Application backlogs significantly shortened – Findata’s Annual Report 2022 published

A year ago, Findata’s application backlog was still over a year long. Towards the end of the year, it had shortened to only two months. The goal is to further speed up the processing of applications.

The Finnish Social and Health Data Permit Authority Findata grants the permits and compiles the data sets when social and health data is intended to be used for purposes other than those for which they were originally collected. Scientific research is by far the most common purpose.

Findata’s operations were launched on a tight schedule in 2020. Soon after, more applications started to come in than we had time to process. The introduction of the services was still ongoing, and the planned number of employees had not yet been hired.

“For the first two years, the long application backlog burdened both our clients and us. The fact that we were able to clear most of the backlog last year is a sum of many factors. Solutions have been sought and implemented while scaling up the operations,” says Johanna Seppänen, Findata’s Director of Department.

Findata was able to recruit the required personnel, eliminate bottlenecks in application processing and automate work phases.

“Ultimately, it was our competent personnel that was able to clear the backlog,” Seppänen says.

At its fastest, the permit decision has been issued within a month

At the moment, all permit applications are reviewed within approximately one week of their submission. After the initial review, the waiting period varies, being at 3–4 months at the moment. At its fastest, a permit decision on an application has been issued within one month of submission.

In addition to granting permits, Findata provides guidance, combines and pre-processes the data sets collected from controllers and maintains the secure Kapseli operating environment where social welfare and health care data can be analysed.

“Our goal is to have most of the applications processed within three months of their submission,” Seppänen says.

In 2022, Findata received 270 applications and made 284 decisions. 71% of the applications came from the public sector, 26% from private operators and 3% from the third sector.

A total of EUR 1.74 million was paid for the permits and data sets through Findata, of which EUR 1.36 million consisted of extraction costs charged by the controllers.

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