New year brings changes to the Ministry of the Interior’s administrative branch
The start of 2019 will see the entry into force of amendments to acts and decrees related to the police, immigration, rescue services and civilian crisis management. This press release provides a summary of the most important changes.
Provision of chimney sweeping services to be deregulated
At the start of the new year, the entire country will switch to open provision of chimney sweeping services. With the amendment, fire and rescue departments will be relieved of their obligation to organise chimney sweeping services in their areas of operation. In practice, this will mean abolishing the district chimney sweeping system. The current district chimney sweeping contracts will end by 30 June 2019 at the latest.
Moving forward, a vocational qualification in chimney sweeping will still be required in order to do chimney sweeping work. The owners and occupants of buildings will still be obligated to ensure that chimney sweeping is carried out regularly, and the chimney sweeping intervals will remain unchanged. Chimney sweeping must be carried out on an annual basis in permanent housing and at least once every three years in holiday homes.
Faster enforcement of deportation decisions
The enforcement of decisions on deportation from the country will be sped up. Certain deportation decisions related to public order and security can be enforced 30 days from the service of the decision unless the administrative court has prohibited their enforcement. The deportation procedure is used for removal from the country in cases when the individual has or has had a residence permit in Finland or when an EU citizen is registered in Finland.
The amendment is based on Prime Minister Sipilä's Government Programme, which states that procedures will be reviewed to speed up removal from the country for those who have committed aggravated offences, recidivists and those who pose a danger to public security. The change does not apply to refusal of entry of asylum seekers.
Changes to fees charged by police and Finnish Immigration Service
Changes will be made to the fees charged by the police and the Finnish Immigration Service in 2019. Firearm-related fees charged by the police and security clearance fees charged by the Finnish Security Intelligence Service will increase. The fee for electronic applications for employees’ and entrepreneurs’ residence permits will decrease, while the fee for applications in paper format will increase. In addition to these, the assistance paid for voluntary return will increase starting at the beginning of next year.
Primary responsibility for preventing environmental damage in maritime areas to be transferred to the Border Guard
Primary responsibility for preventing damage from oil and chemical spills from ships in maritime areas will be transferred to the Border Guard starting 1 January 2019. Revisions were made to the Rescue Act concerning the prevention of damage from oil and chemical spills from ships, the construction of civil defence shelters and the training of rescue service employees. The President of the Republic approved the amendments to the Rescue Act on 28 December.
Crisis Management Centre to become part of the Ministry of the Interior
The Crisis Management Centre (CMC Finland) will come under the management of the Ministry of the Interior on 1 January 2019. Until now, it has operated in connection with the Kuopio Emergency Services College. The President of the Republic approved the amendments to the Civilian Crisis Management Act on 28 December.
In connection with the administrative transfer, the Crisis Management Centre will be a centre in charge of civilian crisis management tasks operating in connection with the Ministry of the Interior. The Ministry of the Interior has also decided to transfer the Crisis Management Centre from Kuopio to Helsinki. A two-year transition period will begin for the location transfer starting in early 2019. At the beginning of the year, three Crisis Management Centre employees will transfer to work in Helsinki. In addition, the Director of the centre will work for part of the week in Helsinki and the other part in Kuopio.
The goal of the transfer is to strengthen the position of the Crisis Management Centre both administratively and functionally. The position in direct connection with the ministry will be more independent, and the location in Helsinki will enable closer cooperation with other crisis management operators. Under the Civilian Crisis Management Act, the Crisis Management Centre is charged with looking after training, recruitment and logistics tasks for civilian crisis management experts, as well as research and development operations related to civilian crisis management.
The aim of civilian crisis management is to build stability in conflict areas through civilian means. The Ministry of the Interior is responsible for the maintenance, development and coordination of Finland‘s national capability for civilian crisis management. Finland sends 120 experts to civilian crisis management operations every year.
Clarifications to rights and duties of experts sent abroad
The amendment to the Civilian Crisis Management Act will also clarify the rights and duties of experts sent abroad. The amendments will enter into force on 1 January 2019.
The provisions concerning the compensation for conditions paid to people working in civilian crisis management tasks will be clarified. Unlike in the case of field missions, the same compensation for conditions has been paid for secretariat tasks even though the actual cost levels of cities differ from one another. Moving forward, the system applied by the Foreign Ministry when compensating for missions abroad would be used to determine separate compensations for conditions for all secretariat cities.
People working in secretariats will be compensated for their children’s school and daycare costs against the real costs, by adapting the Foreign Ministry’s compensation system. The reform is particularly important for women with families, who are under-represented in crisis management tasks when compared with single people and men with families.
Jaana Rajakko, Senior Engineer, tel. +358 295 488 435, [email protected] (chimney sweeping)
Kukka Krüger, Chief Specialist, tel. +358 295 488 270, [email protected] (deportation decisions)
Johanna Hakala, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 488 452, [email protected] (Decree on fees charged for services provided by the police and the Finnish Security Intelligence Service)
Sanna Montin, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 295 488 314, [email protected] (Decree on fees charged for services provided by the Finnish Immigration Service)
Jorma Kantola, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 488 215, [email protected] (assistance for voluntary return)
Laura Yli-Vakkuri, Director General, Ministry of the Interior, tel. +358 295 488 250, [email protected] (CMC transfer and other amendments in Civilian Crisis Management Act)
Kirsi Henriksson, Director, CMC, tel. +358 295 453 699, [email protected] (CMC transfer)
Ilpo Helismaa, Senior Adviser for Legal Affairs, Ministry of the Interior, tel. +358 295 488 422, [email protected] (environmental damages in maritime areas)
Kimmo Ahvonen, Maritime Search and Rescue Adviser, Finnish Border Guard, tel. +358 295 421 153, [email protected] (environmental damages in maritime areas)
Press release amended January 2nd 2019 -> preventing environmental damage in maritime areas and amendments in Civilian Crisis Management Act