Responsibility as part of change
In ten years, the Finnish Tax Administration has experienced many changes, while the largest change has taken place in our mindset. Our ways of working have been completely revised from the start, down to every detail.
At the end of 2019, the State Treasury defined that responsibility should be part of the reporting practices of all government agencies and ministries. This gave birth to the “Making responsibility visible” pilot project. Its goal was to build a harmonised framework for responsibility reporting, based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
In 2020, members of the pilot group for responsibility reporting were the State Treasury, the Finnish Tax Administration, the Office of the President of the Republic of Finland, and the National Land Survey of Finland.
During the pilot project, we prepared the Tax Administration’s first responsibility report, consisting not only of the environmental perspective, but also of elements of social responsibility.
Our activities are evaluated using different indicators and, for example, we calculate our carbon footprint every year. Responsible work has paid off during all these years. In 2020, the Tax Administration’s carbon dioxide emissions were 4,427 tCO2 kg. Our strategic goal is to increase digital services. The consumption of paper and energy has decreased as the ways of working and services have become increasingly digital. Furthermore, the wellbeing and job satisfaction of employees are measured annually.
During 2020, we also participated in such responsibility events as the WWF Earth Hour, the Energy Saving Week, the Kilometrikisa cycling competition and the European Week for Waste Reduction.
In December 2020, the WWF conducted remote Green Office audits as agreed, with all audited locations fulfilling the Green Office criteria. As a result, these locations can continue to use the WWF Green Office diploma and label.
More sensible use of resources by automating tasks
The efficiency of a significant part of the Tax Administration’s operations can be improved by developing and automating processes. To this end, a broad range of options are available, such as the development of the tax software, the use of analytics and software robotics, and the continuous improvement of working methods. The Tax Administration has a team of process designers whose task is to help to find suitable areas for automation and applicable automation methods.
We contribute to Finland adopting ethically sustainable AI technologies and international procedures. We also have an impact on legal amendments. We speak openly of the tasks in which AI is used.
Security is built together
We know that we must work hard every day to maintain safety. This is why secure services and operating methods are at the core of our activities. In 2020, we invested in the continuous development of our security activities. A record-high number of security training events were arranged for the personnel, despite the exceptional circumstances. “Security is built together” was the slogan that guided our security activities.
White hat hackers tested the Incomes Register and MyTax more extensively
The use of bug bounty programs has become an established part of information security testing at the Tax Administration. White hat hackers were first used in 2017 as part of ensuring the Tax Administration’s level of information security. In 2020, the use of white hats was expanded to the Incomes Register’s e-service, and it was re-launched in MyTax.
Bug bounty programs provide means to regularly test the information security of our electronic services. Bug bounty programs encourage a group of information security specialists, or white hats, to detect information security vulnerabilities in systems. The skills of white hats are used to make data systems even more secure. Bug bounty means that the larger the bugs hackers can detect are, the larger the bounty is. The amount of the bounty is proportionate to the significance of the risk detected.
Investments in the cybersecurity awareness of Tax Administration employees
In 2020, we held our first cybersecurity month at the Tax Administration. Held every year in October, the cybersecurity month is a concept launched by the EU to pay special attention to digital security. During the cybersecurity month, we published newsletters on different areas of cybersecurity in our intranet. The aim was to increase the cybersecurity awareness of all our employees.
We measured the level of cybersecurity skills by conducting a security survey, to which 20% of our employees responded.