Do we serve Finnish bureaucrats or do they serve us?

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Rosamunda
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Re: Do we serve Finnish bureaucrats or do they serve us?

Post by Rosamunda » Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:45 pm

There is also another option:
If there is suspicion/indication of fraud there is reason to stop with the institute. You will not get any solid information, there is no (public) paper trail and counsel members will only get limited information (confidential).
Exactly what I was thinking. It would explain why the owners are not pushing for more information and why the Council is reluctant to explain things etc. I vaguely remember reading stories in the press of similar things happening elsewhere eg http://www.mtv.fi/uutiset/kotimaa/artik ... in/6060042 (edit: some random googling suggests there might be a link here, the same names kept cropping up, but I'm not so good at googling in Finnish. Anyway, seems the press is already on the case, there were several articles in Aamulehti, YLE and MV-lehti concerning one of the owners.)

If they did give out more information, no one would need to speculate. It is certainly very disruptive for the children involved and a huge inconvenience for all the parents. I can't imagine the local authorities would make such a decision without due diligence and consideration for all involved, which does suggest something out of the ordinary is going on.

From a financial perspective, the municipality does not give direct funding to private daycares like this one, but there is a municipal voucher system and parents can redeem these vouchers at the private daycares.



Re: Do we serve Finnish bureaucrats or do they serve us?

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Karmalite
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Re: Do we serve Finnish bureaucrats or do they serve us?

Post by Karmalite » Wed Mar 15, 2017 12:41 pm

At this moments let's put the details of the IEEC case aside and have a look at the system in general (which is, actually, the subject of this thread) because a similar situation can take place in any sphere of people's life.
rinso wrote:Vote for the right people.
Once in 4 years time taxpayers vote for a political direction and elect a board of selectmen responsible for the legislative function. The legislative body hires on the taxpayers' money an executive body to oversee the administrative operations, implement its policies, and advise it.

The quality of the decisions of the hired employees of an executive body (like the decisions of hired employees anywhere) can be affected by numerous factors: qualifications, personal conditions, hidden agendas, etc.

In order to make a thoughtful choice at the next elections, a taxpayer should know for sure that:
1. The decisions were prepared by an executive body accurately. For example, they can be based on inadequately interpreted statistical data, and thus mislead the legislative board and the public opinion.
2. The current board of selectmen is satisfied with the decision.

If taxpayers are not able to check these two issues they are not able to make an informed choice.

1. How can taxpayers check out the accuracy of the decisions prepared by an executive body? What are the social mechanisms for this: laws, regulations, common practices, etc.?
2. How can taxpayers find out that the board of selectmen is satisfied with the prepared decisions? What are the social mechanisms for this: laws, regulations, common practices, etc.?


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rinso
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Re: Do we serve Finnish bureaucrats or do they serve us?

Post by rinso » Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:02 pm

If taxpayers are not able to check these two issues they are not able to make an informed choice.
The fast majority of taxpayers only look if they agree with the decisions. They vote based on gut feelings, not on detailed information.

The counsels decisions take us in a certain direction. We primary vote for that direction. The underlying data is often less important.
1. How can taxpayers check out the accuracy of the decisions prepared by an executive body? What are the social mechanisms for this: laws, regulations, common practices, etc.?
2. How can taxpayers find out that the board of selectmen is satisfied with the prepared decisions? What are the social mechanisms for this: laws, regulations, common practices, etc.?
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Upphew
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Re: Do we serve Finnish bureaucrats or do they serve us?

Post by Upphew » Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:08 pm

What did the IEEC's people say? Or did I miss that?
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Rosamunda
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Re: Do we serve Finnish bureaucrats or do they serve us?

Post by Rosamunda » Wed Mar 15, 2017 1:33 pm

Some random ideas:

- Perceived value for money. For example, I can judge for myself how well the municipality maintains the roads, how long it takes for me to get an appointment with a doctor, how easy it is to recycle my trash, how helpful and efficient the staff are in the home where my mother-in-law is in care and things like that.

