Description of document publicity

This is a description of document publicity in accordance with section 28 of the Act on Information Management in Public Administration (906/2019), the purpose of which is to facilitate the submission of data requests to the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). THL is an information management entity referred to in the Act.

What is a description of document publicity?

The purpose of a description of document publicity is to

  • implement the principle of openness
  • give an overview of how the case register and the information management of services are structured at THL.

The description of document publicity describes

  • what document information THL has
  • what kind of data sets they constitute
  • which information systems they are used in
  • what rights you have in relation to the documents
  • how to make a data request to THL
  • where you can get more information or who to contact if necessary.

What are documents and official documents?

The concept of a document is defined in the Archives Act and the Act on the Openness of Government Activities. It is not dependent on format or media. This means that a document can be

  • a written presentation
  • a visual presentation
  • an electronic presentation
  • a recording that can be listened to or interpreted with technical tools.

In practice, a document can be anything between a traditional paper document and an electronic presentation.

An official document, however, is not just any document. In the Act on the Openness of Government Activities, official documents are defined as documents that are in the possession of an authority.

THL’s case register

The THL Registry maintains a register of cases handled by THL and the related documents and processing stages. THL’s registered cases and documents are recorded in digital format in the case management system.

The system functions as a case register for monitoring resolved cases and ones that are being processed. The case management system also serves as a tool for finding information on cases and documents and for implementing the principle of openness.

THL can also register official documents in other special registers, such as personnel and financial administration systems.

THL’s data resources and materials

Data resources refer to large data sets that are closely linked physically or logically. THL possesses data materials and documents, including the following topics and tasks:

  • general administration
  • human resources
  • financial administration
  • administrative duties
  • information management and influence
  • expert tasks
  • statistics and registers of social welfare and health
  • research and development
  • laboratory activities
  • vaccine activities
  • THL Biobank
  • Health and Social Data Permit Authority Findata.

Information in the data resources and materials is processed at THL in several information systems. THL’s information systems are decentralised. Information systems feature several dependencies to other systems and support systems.

Typical information systems at THL include:

  • specialist systems
  • laboratory systems
  • research information systems
  • information exchange systems
  • systems for further processing data.

Information is retrieved from the case register and information systems using, for example, the following search variables:

  • case number
  • person’s name
  • personal identity code
  • Personnel ID.

Right of access to official documents

According to the principle of openness, official documents are in the public domain, unless specifically provided otherwise in the Act on the Openness of Government Activities or another act. Anyone can request information about public official documents, but access to any information is not guaranteed. Requests do not need to be justified. Document secrecy must always be based on law.

As a rule, THL’s administrative documents are public unless otherwise specified in the Act on the Openness of Government Activities or another act.

You have the right of access to THL documents if:

  • the requested data is a THL document, or
  • the requested document is public.

You may also have the right of access to THL’s secret documents.

When a requested document is secret, your right of access to the document is verified on a case-by-case basis. You also have the right of access to a secret document if the information concerns your case or you are otherwise involved in the matter. Legislation may contain certain exceptions that prevent access to such secret documents, such as the interests of a minor.

How to make a data request about documents to THL

A data request is an individualised request to THL to receive public or secret information. To submit a data request on a document to THL, you can:

  • send the request by mail or e-mail to the THL Registry
  • call +358 29 524 6110

The THL Registry answers questions and data requests concerning documents. The Registry maintains a register of cases handled by the THL and the related documents and their processing stages.

How will your data request be processed at THL?

According to the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999), THL must respond to your request for information without delay, and in any event within two weeks of your request. If responding to the data request requires an irregular amount of work, the response time may be up to one month. The same deadlines apply to public and secret documents.

If you cannot be granted access to the document you requested, you have the right to receive a written decision on this. It allows you to file a complaint if you wish.

Further information

Topics of programmes, studies, projects and publications

THL services and how to access them

Data descriptions (Data resources catalogue)

THL uses a technical interface to provide unrestricted access to materials such as statistical reports.
Open data

Statistics and data

THL’s contact information

On our website

Contacting the registry

Tel: +358 29 524 6110
Postal address: P.O. Box 30, FI-00271 Helsinki, Finland
Street address: Mannerheimintie 166, Helsinki
E-mail: kirjaamo(at) 
Weekdays 8.00–16.15 

You can send us an encrypted message as a secure turvaviesti message, or you can alternatively use Messages. The use of Messages requires strong identification.

  • Go to the Secure e-mail
  • Enter your own email address to which you will receive a link.
  • Click on the link in your email and enter kirjaamo(at) as the recipient's address.
  • NOTE! The message is transmitted securely only via a link, not with direct email address. The title of the message goes unencrypted so don't pass on sensitive information in the header. 

Go to Messages
Instructions for using Messages

Registry's fax: +358 29 524 6111
Forensic Psychiatry's fax: +358 29 524 7155