Finnish Immigration Service to develop its procurement practices based on recommendations given by National Audit Office of Finland
The Finnish Immigration Service is currently preparing for the competitive tendering planned for 2024 regarding the development and maintenance of the case management and customer relationship management system for immigration affairs. In addition, the Finnish Immigration Service is putting out to tender many sections of its reception operations. When making public procurements, the Finnish Immigration Service will observe the recent recommendations issued by the National Audit Office of Finland (NAOF).
The National Audit Office of Finland has recently audited certain long-term service procurements of the Finnish Immigration Service. The timing of the audit was convenient as the Finnish Immigration Service has carried out and initiated large tendering procedures this year.
“We must comply with the Act on Public Procurement in all our operations. We need to ensure that we have sufficient competence in public procurement within the agency. Making public procurements of high quality will help us obtain as good services as possible for our customers while saving state funds,” says Ilkka Haahtela, Director General of the Finnish Immigration Service.
This year, the Finnish Immigration Service has utilised external consultation to support its internal resources. In addition, the Finnish Immigration Service has allocated more resources to its internal audit team and has improved the documentation practices of the agency’s procurements.
Shortcomings of past procurements were brought up in the audit by NAOF
The UMA information system, which is a case management and customer relationship management system for immigration affairs, is an essential tool in many processes, including decision-making at the Finnish Immigration Service. The UMA system is also used by other Finnish authorities, including the police, the Finnish Border Guard and Finnish embassies and consulates abroad.
The National Audit Office of Finland found that the procurement of the UMA system should have been re-tendered in 2011 when major changes were made in the contract. The Finnish Immigration Service has since then made several direct procurements based on the framework agreement agreed upon in 2011 and 2016.
“Shortcomings of the procurements in 2011 and 2016 were brought up during the NAOF audit process. After the audit, we have investigated the matter and would like to thank the NAOF for bringing up these shortcomings. It is extremely important for us at the Finnish Immigration Service to identify all operations that require larger-scale development initiatives, and procurements have been one of them,” says Haahtela.
The Finnish Immigration Service has been preparing to put out to tender the UMA development and maintenance since 2022. However, it takes a long time to plan and complete the procurement since UMA is a large system and the agency needs to ensure that the system is kept operational during the entire process.
“For reasons of internal security and due to the statutory tasks of the Finnish Immigration Service, such as the processing of work-related residence permit applications, we are forced to carry out direct procurements for UMA before the competitive tendering process is finished. We will ensure that each procurement is justifiable,” says Haahtela.
Reception operations have been put out to tender to a large extent
In the spring of 2023, the Finnish Immigration Service published calls for tenders for the running of adults' and families' reception centres. The tendering processes were carried out nationally, and a dynamic purchasing system was applied. In the beginning of this autumn, the Finnish Immigration Service has put out to tender a number of reception centres for minors and the provision of healthcare services for the reception system. This autumn, the Finnish Immigration Service will also continue to put out to tender reception centre operations for adults and families.
“The direct procurement agreements mentioned in the NAOF report have been terminated,” says Haahtela.
Public procurement and development initiatives at the Finnish Immigration Service: Ilkka Haahtela, Director General, email@example.com, tel. +358 40 125 9887
The UMA system: Anna Cheung, Chief Digital Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. +358 295 433 018
Reception centres: Elina Nurmi, Director of Reception Unit, email@example.com, tel. +358 295 434 036
Finnish Immigration Service
The Finnish Immigration Service is a decision-making organisation in matters related to immigration, asylum, refugee status and citizenship and maintains the reception system.
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