Notification of move
Population Register Centre

The Problem

Co-operation between the Population Register Centre of Finland and National Postal Service company Itella Posti Oy was launched as private citizens had expressed hope that the notification of move system would be made easier. Up to the 1990s, before the new notification of move service, citizens had to submit separate notifications of move and inform the new address themselves to the Local Register Officies and to Itella Posti Oy. This caused 1) extra work for the citizens 2) Higher costs of information gathering (separate information gathering process in Population Register Centre and Itella) 3) quality problems of data (the same information had to be filled in twice to different paper forms). In addition, the citizens had to order the temporary forward of the mail to another address as well as the disruption of the mail delivery separately from Itella Posti Oy. Step by step has the new service replaced the old system and today this one notification has replaced many responsibilities and duties of citizens.

Solution and Key Benefits

 What is the initiative about? (the solution)
The notification of move is an internationally unique national service provided jointly by the Population Register Centre of Finland and National Postal Service company Itella Posti Oy. The notification of move service makes the everyday life of the citizen easy in Finland. The citizen only needs to make one notification to submit details of his / her move to both the Population Information System and Itella Posti’s systems, after which his / her address will be spread to all the organisations where the address is needed, both in the Public Administration and also in the Business life. The new address of a private citizen will also be stored immediately in the nationwide Population Information System. When the new address has been stored in the system, the Population Register Centre will automatically send the new address to all government organisations, municipalities and also to hundreds of companies and organisations whose customer the citizen is. In this way the private citizen does not need to inform the new address to those organisations. This means a lot less byrocracy in Finland, lower information gathering costs and higher quality of address information used by the organisations and companies. Itella Posti Oy uses the address information in automated and manual mail sorting, delivering, and mail forwarding processes.
The notification of move service as well as ordering the temporary forwarding of the mail and the disruption of the mail delivery is offered in three channels: Internet (web-application), paper form and call centre. The Population Register Centre of Finland has also established a service for the citizens where they can ask the addresses of other citizens. This service can be used by telephone or in the Internet. A joint development group having three participants from Population Register Centre and Itella Posti Oy is not only responsible for developing the user friendliness, cost efficiency and quality of these channels but also evaluation of possible new channels, e.g. mobile.

Actors and Stakeholders

 Who proposed the solution, who implemented it and who were the stakeholders?
The introduction of co-operation required lengthy negotiations between Itella Posti Oy, the Population Register Centre of Finland and Local Register Offices. The negotiations were overshadowed by the parties’ failure to carry out co-operation the previous time. The co-operation agreement was signed, however, and a general framework for joint operations was agreed upon on 24 August 2000. The agreement sets provisions on the joint development of procedures for collecting information related to the changes of address and on the joint responsibility for costs incurred by the collection of information. In addition to the conventional notification of move on paper, the parties wanted to provide citizens with the opportunity to announce moves by phone and over the Internet. The Co-operation Agreement also included provisions on the exchange of information so that the correctness of the address information contained in both systems could be improved.

(a) Strategies

 Describe how and when the initiative was implemented by answering these questions
 a.      What were the strategies used to implement the initiative? In no more than 500 words, provide a summary of the main objectives and strategies of the initiative, how they were established and by whom.
The Quality Agreement, signed by Itella Posti Oy and the population register authorities, sets down the functional and technical quality requirements for the joint service. These are: a uniform quality service, customer-friendliness, problem-solving ability, professional skill, technically smooth processes, accuracy of the address information to be recorded and Timeliness of the confirmation of the new address. In order to guarantee the attainment of these objectives, a Development Group has been set up to develop quality assessment criteria and monitoring methods and to suggest ways in which quality can be improved on the basis of quality measurements, if necessary.

(b) Implementation

 b.      What were the key development and implementation steps and the chronology? No more than 500 words
Written form Call service Internet
Year2001 77 % 23 % -
Year2002 75 % 25 % -
Year2003 72 % 26.5 % 1.5 %

Year2009 36 % 19 % 45 %
Year2010 34 % 14 % 52 %
Year2011 32 % 12 % 56 %
Year2012 30.5 % 9 % 60.5 %

Paper forms are scanned by Itella Posti Oy and they will be processed electronically in the joint processing system.

