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Director General of the Population Register Centre Janne Viskari selected as influencer of the year 2018
Tivi magazine has nominated Director General of the Population Register Centre Janne Viskari as the influencer of the year 2018. The selection was published in Tivi on 5 December 2018.
One deciding factor was the successful completion of the National Service Architecture implementation programme (so called KaPA programme) in the Population Register Centre in 2014–2017. Earlier, Viskari worked in the Population Register Centre as the Director of Digital Services, and he has been the Director General of the Centre since November last year. Now, he is transforming the Population Register Centre into a new kind of agency that promotes digitalisation in public administration.
“Viskari is rethinking the central government's way of carrying out digital projects and handling leadership. He actively participates in discussions online and offline, tweeting and hosting the Population Register Centre's Suomi.fi podcast. This year the British Apolitical online service included Viskari in its list of the 100 most influential people in digital government. So it’s no wonder that our editors chose him as the Tivi influencer of 2018”, Tivi staff say explaining their choice.
Population Register Centre's growing role as digitalisation trendsetter
Population Register Centre's role as a pioneer and trendsetter of digitalisation is likely to keep growing. The Population Register Centre and register offices will become a central agency for promoting societal digitalisation if the Parliament approves the government proposal currently under deliberation. Register offices would be merged with the Population Register Centre, and according to the proposal, the new agency would be called the Digital and Population Information Agency starting from 2020. The Agency would be responsible for promoting societal digitalisation, ensuring access to information and the provision of services.
This development follows the changes of early 2017 when the Population Register Centre became responsible for a number of tasks related to promoting digitalisation. These tasks include coordinating the operations of digital security management team VAHTI, central government's project portfolio, and developing enterprise architecture and various expert services.
Viskari believes that the significance of digitalisation will continue to increase in society.
“Fiscal sustainability will be Finland's greatest challenge in the future. Our population is going to grow old and retire, the number of employed will drop and collected taxes will decrease. We will need to be able to provide public administration services equally comprehensively but with lower production costs. We need to get citizens who are comfortable using electronic devices to also use public administration services electronically. More expensive visitation services should be primarily reserved for those citizens who don’t own electronic devices or who can’t use them for one reason or another. Of course, electronic services will then need to be much better and have high usability – in order to truly serve people”, emphasises Viskari.
“The key to a better electronic service experience is in the internal mechanics of services. We need to get information moving automatically between different systems, and this poses higher compatibility requirements for people constructing these systems. When you increase the mobility of information, it is essential to pay attention to the ethics of using people's data – we can't use it carelessly, much less gather it in one single place. The absolute heart of digitalisation is being able to maintain people's trust in that the public administration will not act like American platform giants when it comes to collecting and using data”, Viskari adds.