Document publicity description

What is a document publicity description?

Kela’s duty to maintain a document publicity description is based on the Act on Information Management in Public Administration (906/2019). Kela is an information management entity referred to in this Act.

The objective of the document publicity description is to

  • implement the principle of openness
  • provide a general description of how the case register and the information management of Kela’s customer services are organised.

The document publicity description provides information on

  • the documented information held by Kela
  • the datasets formed by this information
  • the systems utilised when processing the information
  • what rights you have related to the documents
  • how to submit a request for information to Kela
  • where, if needed, additional information is available and who to contact.

What is a document? What is an official document?

The concept of document is defined in the Archives Act and in the Act on the Openness of Government Activities. A document is any type of recorded information regardless of form or medium. Consequently, a document may consist of

  • a written presentation
  • a visual presentation
  • an electronic presentation
  • a recording which can be listened to or which is decipherable by means of a technical device.

A document may, in practice, be any type of presentation ranging from a traditional paper document to an electronic presentation.

Not all documents are, however, deemed to be official documents. Under the Act on Openness of Government Activities, official documents are documents in the possession of an authority. As regards Kela, this means that official documents are documents that are in the possession of Kela for one of the following reasons:

The document has been

  • prepared by a person in the service of Kela
  • delivered to Kela for the consideration of a matter
  • delivered to Kela in connection with a matter within the competence or duties of Kela
  • commissioned by Kela.

What documents are deemed to be official Kela documents?

At Kela, the following documents prepared by persons in the service of Kela constitute typical official documents

  • decisions
  • statements
  • memorandums
  • presentations
  • reports and inquiries
  • statistics.

Documents delivered to Kela for the consideration of a matter are, for example, various applications and notifications.

What documents are deemed not to be official Kela documents?

At Kela, the following are not deemed to be official documents

  • letters or other documents sent to a person in the service of Kela or to an elected official because of another task performed or position held by the recipient
  • notes kept by a person in the service of Kela or drafts which a person has prepared for his or her own work
  • documents prepared or procured for Kela’s in-service training, for example notes on courses or free-form messages.

Data stored in the Kanta service system do not constitute Kela documents, as the responsibility for these data contents lies with the healthcare providers.

Kela’s case register

A case register is a register of matters instituted, their processing stages and documents pertaining to them. Kela keeps registers of, for example, administrative matters and benefit matters.

The case register for administrative matters

Kela’s administrative matters are registered in the registration system for administrative matters (Diary). Administrative documents are registered in the archiving system for administrative documents (DARK). The following administrative matters are registered

  • matters related to Kela's operations that require action
    • official matters
    • matters affecting legal rights.

Matters that are registered in the case register for administrative matters are, for example

  • statements requested from Kela
  • complaints and requests for clarifications received by Kela
  • administrative complaints
  • claims for compensation
  • appointments of members to working groups
  • matters related to procurement
  • requests for log data
  • requests to inspect register data.

Kela may register administrative documents also in other special registers such as personnel registers and financial accounting systems.

The case register for benefit matters

Kela’s case register for benefit matters is composed of data from several information pools and the data is spread over the Oiwa workflow management system, various benefit administration systems and document management systems.

Kela’s information pools

An information pool means a large entity of datasets that are closely interlinked, either physically or logically. Kela has several dozens of different information pools. Typical information pools at Kela are, for example

  • data on benefit processing
  • customer data
  • payment data
  • personnel and organisation data
  • data related to customer service work
  • data on supervision and user permissions
  • financial administration data
  • data related to case management and general administration
  • data on statistics, reports and datasets.

The data in Kela’s information pools is processed in several different information systems. Datasets related to a certain customer’s case can for example if necessary be compiled from these information pools. Such datasets are compiled from

  • application data
  • processing data
  • case data
  • payment data
  • decision data
  • supporting documents.

Kela’s information systems and search criteria

Kela’s information systems are decentralised. Kela’s systems have several dependencies on other systems and support systems.

Typical information systems utilised by Kela are for example

  • benefit systems and customer relations systems
  • support systems
  • customer data exchange systems 
  • master data management systems
  • systems for further processing of information 
  • systems used by the Kanta services.

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

  • diary number
  • name
  • personal identity code
  • customer ID
  • personnel number.

Availability of documents

Via a technical interface, Kela offers freely exploitable data such as statistical reports.

For more information on available research and statistical data, go to

Right of access to official documents

According to the principle of openness, official documents shall be in the public domain, unless otherwise provided in the Act of Openness of Government Activities or another Act. Anyone can request access to data contained in an official document in the public domain, but there are, however, certain restrictions. You do not have to provide reasons for your request. Non-disclosure must always be based in law.

Kela’s administrative documents are as a rule in the public domain, unless specifically otherwise provided in the Act of Openness of Government Activities or another Act.

You are entitled to access Kela documents, provided that

  • the request for access concerns a Kela document
  • the requested document is in the public domain.

Confidential Kela documents are, for example, those concerning benefits, as they contain sensitive personal data. More detailed provisions concerning the non-disclosure of documents relating to benefits are laid down in the acts on different benefits. Medical certificates submitted to Kela are also confidential documents, and provisions regarding them are laid down for example in

  • the Act on the Status and Rights of Patients
  • the Act on the Status and Rights of Social Welfare Clients

You may also have the right to access confidential documents held by Kela.

If the requested document is confidential, your right to access the document will be checked on a case-by-case basis. You also have the right to access a confidential document, if the information contained in it concerns your own matter, or if you are a party to the matter in question. There may, however, be certain exceptions laid down in the Act, which may prevent access to a confidential document, for example if a child’s best interest is at stake.

How to make a request for access to a Kela document

An access request is a specified request, made to Kela, for access to information in the public domain or to confidential information. Requests for access to information can, for example, be made to Kela by

  • private individuals
  • authorities
  • journalists
  • other organisations.

You can send Kela a request stating that you wish to access a document in one of the following ways:

In benefit matters

In administrative or other matters

If you wish to email a request and the requested document contains personal or confidential data, please use encrypted email. Read the instructions for sending email over a secure connection (PDF).

Additional information, guidance on other situations relating to requests for access to information as well as more detailed contact information can be found at the end of this description.

How Kela handles access requests

Each request for access to information will be handled and processed separately by the units responsible, or in cooperation between different units.

Kela has an obligation to respond to your request without delay, within two weeks at the latest. Should responding to your request require a greater workload than usual, the response time will be one month, at the maximum. The same due dates apply to official and confidential documents.

The data released from the document will be forwarded to you by the Kela unit that is responsible for the data content or for handling the matter in question. If, when making your request, you are uncertain as to what unit you should contact, our personnel will advise you.

If it is not possible to make the information that you have requested available to you, you are entitled to a written decision stating this. Once you have got a decision, you can make an appeal.

Whom can I contact?

Contact information for Kela

Contact information for the Kanta services

Where to get more information

More information about data protection and the handling of personal data at Kela is available at

More information and instructions concerning accessibility of research and statistics data is available at

More information about the Kanta services is available at

More information about the protection of data recorded and processed in the Kanta services is available at

More information about the protection of data and data security in the Kanta services is available at