- The press. Local newspapers cover the big issues. For example, here in Espoo a major issue is the delay of the Länsimetro. Another topic covered in the press was the location of the new waste treatment plant. Another was the decision to build on the municipal boatyard. Another issue queuing time to get a doctor's appointment (not as bad now as it was a couple of years ago).

- Meetings. I have attended planning meetings regarding the waste treatment plant, the building of a new comprehensive school and other meetings relating to spending cuts in education and things like that.

- Direct communication. I know the person I voted for (which is why I voted for him) and if I have a question about local government he would be the first person I'd ask. He has often sent me the relevant links to websites containing the information I am looking for. For example, a new road is being constructed on some land behind our home and he told me where to find more information on those plans.

- Palvelukeskus? Espoo has walk-in citizens advice centres where you can ask almost anything. They are usually situated in the main libraries, we have a brand new one in the Iso Omena mall extension. Full of helpful people.

- Publications. In Espoo, many publications are in English. The city publishes an Annual Report and an Economic Report every year. There is also a monthly newsletter. http://www.espoo.fi/materiaalit/Espoon_ ... view-2015/ Publications also include satisfaction surveys conducted by the municipalities. They include all the usual benchmarks, metrics, KPIs etc that you would expect to find in a report. For example: average waiting time for a doctor appointment, number of meals served, sustainability metrics (eg recycling etc).

- Audit report. I am not sure which department is responsible for auditing local government performance. But I know it is not the NAO (National Audit Office). These would also be available in the public domain eventually (though I doubt they would be in English).

I'm not saying I think Espoo is well managed (Timo Soini made some interesting remarks on the TV last Saturday regarding the 'passivity' of those in power on the Espoo council) - but I do acknowledge that quite a lot of information is available and there are no doubt many sources of info that I am not even aware of.

I'm not sure what you are looking for. Private pre-school establishments are by definition, private companies and therefore not specifically included in the operational or performance metrics of the municipality. The city has a duty to ensure the establishments comply with legislation which would include, for example, ensuring that the staff have the relevant qualifications, that staff:children ratios are maintained, that payroll is managed appropriately (taxes, contributions, holidays and sick pay) and so on. My understanding is that they can withdraw the licence to operate if there is any reason to believe the regulations are not being respected. They can do the same with any restaurant that does not meet its hygiene protocol. Sometimes even the most oppular restaurants get temporarily shut down and I guess the same can happen with private daycare establishments.


DMC
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Re: Do we serve Finnish bureaucrats or do they serve us?

Post by DMC » Wed Mar 15, 2017 5:04 pm

Karmalite wrote:2. How can taxpayers find out that the board of selectmen is satisfied with the prepared decisions?
Ask them.
Either contact them and ask, or go along to one of their pre-election events and ask.

My wife has been on the local council for the last couple of cycles. She has always been willing to answer any questions from anyone who asks, and I would imagine other local councilors are equally open to enquiries. If not, don't vote for that person next time.


Karmalite
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Re: Do we serve Finnish bureaucrats or do they serve us?

Post by Karmalite » Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:06 pm

DMC wrote:Karmalite wrote:
2. How can taxpayers find out that the board of selectmen is satisfied with the prepared decisions?

Ask them.
Either contact them and ask, or go along to one of their pre-election events and ask.
The official website of Tampere has pages with general information about the legislative and executive bodies http://www.tampere.fi/tampereen-kaupunk ... s.html[url][/url] and http://www.tampere.fi/tampereen-kaupunk ... o.html[url][/url], which also contain the links to the detailed pages of the bodies. Both general information pages feature at the moment "Alla oleva kaupunginhallitus-sivulle johtava linkki ei tällä hetkellä toimi teknisen vian vuoksi. Pahoittelemme häiriötä!" and "Alla oleva kaupunginvaltuuston kokoonpano -sivulle johtava linkki ei tällä hetkellä toimi teknisen vian vuoksi. Pahoittelemme häiriötä!" respectively. This means that the links to the detailed webpages of both the legislative and the executive bodies do not work at the moment because of a technical problem.

