The Citizen’s Account is a secure electronic messaging channel and mailbox for interaction with public authorities, and can replace the use of paper mail.
In addition to the increased number of users, more than 90 public sector organisations have indicated a desire to use the Citizen's Account during 2014. For example, it will be possible for the police licensing services to use the Citizen's Account by the end of 2014.
"It's great that more and more transactions are now being made through the account," says Minister of Public Administration and Local Government Henna Virkkunen. “At their best, eServices provide the most convenient and easiest way to work with the customer. In Finland we now need to accelerate this trend and encourage more authorities to provide their services using electronic channels.”
By introducing the Citizen's Account, authorities gain an economically viable option. They do not have to define, build and maintain their own secure communication channel for their customers, but they can simply deploy a complete and centrally funded service with relatively little contribution by themselves.
The government’s Shared ICT Services, responsible for the Citizen's Account, offers a number of different options for the service for authorities to deploy. Of these, the easiest is the organisation of the email system that connects the Citizen's Account, through which the authorities can send and receive messages from the Citizen's Account directly on their own email system. The authority may also link their own information systems to the Citizen’s Account and submit documents and messages automatically to the citizens’ accounts.
When the authorities increase the use of the Citizen’s Account for a service, its use by the citizens also increases. A good example is the Student Health Service (FSHS), which has taken the Citizen's Account as the primary channel for patient communication.
Electronic transaction services in Finland are going to be expanded. In the future, transactions between the authorities and businesses will be conducted through a transaction account. In Denmark it is already mandatory for public authorities to use a transaction account in communications with businesses, and with the citizens it will be mandatory from November 2014.
The Citizen’s Account is a secure communication channel for eServices, between citizens and various authorities. It is a delivery address, replacing paper mail, for citizens who have begun using their Citizen’s Account. This service, part of the Suomi.fi portal, makes it possible to deliver both ordinary and certified declarations to citizens.
The Citizen’s Account service is connected to the authority’s operational system (e.g. processing system) via an open standard interface, using the Government shared integration service, VIA. Two-way communication with citizens can also be implemented through this system, provided that the authority’s system connected to the Citizen’s Account supports this feature. The Citizen’s Account may be implemented by all public authorities.