cooperation with the district court and health authorities. However, five months is longer than the three-month target.

“Applying a person for lobbying, for example, is a process that requires great care and thorough investigation. That is an important issue for human rights, ”says Salovaara.

Name changes According to Salovaara, the congestion of registration is affected by changes in the Name Act and the consequent increase in the number of applications.

“The new Names Act lowered the name change threshold and has increased the number of name change applications. In some cases, it is necessary to seek the opinion of the Nomination Board. The Name Board is a body that meets only at certain intervals, ”says Salovaara.

“We are a long way from the 1-2 months we are aiming for in simple matters,” he admits.

There is also a delay in foreign affairs at the moment. For them, the coronavirus pandemic has also slowed down processing.

“Immigrant customers who have recently come from abroad need a personal identity number. It requires personal transactions because their identity and that they have entered the country must be verified. ”

New the organisation’s development work is still ongoing at the digital and population information office.

“The division of labor and organization can be further developed. The initial phase and the establishment of the organization are already behind us, of course Korona came to it a bit to give an additional challenge, ”says Salovaara.

Reducing processing times is the sum of many factors, but the development of digital solutions is a priority. According to Salovaara, name change services were digitized last year, although its impact has not yet been widely felt.

“The goals are to get to the situation and processing times of the previous authorities in this initial phase. In the longer term, the goal is to streamline operations in order to achieve shorter processing times, ”says Salovaara.

“There is no immediate solution, there are certain resources that are available.”

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