1. Can anybody advise what are the names of the current selectmen in Tampere?
2. Do they have e-mails to be contacted by the electorate?
3. Do their e-mails match the format "[email protected]"?


Rosamunda
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Re: Do we serve Finnish bureaucrats or do they serve us?

Post by Rosamunda » Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:33 pm

Karmalite wrote:
1. Can anybody advise what are the names of the current selectmen in Tampere?
2. Do they have e-mails to be contacted by the electorate?
3. Do their e-mails match the format "[email protected]"?
As I said above, you could go to the "Palvelu" centre or library and ask these questions.

BTW their Facebook page has a 100% response rate (within a day) so send them a message "How do I contact the town councillors?" , "Where can I find a list of the current elected members of the town council"... https://www.facebook.com/tampereenkaupunki/


Karmalite
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Re: Do we serve Finnish bureaucrats or do they serve us?

Post by Karmalite » Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:18 am

Rosamunda wrote:BTW their Facebook page has a 100% response rate (within a day) so send them a message "How do I contact the town councillors?" , "Where can I find a list of the current elected members of the town council"... https://www.facebook.com/tampereenkaupunki/
Thanks Rosamunda, it was a good idea. So, the query placed at the Tampere facebook page was:

beginning of the quotation
Chat Conversation Start
THU 8:45AM
Moro. Miten on mahdollista ottaa yhteyttä valtuutettuihin, jotka käsittelevät päivähoidon ja esikoulun asiat? Koska on seuraava valtuuston kyselytunti? Kiitos.
end of the quotation

Which means: How is it possible to contact selecmen supervising for the daycare and pre-school services? When is the next time when selecmen answer the questions?

The reply:
beginning of the quotation
THU 2:26PM
Hei
Päivähoitoa ja esiopetusta koskevat asiat käsitellään lasten ja nuorten palvelujen lautakunnassa. Lautakunnan jäsenten yhteystiedot on koottu https://palvelut.tampere.fi/luoti/toimi ... php?id=020 -sivulle, mutta valitettavasti lautakuntien kokoonpanojen sivut ovat parhaillaan alhaalla teknisen vian vuoksi. Vika on korjauksessa, joten toivottavasti yllä mainittu sivu avautuu pian.
Halutessasi voit olla yhteydessä päätösvalmistelusihteeri Aino Jokiseen ([email protected]), joka voi toimittaa sinulle sähköpostitse lasten ja nuorten palvelujen lautakunnan jäsenten nimet. Kaikilla jäsenillä on @tampere.fi-loppuinen osoite käytössään.

Seuraava kaupunginvaltuuston kyselytunti on joko huhti- tai toukokuussa. Kyselytunnilla käydään läpi ja vastataan vain valtuutettujen esittämiin kyselyihin.
end of the quotation

The brief outcome: The information on these selecmen is presented on the quoted Tampere web page, but the pages are out of the order currently, hopefully fixed soon. If you wish you can contact the secretary Aino Jokiseen ([email protected]), who can provide the names by e-mail. All members have the e-mail address in the format @tampere.fi at the end. The selectmen will answer the questions in April or in May. Only the questions of the delegates are answered.

Does anybody know what document describes what kind of delegates qualify for the right to ask a selecmen a question?


Karmalite
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Re: Do we serve Finnish bureaucrats or do they serve us?

Post by Karmalite » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:59 am

Is it by chance that the knowledgeable and experienced forum members, who were used to be active a long way within this topic, are silent now? What kind of people are they? An intrigued or concerned reader could re-read the thread, paying attention to the Karmalite’s questions, which were left unanswered... For a clue…

Welcome to share your thoughts here.

It looks, that the first stage of our analysis is over. Let’s summarize the interim results and look for the next steps.
Karmalite wrote:rinso wrote:
Vote for the right people.


