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Concerted measures to tackle the shadow economy

Government Communications Department
7.6.2016 12.28
Press release 247/2016

The Ministerial Committee on Economic Policy endorsed the 2016 to 2020 action plan for tackling the shadow economy and economic crime. The measures involve for instance the prevention and identification of corruption and better exchange of information between authorities.

'To combat the shadow economy and economic crime effectively, we need ever better cooperation between public authorities and the private sector. The purpose of the action plan is to shift the emphasis more on preventive measures by forging new common operating modes', observes Minister of the Interior Petteri Orpo.

On 28 April 2016 the Government endorsed a Government Resolution for a national strategy for tackling the shadow economy and economic crime for 2016 to 2020. To implement the strategic objectives, an action plan has been formulated, which lists concrete measures and their goals, responsible parties, schedule and means for gauging the impact of the measures.

The action plan comprises 20 projects that have been divided on the basis of the key projects identified in the strategy. The action plan consists of key measures from the viewpoint of the objectives of the  national strategy for tackling the shadow economy and economic crime. The senior management group for tackling economic crime will supervise the progress of the action plan, evaluate the need for changes and report on project progress to the Ministerial Committee on Economic Policy annually.

Shared situation awareness to help identify shadow economy phenomena

Information flow between authorities on the shadow economy and economic crime will be improved. The Parliamentary Audit Committee and the National Audit Office have noted the need for a shared situation awareness as a means of acquiring information for decision making purposes.

A shared situation awareness makes it possible to identify for example phenomena in the shadow economy and economic crime and to assess their impact.   Authorities under whose remit the tackling of the shadow economy and economic crime belong as well as the private sector will take part in formulating situation awareness.

Situation awareness builds on for instance analysed information, networking between different parties and established working methods to assess the effectiveness of various measures, for example.   To reach the goals, the functions and concepts must be harmonised and we need more real-time  information flow, a jointly established battery of indicators, networks and information analysis.

The senior management group for tackling the shadow economy and economic crime will launch a project to set up a situation awareness function so that it can be introduced in the course of 2017.

Instructions for identifying corruption for the authorities

Uncovering corruption crimes and enforcement of criminal liability will be promoted by drawing up intructions for idenifying corruption based on practical experience to assist all the authorities involved in the criminal procedure chain and, besides supporting the  tackling of corruption, investigation work and cooperation among authorities will be improved, thus enhancing the operation of the criminal procedure chain.

Supervision in procurements will be stepped up by broadening access to information for contracting authorities and contracting authorities will be given greater scope to intervene in observed cases of corruption.   Confidential disclosure of suspected corruption will also be made easier. Both legislative amendments and dissemination of advice and especially making practical information available to contracting authhorities will be the tools used to prevent corruption.

Corruption is closely linked to the shadow economy and it exists at all levels of Finnish society and in many fields and contexts.  Cases known to the police and other authorities show, for instance, that there is a risk in public procurements made at the local level. Corruption in Finland is largely a hidden offence and only a fraction of corruption cases are exposed to the authorities and the general public.

The responsible authorities involved in the action are the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, the Ministry of the Interior and the Office of the Prosecutor General.

More information on tackling the shadow economy and economic crime (in Finnish)

Inquiries: Chief Police Inspector Antti Simanainen, Ministry of the Interior, tel. +358 295 488 577