How are decisions made?

The City’s decision-making process can be divided into the following five phases:

  • initiation
  • preparation
  • decision-making
  • notification 
  • implementation

Initiation is the first phase of the decision-making process. A matter is initiated and becomes pending when the City receives the application documents concerning the matter and the matter is registered in Helsinki’s decision-making system. Application documents are not required when a City official begins to prepare a matter as part of their work responsibilities. One example of this type of situation is preparations for appointing a new member of the City Board.

The initiation phase is followed by the preparation phase, which involves reviewing the matter and proposing a decision. Depending on the nature and scope of the matter, this phase may be brief and simple or long and complex.

After the preparation phase, the matter is decided by a governing body, an elected official or an office holder. The same matter may be considered several times by different governing bodies. All matters brought before the City Council are first considered by the City Board. Many matters are also considered by a division committee before they are brought before the City Board.

After the decision is made, the City notifies the persons concerned. The minutes of the meetings of Helsinki’s governing bodies are also published in the Decisions service, which is an archive of decisions made by Helsinki that is only available in Finnish and Swedish. Decisions made by elected officials and office holders are also published in this service when an official record has been prepared of them. Additionally, the City shares information on key decisions through various channels, such as the news feed on the website. This notification phase is followed by the implementation of the decisions.

Helsinki residents can participate in Helsinki’s decision-making

Helsinki residents and service users have the right to influence and participate in Helsinki’s operations. Helsinki residents elect the City Councillors through municipal elections, and the Mayor and Deputy Mayors are then appointed from among the City Councillors.

Helsinki residents may contact their City Councillors if they wish. See the City Councillors’ contact information here.

The meeting agendas of Helsinki’s governing bodies are generally published at least four days before each meeting. After the meetings, the City publishes the decisions made during them online in the form of a bulletin and meeting minutes, once the minutes have been signed. In some cases, decisions made by the City can be appealed. More information: Appeals