Finland is divided into twelve provinces: Lappi, Oulu, Kuopio, Pohjois-Karjala, Keski-Suomi, Vaasa, Mikkeli, Hame, Turku ja Pori, Kymi, Uusimaa, and the Aland Islands. A governor appointed by the president heads a provincial government made up of public officials. At this level of administration, regarded in Finland as an unimportant intermediate stage between national and local government, there are no elective offices. The country's provincial government is less extensive than that of many other countries because local government manages many tasks done elsewhere on the provincial level.
The responsibilities of provincial administration include police work, civil defense, regional planning, price and rent control, direction of social and health services, oversight of local governments' adherence to environmental and other state regulations, and collection of taxes, fees and revenues owed to local and to national government. The provincial government is also involved in the functioning of the county administrative courts, and, with authority granted to it by the Ministry of Justice, supervises elections.
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