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Government assets

Government assets

The government balance sheet totalled around EUR 48 billion in the final accounts for 2007. The largest asset items were tangible assets, capital assets securities and other long-term investment, including government land and construction assets, road and similar structures and ownership interest in unincorporated State enterprises as well as in other government-owned companies and associated companies.

Senate properties Ltd, which is an unincorporated State enterprise, handles and manages real estate assets acquired for government purposes. The company’s balance sheet totalled approximately EUR 5.6 billion and turnover amounted to EUR 650 million in the most recent certified balance sheet of 2007. The enterprise’s ownership portfolio includes stocks, and the enterprise is obliged to respect open and non-discriminatory procedures.

Most of the roads, airfields and other transport facilities belong within the mandate of the Ministry of Transport and Communications. State shareholdings are mainly dealt with by the Ownership Steering Department in the Government Office.

Government forestry and water area assets are managed by Metsähallitus, an unincorporated State enterprise under the mandate of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry. Its responsibilities encompass commercial forests, national parks and shoreline areas and sites zoned for waterfront construction.

The latest data on the financial position of central government (assets/liabilities) and a detailed breakdown of government assets are presented in the report on the final central government accounts, which also includes the annual accounts for State enterprises and funds.

Government real estate operations

As specified in the Government Rules of Procedure (262/2003), the following fall within the scope of the mandate of the Ministry of Finance:

  • general principles governing government asset management, acquisition, use and assignment,
  • government real estate assets,
  • construction of government-owned premises,
  • procurement and management of facilities for government agencies to the extent that it does not fall under the scope of other ministries,
  • authorization of government real estate holders; and
  • overall steering of the procurement and use of government agencies and building sites.

Government real estate assets consist of government-owned real estate, government-owned buildings and shares in buildings situated on someone else’s land and government-owned shares in housing companies and other joint-stock companies whose main purpose is the ownership or management of real estate.

Senate Properties, a State enterprise responsible for real estate asset management

Senate Properties is an unincorporated State enterprise under the mandate of the Ministry of Finance and is responsible for real estate asset management and for leasing facilities. It produces and provides facilities mainly for customers in central government (in-house). The services are based on leasing of facilities, investment and development and management of real estate assets.

Being an unincorporated State enterprise means that Senate Properties finances its operations independently, and it does not fall within government on-budget finances. The most significant decisions related to its operation, however, are taken in Parliament in connection with the government Budget, but otherwise Senate Properties operations are governed by general legislation on unincorporated State enterprises and by specific legal provisions on the organization itself. Parliament and the Ministry of Finance set financial and operational targets for Senate Properties on an annual basis.

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