Handling of a complaint

Complaint review and preliminary assessment

Once a complaint has been submitted to the Regional State Administrative Agency, the agency reviews the complaint and, based on a preliminary assessment, takes the measures it considers to be necessary on the basis of the complaint.

The complaint may include a number of different questions with varying needs for investigation. If the complaint does not give reason to take measures, the complainant is notified of this as soon as possible.

Where necessary, the Regional State Administrative Agency will ask the complainant to supplement the complaint if it does not include sufficient information for handling the matter. The Regional State Administrative Agency may also not investigate the complaint if it is incomplete.

After reviewing the complaint, the Regional State Administrative Agency may state that the complaint will not be investigated if

  • the complaint concerns a matter that has already been investigated as an administrative complaint and it presents nothing new that would affect the matter;
  • the matter does not fall within the authority of the Regional State Administrative Agency;
  • the matter is statute-barred;
  • the matter is pending with a competent authority; or
  • the matter can be appealed through regular means of appeal.

After reviewing the complaint, the Regional State Administrative Agency may state that the complaint does not give reason to take measures if

  • there is no reason to suspect unlawful conduct or failure to fulfil an obligation.

A complaint filed on a matter that is more than two years old.

Under the Administrative Procedure Act, complaints on matters that are more than two years old will not be investigated unless there is a particular reason for doing so.

In assessing whether there is a particular reason for investigating a complaint, the Regional State Administrative Agency pays attention, for example, to the general importance of the matter, the importance of the matter for the complainant as well as the importance of the matter for the subject of the complaint.

In order for the Regional State Administrative Agency to assess the existence of a particular reason, the complainant should clearly describe the conduct that the complainant considers erroneous. The complainant may also express an opinion as to why there is a particular reason for investigating the complaint.

Obtaining information

After completing a preliminary assessment on what measures will be taken based on the complaint, the Regional State Administrative Agency obtains the information it deems necessary in the matter. The Regional State Administrative Agency will consult the subject of the complaint, if necessary. All documents submitted by the complainant will be provided to the subject of the complaint upon consultation.

The Regional State Administrative Agency will consult the complainant on the basis of the information obtained if the agency considers it necessary.

Issuing a decision

Once the Regional State Administrative Agency has issued its decision on the matter, the decision, in Finnish or Swedish, will generally be sent to the complainant by post.

If a complaint filed on behalf of another person concerns confidential matters and that person's power of attorney has not been submitted to the Regional State Administrative Agency, the decision will not be delivered to the complainant. However, in such cases, the complainant will then be informed of the fact that the complaint has been resolved.

The Regional State Administrative Agency will deliver the decision on the complaint to the subject of the complaint if the subject of the complaint has been consulted on the matter. The Regional State Administrative Agency may inform the subject of the complaint of the decision even if the subject of the complaint has not been consulted.

The investigation of a complaint at the Regional State Administrative Agency is free of charge. Any copies of the decision or documents requested later may be subject to a copy charge.

The decision on the complaint and the documents generated pertaining to the matter are public, unless it is specifically stated in legislation that they are confidential. Confidential information includes, for example, documents describing the state of health, social welfare customer relationship and financial situation of a person. Most of the complaints handled by the Regional State Administrative Agency include confidential information.

The decision on a complaint cannot be appealed.

Updated