There is no designated anti-corruption agency investigating suspected cases of corruption in Finland. Many authorities do, however, accept and process reports on different kinds of malpractices.
How to report suspicions of corruption:
- Use the internal reporting channels available in your organisation whenever feasible.
- If you discover criminal activity or suspect that an offence has been committed, contact the police.
In certain cases, it is best to report the matter to a specific authority or body for complaints.
- If the suspected perpetrator is an authority or a public official: Parliamentary Ombudsman, Chancellor of Justice
- If your suspicion is related to central government financial administration: National Audit Office of Finland
- If you suspect misuse of development cooperation funds: Ministry for Foreign Affairs
- If you suspect a cartel: Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority
- If you suspect tax evasion: Finnish Tax Administration
- If your suspicion is related to the financial market: Financial Supervisory Authority
Every organisation should have guidelines establishing the procedure to follow if an employee suspects or detects malpractice.
Small and medium-sized companies do not necessarily have sufficient resources to set up a reporting system. Government agencies and public bodies usually do not have any reporting systems either.
If there is no reporting system in your organisation, you can report your suspicions to the internal audit unit or your superior, for example.
Internal reporting may not always be a good idea: if you suspect, for example, that your superior is involved in the malpractice, it might be best to report the case to some external actor.
If you detect or suspect an offence, you may report the offence to the police or request an investigation. You must identify yourself to be able to submit an electronic report of an offence or to report an offence in person. If you want to report an offence anonymously, use email or send the relevant materials to the police by post.
If you find suspicious, potentially corruption-related material on the internet, you may submit a tip to the police by filling in the net tip form. You may choose whether you want to disclose your identity or not.
When a person reports accurate information to the police confidentially, the police does not reveal his or her identity. The possible need for other protection is usually assessed by the head investigator. Provision of false information is a punishable act.
You may contact a specific authority or body for complaints
In some cases, it is best to report a suspicion of corruption directly to a specific authority that is responsible for supervising the authority or matter in question. This is advisable especially if you are not sure whether the conduct is criminal or not. If necessary, the authority may refer the matter to the police.
If you discover that an authority, a public official or some other person or body performing a public duty has acted in an unlawful manner, you may file a complaint with the Parliamentary Ombudsman or the Chancellor of Justice. A complaint cannot be filed anonymously. Based on an anonymous complaint, the Parliamentary Ombudsman may, however, take a matter up for investigation on his or her own initiative, if he or she considers it justified.
The Parliamentary Ombudsman and the Chancellor of Justice mainly have the same duties and powers. A complaint can be filed with either of them. However, there are some minor differences in the division of duties between the two authorities, which affect the decision on who eventually investigates a given complaint. A complaint must be filed in writing.
You may file a complaint with the National Audit Office of Finland if you discover irregularities in the financial administration of a government agency, a state enterprise or a state-owned company. The National Audit Office does not investigate anonymous complaints, unless there are special reasons for this.
Authorities also have the duty to report any malpractices they discover in their own activities to the National Audit Office.
If you suspect misuse of development cooperation funds, you may submit a report through the reporting service of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Anonymous reporting is possible.
If you suspect a cartel, you may contact the Cartels Group of the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority. The Competition and Consumer Authority has an online tip-off form that you may use for this purpose. Tips on cartels and other restrictions of competition can be submitted anonymously. Under the Act on the Openness of Government Activities, it is also possible to keep the identity of a person contacting the Competition and Consumer Authority secret.
If you suspect tax evasion, report it to the Finnish Tax Administration. Tips can be submitted anonymously.
Suspicions of infringements related to the financial market, such as fund management companies, insurance companies or listed companies, may be reported to the Financial Supervisory Authority. You can also submit an anonymous report.
Directive may facilitate confidential reporting
The European Commission has proposed a new directive to strengthen whistleblower protection across the EU.
According to the proposal, the Member States should set up confidential reporting channels through which breaches and unlawful activities could be reported both within organisations and directly to the authorities. Another objective is to protect reporting persons from retaliation, such as dismissal.
The consideration of the proposed directive may take years. If adopted, the procedures for reporting malpractices and protecting reporting persons may, however, also be improved in Finland.