The public economic sphere of Helsinki consists not only of different departments and public utility companies but also of a number of companies and foundations belonging to so-called City of Helsinki Group. Decision making and guidance in economic affairs is the realm of the City Council, the City Board and the sectoral committees, the mayors and other public officers representing them.
Mayor Jussi Pajunen is in charge of economic planning and the enforcement of the City Council and City Board decisions in economic affairs. In this task the mayor is assisted by the Economic and Planning Centre.
The annual expenditure in the budget of the city is over 4.4 million euros. To cover this expenditure the city collects taxes, service charges and other income. During the past years, Helsinki has also taken loans to cover investments. In the end of year 2012 the loan stock was 1 986 euros per inhabitant (2011: 2 157 euros, 2010: 1 989 euros).
The City's solvency is sound. At the end of year 2012 the grand total of the balance sheet amounted 12 048 million euros, and the gearing ratio was 76,3 %. The loans outstanding amounted 1 200 million euros.
Annual Budget and Economical Plan
All Finnish municipalities approve a budget for the next calendar year. In the same connection, bound by the Municipal Act, the municipal council shall accept an economic plan for at least three years. The economic plan presents a city’s development objectives and explains how different activities and investments will be financed. The basis for preparing the budget is formed by the objectives of the economic plan. The City Council sets the operational objectives and allots the resources necessary to implement them.
In Helsinki, the economic plan will be prepared for three years, the first of which is a budget year. The investment review is prepared for five years. The budget encompasses operation objectives, appropriations and revenue estimates per each task and project.
Besides the planning and alignment of the operations concerning the entire city and all administrative sectors, the planning and decision-making are made in committees and departments per each administrative sector and service.
Many services that affect the citizens’ lives (e.g. specialised nursing services, waste management, public transport, various cultural and sports services) are produced in an area larger than the city or within the city corporate group communities. The decisions on the appropriations granted for this kind of services in order to implement the objectives are made in the budget and in the economic plan. The implementation of the objectives both on the city and the city corporate level is explained in the annual report.
Each year, when discussing the budget, the City Council makes a decision on the finality of the budget. Only the Council is entitled to alter the binding goals it has set during the current year. The implementation of the objectives set to the budget is being monitored and the Councillors are briefed of the situation.
Common Strategies of the City
The common strategies of the City are based on a shared vision and strategic goals concerning the entire Metropolitan Area. The aim is to make the Metropolitan Area into an internationally known, competitive centre of a good service level with a functional urban environment.
The common strategies dictate the focal points for the council term. They integrate the City’s own strategic goals and the objectives reaching farther than the City following the guidelines given by the City Council.
The responsibility for the implementation of the strategies is shared by all administrations. The administrations shall observe the common strategies in preparing their own individual strategies a well as state annually in the budget and economic plan proposal as to how they implement common strategies that concern their own sector.
Besides the common strategies, the City Council has approved several strategies and programmes that have an impact on several sectors and on the citizens’ lives. Examples of this are the MA Programme governing land use and housing for the years 2008–2017 as well as the service strategy prepared by the social services sector.
Read more about strategy programme and the strategy process.
Budget Director, Ms. Tuula Saxholm
Mailing address: P.O.B. 20, 00099 CITY OF HELSINKI
Calling address: Pohjoisesplanadi 15-17, 00170 Helsinki, Map
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