Incomes Register developed together

The Incomes Register is developed together with customers. To listen to customers, the Incomes Register has four levels of cooperation. Received feedback, change requests and recommendations are processed as part of the development of the Incomes Register.

The cooperation group between the Incomes Register Unit, which is responsible for the Incomes Register, and stakeholders processes the income data system’s development areas and operational guidelines, for example. The rules, tasks and members of the cooperation group are laid down in the act on the incomes information system (Laki tulotietojärjestelmästä 53/2018, section 19).

The cooperation group consists of a chairperson and at most twelve ordinary members appointed by the Ministry of Finance upon the Incomes Register Unit’s proposal for a fixed term of at most four years. Of the members, one is appointed by the Finnish Tax Administration, one by the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) and one by the Finnish Centre for Pensions. In addition, the group’s members always include at least one representative of payers and one representative of income earners.

Every year, the cooperation group members discuss the Incomes Register’s annual report for the previous year, the next year’s action and financial plan, and a development plan for the next three years.

The cooperation group issues recommendations and proposals for the development of the Incomes Register. The group’s first term started in 2018, and it will end on 31 December 2022. The representatives appointed to the group are listed on the Ministry of Finance’s website (in Finnish): the Incomes Register Unit’s cooperation group (vm.fi)

The cooperation network supports the cooperation group in its activities and conveys the shared view of each sector regarding needs in each respective sector to the Incomes Register. The network started operating in the spring of 2019. Two representatives and one substitute member are appointed to the network from each sector.

The Incomes Register requests statements and asks various questions from the network. The appointed representative of each sector forwards the requests for statements and questions to other representatives of their sector for issuing a statement and, as a result, conveys their sector’s shared view as a response to the Incomes Register. The appointed representatives may also present their sector’s shared change requests to the Incomes Register.

The network prepares development and assesses the overall production situation and the usability of the Incomes Register’s data at a general level. In addition, it carries out sector-specific development, for example, by processing reporting guidance and the sector-specific needs of data users.

Meetings will be arranged as necessary in relation to various themes and phenomena. Every year, the network discusses changes to the data content, for example.

The network involves the following sectors:

  • Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela)
  • Finnish Tax Administration
  • Pension insurance providers
  • Finnish Centre for Pensions
  • Employment Fund
  • Unemployment funds
  • Motor insurers
  • Municipalities
  • Administrative branch of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
  • Occupational safety and health authorities
  • Workers’ Compensation Center
  • Patient Insurance Centre
  • Statistics Finland
  • State Treasury
  • Enforcement offices
  • Finnish Financial Management Association
  • Federation of Finnish Enterprises
  • Confederation of Finnish Industries
  • Central wage and salary earners’ unions
  • Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

Through customer panels, the Incomes Register collects feedback on the reporting of data. Customer panels participate in the development of the Incomes Register by giving feedback on the functioning of the register and any changes in it. Members of customer panels may also present change requests to the Incomes Register. The key task of customer panels is to make the views of data providers a stronger part of development.

There are three customer panels for wages: software companies, accounting firms and service providers, and other data submitters. In addition, there is one customer panel for benefits between benefits payment data submitters and software companies.

The Incomes Register seeks volunteer members for the panels every two years. The term of each panel is two years, during which at least two virtual events are held. In addition, a separate customer satisfaction survey is sent annually to the panels, which is then compared with a public survey. Other surveys may also be sent to members of the panels, and targeted comments may be requested from them to support development.

Members of the panels are selected so that data providers are represented as comprehensively as possible. Selection criteria include the type of organisation, domicile, reporting channels and other reporting needs. Representatives of the Federation of Finnish Enterprises and the Finnish Financial Management Association also participate in earnings payment data panels.

The first term of these panels started in November 2019 and that of benefits payment panels in April 2021.

The Incomes Register collects continuous feedback on the functioning of the register. Feedback is collected through telephone and chat services and using the website’s feedback form. Feedback is processed regularly, and any feasible proposals are transferred to the small-scale development team of the Incomes Register for assessment.

The Incomes Register also identifies the satisfaction of users by conducting a separate survey twice a year. Through the user satisfaction survey, feedback is requested particularly on the functioning and usability of the Incomes Register.

In addition, feedback is collected on the website using feedback buttons. Responses given through the feedback buttons serve, in particular, to develop help texts available on the website.

Small development proposals are processed by the small-scale development team

If a development proposal received from customers is small and it can be implemented within the scope of valid legislation, the change request will be forwarded to the Incomes Register’s small-scale development team. In addition to proposals presented by customers, the team handles development areas identified by the Incomes Register and necessary changes in the Incomes Register’s operations resulting from the legislation.

Small-scale development proceeds in accordance with the annual calendar. All change requests are summarised in December. During the first part of the year, the Incomes Register assesses the feasibility and impact of the requests and, if necessary, asks stakeholders to issue statements on them. Next, the Incomes Register will select the change requests to be implemented, start implementing them and communicate the changes to the customers affected by them. Before entering any changes in production, data providers and data users can test the new features in the Incomes Register’s testing environment.

Annual calendar for the small-scale development of the Incomes Register:

Annual calendar for the small-scale development of the Incomes Register.

Larger development proposals prepared by the ministry

Occasionally, change requests also include larger development proposals that require amendments to the current legislation, for example. These requests are processed as part of the Incomes Register’s development plan.

The Incomes Register prepares its statutory development plan for three years at a time. The plan acts as a guideline for the long-term development of the Incomes Register. Its purpose is to safeguard the opportunities of different stakeholders to have an impact on the development of the Incomes Register and to provide an overview of planned long-term development activities.

The development of the Incomes Register are guided by

  • the quality of data saved in the Incomes Register
  • the availability of data
  • the expansion of the database
  • the efficiency of the overall process.

The development plan is provided for the Incomes Register’s cooperation network every year, and the document and any statements issued on it are discussed by the cooperation group.

The Incomes Register Unit is responsible for developing the Incomes Register within the scope of valid legislation. The Ministry of Finance prepares larger themes in accordance with the Government Programme’s outlines. These include development proposals that affect the legislation and any changes in operating principles. The Incomes Register does not independently decide on the implementation of these development proposals. Their implementation always requires a positive funding decision and a political approval for initiating the legislative process required.