(c) Overcoming Obstacles

 c.      What were the main obstacles encountered? How were they overcome? No more than 500 words
The benefits of the co-operation to the organisations involved can be classified into five groups: an improved quality of service and the address information in the nationwide Population Information System and in Itella Posti’s address system through improved practices and processes; the opportunity to learn through joint action models; improved reliability and swiftness of service through a permanent joint organisation; cost savings, and the benefits derived from the use of new technology. The smoothness of co-operation has required a detailed description of processes and their monitoring. A key objective of the co-operation was the improvement of the quality of address information and operations. The development of processes has promoted the improvement of quality. Quality assessment has required the creation of applicable qualitative and quantitative indicators and the monitoring of performance. The indicators have also been used as the basis when the needs to develop the services have been examined.

(d) Use of Resources

 d.      What resources were used for the initiative and what were its key benefits? In no more than 500 words, specify what were the financial, technical and human resources’ costs associated with this initiative. Describe how resources were mobilized
The joint collection of information has created a permanent joint organisation. This has made it possible for both the parties to react quickly to any problems detected in the service and to continue the development of the service. According to the Co-operation Agreement, the parties have set up two regularly meeting working groups for the joint notification of move service: the Management Group and the Development Group. The Management Group, which includes representatives of Itella Posti Oy, the Population Register Centre and the Local Register Offices, meets when necessary and makes decisions on essential matters related to the co-operation.

Sustainability and Transferability

  Is the initiative sustainable and transferable?
New technology has been introduced since information started to be jointly collected. In 2001, when the joint notification of move system was introduced, it was unique in Finland in terms of extent and technical functionality. Although there were some teething troubles, these systems still had a positive effect in that they made it possible for the contracting parties to learn new practices and develop the system to what it is now. The introduction of new technology has helped to enhance the efficiency of operations. In addition, new technology has made it possible to provide the joint notification of move service from anywhere in Finland. Indeed, a well-thought-out decision to this effect has been made as the entire service has not been concentrated in Helsinki; instead, Local Register Offices and postal outlets provide the service throughout Finland together with the Service Centre, which is located in the Municipality of Sodankylä.

Lessons Learned

 What are the impact of your initiative and the lessons learned?
The joint notification of move service, established as the result of a co-operation project between Itella Posti Oy and the population register authorities, is available to all citizens. In practice, almost all citizens move at some stage of their lives, and when they do, they can submit a single notification of move by phone, on the Internet or by completing a hard-copy form. The notification procedure is easy and swift, and citizens can notify the authorities and companies that are important to their family and livelihood by submitting a single notification. Co-operation between Itella Posti Oy and the population register authorities has upgraded and improved the processes aiming at maintaining a high quality of the service provided by both the parties. The maintenance and development of the notification of move system are carried out as co-operation between two different types of organisation. The accuracy of address information is, however, of vital importance to both organisations. The quality of address information has been improved through quality management. The accuracy of the permanent address information recorded in the population information system has improved from 96.8% (before co-operation started) to 99% (in 2011). The permanent joint organisation has made it possible for both the parties to react quickly to any problems detected in the service and to continue the development of the service. When the joint notification of move service was introduced, it was a significant technological innovation, as two different systems, the population information system and Itella Posti’s address information system, had to become compatible. The introduction of this technological innovation has led to positive effects by providing a learning experience and the opportunities to develop the service. As the system has been upgraded, the recording of information has become more efficient and it has been possible to transfer personnel to other tasks. Both organisations have cut data entry work by almost half, which has meant that personnel resources have been reassigned to other tasks. Citizens have benefited from the joint notification of move system, as they now only have to submit a single notification.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Population Register Centre
Institution Type:   Government Agency  
Contact Person:   Anne Torkkel-Naumanen
Title:   Service Coordinator  
Telephone/ Fax:   +358 29 553 5310
Institution's / Project's Website:
Address:   P.O. Box 70
Postal Code:   FI-00581
City:   Helsinki
Country:   Finland

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