Once in 4 years time taxpayers vote for a political direction and elect a board of selectmen responsible for the legislative function. The legislative body hires on the taxpayers' money an executive body to oversee the administrative operations, implement its policies, and advise it.

The quality of the decisions of the hired employees of an executive body (like the decisions of hired employees anywhere) can be affected by numerous factors: qualifications, personal conditions, hidden agendas, etc.

In order to make a thoughtful choice at the next elections, a taxpayer should know for sure that:
1. The decisions were prepared by an executive body accurately. For example, they can be based on inadequately interpreted statistical data, and thus mislead the legislative board and the public opinion.
2. The current board of selectmen is satisfied with the decision.

If taxpayers are not able to check these two issues they are not able to make an informed choice.
Let's consider the IEEC case from this perspective.

1. How can taxpayers check out the accuracy of the decisions prepared by a government?

The parents highly value the IEEC: it has a long-term great reputation, it is difficult to get a place there; the IEEC pre-school graduates have been using to have the highest rate of entering the English language schools among other English language pre-schools for many years; parents know that their kids just love to go to the IEEC. At the same time, the municipality rejected it in the bid with the decision TRE:6370/02.07.01/2016 and the grounds for the decision are not transparent. The parents wanted to verify the accuracy of the decision and challenged it with the questions:

A. What analysis has been done to compare the IEEC performance vs other pre-schools in this competition? What was the list of the used criteria?
B. How did the used criteria make possible that the IEEC is qualified as an acceptable supplier to provide daycare services and as a non-acceptable one for the pre-school services?
C. The inspection in IEEC took place on December 13th? The decision was received on December 15th. Was this timing according to a plan? Was this timing legitimate?

So far, the parents have not received a response. Will they receive an answer? When?

2. How can taxpayers find out that the board of selectmen is satisfied with the prepared decisions?

The following message is sent via the Tampere Facebook page:

beginning of the quotation
“On epämukava, että kaupungin yhteydenpito kanavat ovat joskus epäluotettavia ja jopa nyt kunnallisvaalien aikana, lautakuntien kokoonpanojen sivut ovat alhaalla teknisen vian vuoksi. Näyttää siltä, että Facebook on kaikkein varmin ja luotettava kanava. Tästä syystä, olkaa hyvä, kaupungin Facebook-tiimi, ja lähettäkää eteenpäin päätösvalmistelusihteerille Aino Jokiselle (ja vaikka suoran valtakunnalle) linkin viewtopic.php?f=19&t=94607 (Foorumi “Do we serve Finnish bureaucrats or do they serve us?” koskee Englanninkielisen esiopetuksen hankinta TRE:6370/02.07.01/2016) ja kysymyksen “Ovatko Tampereen lautakunnan jäsenet tyytyväisiä päätökseen TRE:6370/02.07.01/2016 IEECistä ja onko se poliittinen päätös? (Saa laittaa mielipiteet ja kommentit Foorumiin Suomeksi tai Englanniksi)".
end of the quotation

Unofficial translation:
It is inconvenient, that the city's communicational channels are sometimes unreliable, and even now, before the elections, those pages are unavailable because of a technical problem. It looks like the Facebook is the most reliable mean of communications. From this perspective, could the Facebook team, please, forward to the secretary Aino Jokinen (or may be directly to the selectmen) the link viewtopic.php?f=19&t=94607 (Forum “Do we serve Finnish bureaucrats or do they serve us?” regarding the decision on the English language pre-schools TRE:6370/02.07.01/2016) and the questions "Are the Tampere selectmen satisfied with the decision TRE:6370/02.07.01/2016 on the IEEC and Was it a political decision? (It is possible to post opinions and comments to the Forum in Finnish or in English).

What are the next steps?

And, just in case… Nobody is perfect… If a kind of a technical problem infects this forum, the “Do we serve Finnish bureaucrats or do they serve us?” script can be always found on a request at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1K0E ... 0h29g/edit (with Amazon 99.99% availability/99.99% durability and reasonable frequency of updates).


Karmalite
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Re: Do we serve Finnish bureaucrats or do they serve us?

