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Last Published: 8/15/2017

The Internal Security Program of 2016 does not list corruption as a risk in Finland and there is no dedicated national anti-corruption strategy.  Over the past decade, Finland has placed first or second on Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI).  In 2016, TI ranked Finland third, saying that Finland still faces issues related to “old-boys’ networks” and because of several corruption scandals in 2016.  TI recommends an open register of public procurements and an open channel for whistleblowers that would help combat hidden graft.  In January 2017, Helsinki announced plans for a new service to anonymously inform authorities about suspected corruption.  The Finnish Parliament is currently considering a proposal to reduce corruption in public procurements.
Corruption in Finland is covered by the Criminal Code and sanctions range from fines to imprisonment of up to four years.  Both giving and accepting a bribe is considered criminal and Finland has statutory tax rules concerning non-deductibility of bribes.  Finland does not have an authority specifically charged to prevent corruption.  The Ministry of Justice coordinates anti-corruption matters, but Finland’s EU anti-corruption contact is the Ministry of the Interior.  The National Bureau of Investigation also follows corruption, while the tax administration has guidelines obliging tax officials to report suspected offences, including foreign bribery, and the Ministry of Finance has guidelines on hospitality, benefits, and gifts.

The Act on a Candidate’s Election Funding (273/2009) delineates election funding and disclosure rules.  The Act requires presidential candidates, Members of Parliament, and Deputy Members to declare total campaign financing, the financial value of each contribution, and donor names for donations exceeding EUR 1,500. The Act on Political Parties (10/1969) concerning the funding of political parties. The National Audit Office of Finland keeps a register containing election funding disclosures (available in Finnish and Swedish).  Election funding disclosures must be filed with the National Audit Office of Finland within two months of election results being confirmed.

Finland does not regulate lobbying, and there is no requirement for lobbyists to register or report contact with public officials.  The ethical Guidelines of the Finnish Prosecution Service were published in December 2016.

The following are ratified or in force in Finland: The Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime; the Council of Europe Civil Law Convention on Corruption; the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption; the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime; and, the UN Anticorruption Convention.  Finland is a member of the European Partners against Corruption (EPAC).  Finland is a signatory to the OECD Convention on Anti-Bribery, and a TI progress report released in August 2015 rated Finland’s enforcement as moderate.

In March 2017, the OECD Working Group on Bribery noted Finland has been active in enforcing its foreign bribery laws.  However, all of the cases that progressed to prosecution resulted in acquittal, and the OECD recommended assigning cases to courts or judges with specialized experience and that Finland provide detailed training to law enforcement and the judiciary. 

The National Bureau of Investigation is responsible for the investigation of organized and international crimes, including economic crime and corruption, and operates an anti-corruption unit to detect economic offences.  The Ministry of Justice has set up a specialist network which meets a few times a year to discuss and exchange information.

Resources to Report Corruption

Contact at government agency:
Markku Ranta-Aho
Head of Financial Crime Division
National Board of Investigation
P.O. Box 285, 01310 Vantaa, Finland

Contact at watchdog organization:
Tommi Niinimäki, Chairperson
Transparency Finland

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