Enforcement and reporting violations

Regional State Administrative Agencies are one of Finland’s governmental enforcement authorities. We have a number of enforcement responsibilities relating to due process and constitutional rights, safety and environmental standards. Regional State Administrative Agencies are the competent enforcement authority for health care and social services, schools and nurseries, emergency services, alcohol sales on and off premises, occupational safety and health, web accessibility, environmental health and multiple areas of commercial regulation. In some cases we only handle complaints.

Regional State Administrative Agencies get involved when a non-conformance is spotted by one of our own staff or brought to our attention by a disgruntled employee or member of the public. Some cases are referred to us by other government agencies, such as the Parliamentary Ombudsman or the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health. An ‘enforcement case’ refers to an issue or an incident that we investigate in order to establish whether any illegal or otherwise inappropriate conduct has occurred.

Please note: 

  • In some cases, such as those concerning the provision of education, we only handle complaints.  
  • We are not competent to handle complaints relating to certain kinds of irregularities, but you can contact us to report violations such as money laundering. 

What is meant by ‘enforcement case’? 

An ‘enforcement case’ refers to an issue or an incident that we investigate in order to establish whether any illegal or otherwise inappropriate conduct has occurred.  

Regional State Administrative Agencies get involved when a non-conformance is spotted by one of our own staff or brought to our attention by a disgruntled employee or member of the public. 

Further information: How does enforcement work in practice? What are the steps involved in a typical enforcement case?

What is a complaint?

  • A complaint is a report submitted to a supervisory authority, such as a regional state administrative agency, concerning a suspected erroneous action or negligence. Several different authorities investigate complaints. 
  • Private individuals, businesses and non-governmental organisations can file a complaint with us concerning many different things. You can find further information on how we act in different targets of inspection on the topic-specific pages in this section.
  • You can file a complaint on an issue that concerns you or on behalf of another person. Filing a complaint and processing it by a Regional State Administrative Agency is free of charge. 

Filing a complaint or an objection

  • Check if the matter about which you want to file a complaint is within the authority of the Regional State Administrative Agencies. 
     
  • Please note that we do not usually investigate a complaint, if:
    • it involves an issue older than two years
    • the complaint was submitted anonymously or it was so incomplete that it does not state what the issue involves
    • we find it to be unfounded or of minor significance
    • a complaint on the same issue has already been processed 
    • another authority is processing the issue.
       
  • If at all possible, talk about the issue first with the person who provided the service or made the decision or their supervisor. If there has been a mistake or if you suspect that the matter was handled badly, the issue may be corrected after a discussion. Receiving a decision by a Regional State Administrative Agency in an enforcement case may take approximately a year. 
     
  • If your complaint involves health care, social services, early childhood education and care or occupational safety and health, you can file a written objection with the service provider before filing a complaint with a Regional State Administrative Agency. Attach the objection you have filed and the response you have received to the complaint.
     

  • If you are filing a complaint on behalf of another person, obtain a power of attorney. Only legal representatives can receive a decision in the case of the person they represent without a power of attorney. A legal representative can be the custodian of a minor or the legal guardian of a person. 
     

  • Note that the Regional State Administrative Agency can hear the subject of the complaint, if necessary. In connection with the hearing, we will send all documents you have provided to the subject of the complaint. In that case, the subject of the complaint will know your name.  
     
  • Note that the decision on a complaint is confidential, if the complaint includes confidential information for the protection of privacy, such as customer information from health care and social services. 
     
  • Note that the decisions of the Regional State Administrative Agency are mainly administrative decisions that cannot be appealed. 

You can send a complaint to the registry by e-mail. We recommend that you use encrypted e-mail. You should do this especially if the complaint or its attachments include information covered by the protection of privacy. You can find a link to the encrypted e-mail at the end of this page.

You can submit complaint by post to the registry. Remember to sign the complaint.

You can also take it to the registry. A link to the contact information of Regional State Administrative Agency’s registries is provided at the bottom of this page.

The complaint must include your name and contact information, as well as information on what the complaint is about and why in your opinion something has been done wrong in the matter. The documents related to the case should be included as attachments to the complaint.

  1. If you have sent the complaint to the registry by e-mail, the registry will send you a confirmation of receipt.
     
  2. We will review the complaint. 
    A. If it includes several different questions, reviewing the matter will take more time. 
    B. If in our estimation the complaint does not give reason to take measures, we will notify you about it as soon as possible. 
     
  3. After we have started to investigate the complaint, we may ask you for more information or obtain other reports that we consider necessary.
     
  4. If necessary, we will hear the subject of the complaint. In connection with the hearing, we will send all documents related to the complaint that you have provided us to the subject of the complaint. We may also ask you for a response to the issue.

     
  5. After a decision has been made on the complaint you have filed, it will be sent to you by post. If you have filed a complaint in another person’s matter and the complaint involves confidential matters, we will only send you the decision if you have submitted a power of attorney to us. In any case, we will notify you that a decision has been made on the complaint. 
     
  6. We will also send the complaint decision to the subject of the complaint, if that person has been heard in the matter. We may inform the subject of the complaint of the decision even if the subject of the complaint has not been consulted.

If your complaint has led to an enforcement case, we may provide administrative guidance in our decision to the party whose operations the complaint concerns. We can:

  • conclude that the operator has not broken the law,  
  • draw the operator’s attention to practices that should be revised to ensure compliance with the law or good corporate governance rules in the future,
  • give the operator a warning.

Contact information of Regional State Administrative Agency registries

Contact information for registries

Links to legal texts