Post by Karmalite » Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:00 am

The facts:

1. The Tampere official web pages on the details of the legislative and executive bodies have been out of order for at least two weeks already (might be longer, but it is difficult to check). So, the information on the selectmen and government structures and the areas of personal responsibilities of the members are not available to the public.

2. The Facebook team provides the 100% response, but sometimes it responds to a different question, than asked. In this case, it is necessary to resend the original question.

3. The IEEC has experienced a lot of inspections recently. The IEEC parents have heard an opinion that if the IEEC parents continue their efforts to clarify the real grounds for the municipal decision on the IEEC (Englanninkielisen esiopetuksen hankinta TRE:6370/02.07.01/2016) the municipality increases the inspection pressure on the school.

The question:

What is the maximum number of the inspections according to the law, which can be performed in one daycare during a month (or any other time period)?


Rosamunda
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Re: Do we serve Finnish bureaucrats or do they serve us?

Post by Rosamunda » Thu Mar 30, 2017 4:11 pm

Ask the inspectors. I would be very surprised if there is any kind of rule on that. "As required" is my guess.
I think you are wasting your time asking questions about a very local issue on here. You need to work WITH the local authorities in Tampere to sort this out.
If the parents feel strongly that the school is victim of unfair treatment then you need to hire a lawyer. Or some kind of intermediary who speaks Finnish.

PS. Use your vote in the local elections. Find a candidate who I sympathetic to your cause.


Karmalite
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Re: Do we serve Finnish bureaucrats or do they serve us?

Post by Karmalite » Sat Apr 01, 2017 5:49 pm

The special facts for this special day:

1. Beginning of quotation (by rinso » Tue Mar 14, 2017 8:29 am) /for some reason it is not easy to quote the previous page/"

Karmalite: Rinso, how do you know that the reaction was "fierce"? Did you attend the meeting on the March 9th?

Rinso: I have been involved in similar processes (closing of schools). I suspected the reactions of the parents to be comparable.

End of quotation

2.Beginning of quotation "Angry Birds is a video game franchise created by Finnish company Rovio Entertainment. The series focuses on multi-colored birds who try to save their eggs from green-colored pigs." End of quotation (Wiki)

The special questions for this special day:

1. Rinso, supposedly you used to close good schools, that is why the parents were fierce. Did you try to close bad schools?

2. Is it by chance that the concept of the Angry birds game was born in Finland?

Enjoy your All Fools' day!


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rinso
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Re: Do we serve Finnish bureaucrats or do they serve us?

Post by rinso » Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:27 pm

1. Rinso, supposedly you used to close good schools, that is why the parents were fierce. Did you try to close bad schools?
I didn't close the schools, I was at the receiving end.
The schools that were closed were "to expensive" (i.e. cost per child was high).
What made us fierce was the fact that the remaining school used a different calculation where the capital costs (maintenance, and so on) were booked on a different ledger and so they pretend to be cheaper. But bookkeeping was to difficult for most of the city counsel members so the rubber stamped the proposal.
The parents were united and started several actions, Including talking with all the counsel members. Because of this the closure was postponed twice but in the end it still happened.


Karmalite
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Re: Do we serve Finnish bureaucrats or do they serve us?

Post by Karmalite » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:26 am

The facts:
1. The managers, which compile a government are hired on the taxpayers' money. The government lawyers are also hired with the taxpayers' money (let's call this type of lawyer "a government lawyer").

2.
Rosamunda wrote:If the parents feel strongly that the school is victim of unfair treatment then you need to hire a lawyer.
In other words, Rosamunda suggests that the taxpayers hire another lawyer with their after-tax money (let's call this type of lawyer "an after-tax lawyer").

The questions:
1. Rosamunda, in what way do you think a "government lawyer" differs from an "after-tax lawyer"?
2. Rosamunda, what are the objectives of a "government lawyer"? Are they different from making sure that the procedures and decisions of a government and actions of the clerks are in line with the law?


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