Requests for information and publicity of documents

On this page you will find information how to request information stored by the City of Helsinki.

On this page

The City of Helsinki follows the principle of publicity in its operations. According to the principle of publicity, documents issued by the authorities are principally public, and everyone has the right to receive information about them if they wish. If you request personal data, confidential information or discretionary public information, we may only provide it to you if certain conditions are met. If you are looking for information about the rights of the data subject or want to make a request for verification, requesting information stored by social and health services or requesting information stored by the City Archives, you will find more information from below. 

Read about the rights of the data subject or make a request for verification 

Request information stored by social and health care services

Request information stored by the City Archives (Link leads to external service)

How to request information stored by the City of Helsinki

You must specify the request for information as accurately as possible to facilitate the execution of the request. For example, it is always a good idea to indicate the date, title of the document or diary number if you know it.

If the request for information concerns a public document that does not contain personal data, you do not need to justify the request or tell us what you are using the information for. When you request information about a confidential document or another document from which information may be disclosed only in certain conditions, you must indicate the purpose of the use of the information and your identity. The city may also request additional information if it is needed to clarify the conditions for the disclosure of the information.

The Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999) regulates the publicity and secrecy of documents.

Read more about the Act of Government Activities on Finlex.fi website (in Finnish)(Link leads to external service)

You can also make a request at the City of Helsinki Register Office, from where it will be directed to the right party.
 

Helsinki city hall seen from the front view.

City of Helsinki Register Office

Visiting address:
Pohjoisesplanadi 11–13, 00170 Helsinki
Opening hours:

Valid for the time being:
- Mon-Fri 9.00-15.00
- Sat-Sun - Closed
Date period: June 4, 2024 - Closed
Midsummer Eve: June 21, 2024 - Closed

See details

If you request information stored by the Education Division or the Social Services, Health Care and the Rescue Services Division, direct your request to the Division in question.  

Contact information of the Education Division

Contact information of the Social Services, Health Care and Rescue Services Division

If you want information about the documents of the City of Helsinki, you can address your request directly to the responsible division, agency or public enterprise.

Contact details of City divisions

You can make a request for information about the party concerned, a request for information about your own data or a request for information from the authority’s personal data register using the city’s e- services. In the first two cases, you must identify yourself with strong authentication for us to make sure you have the right to receive the data.
 

The applicant, the appellant and any other person whose right, interest or obligation is affected by the matter (the party concerned) has the right to be informed by the authority that is processing or has processed the matter of the content of a document other than a public document which may influence or may have influenced the processing of their case. A party concerned has the right to obtain information if the content of the document may influence or may have influenced the processing of their case.

In addition to a public document, a party concerned also has the right to be informed of official documents containing confidential information. These include trade secrets, health information and private information.

The party concerned also has the right to be informed of documents that have yet to become public. This includes preparatory documents before a decision is made or the case is closed.

In addition to the situations mentioned above, the party concerned has the right to be informed of the personal data contained in the documents issued by the authorities.

The party’s representative and assistant usually have the same right to information as the party. When a person is incapable of giving consent, their right to obtain information usually belongs to their guardian, caretaker or another legal representative.

A party concerned may use the information obtained based on the party’s right to obtain information in a matter concerning the exercise of the right, interest or obligation to which the party’s right to obtain information is related. However, in other cases, the party concerned may not use such information. In addition, a party concerned may not disclose to a third-party confidential information obtained based on their position as a party to the proceedings.

Make a request for information(Link leads to external service)
 

Subject to certain limitations, everyone has the right to be informed of the information contained about them in documents issued by the authorities unless otherwise provided by law. This is the right of public service customers, for example. Documents are often drawn up in the implementation of public services. The documents may concern customer care, maintenance or other activities, for example.

You have the right to receive information about yourself, even if the authority does not have a case concerning you. The right to obtain your information is limited to you. If you wish, you can use an agent to request information. The right to information on behalf of a person incapable of giving consent is usually exercised by their guardian, caretaker or another legal representative.

Make a request for information about your own data(Link leads to external service)
 

A copy or printout of the personal data contained in the personal data file of the authority, or its data may be provided in electronic form if the transferee has the right to store and use such personal data in accordance with the provisions concerning the protection of personal data.

However, provisions on the protection of personal data, such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act, do not apply to the processing of personal data by natural persons for personal purposes or ordinary private purposes comparable to them. Such personal purposes include correspondence and the keeping of an address book. If you request personal data for such purposes as a copy, printout or in electronic form, you generally have the right to receive the information you have requested.

The provisions on the protection of personal data apply only to a limited extent to the processing of personal data for journalistic, academic, artistic or literary purposes. If you request personal data for such purposes as a copy, printout or in electronic form, you generally have the right to receive the information you have requested.

The recipient of the data must protect the personal data from inappropriate processing.

Make a request for information from the personal data register of the authority(Link leads to external service)
 

Processing of a request for information

The request for information will be processed without delay, at the latest within two weeks of the request for information being made. In special situations, for example, if the documents requested are numerous or contain confidential elements, the matter will be resolved no later than one month after the request for information is made.

Depending on the type of document, the city may hand over the requested information either electronically or in paper form. Paper printouts may be subject to a fee. Information that cannot be disclosed electronically or in paper form can be accessed at the premises of the responsible division, agency or public enterprise.

Fees for documents (PDF, in Finnish, opens to a new tab)
 

In order to implement the publicity principle, the information management entity shall maintain a description of the information pools and case register managed by it. The description shall include information on: 

  1. the information systems containing information belonging to the case register or the information management of services; 
  2. the authority that decides on the submission of information contained in the case register or the information system and its contact information for requests for access to information; 
  3. the datasets included in the information systems by data groups; 
  4. the search parameters with which documents can be technically searched from the case register or information systems of an authority; 
  5. the open access to datasets via a technical interface.

Go to the document publicity pages (in Finnish)(Link leads to external service)