In an evaluation report published today, the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) called for Finland to strengthen its systems to prevent and detect corrupt behaviour in central governments (including the top executive functions) and law enforcement agencies.
Finland traditionally scores high in perception surveys on the fight against corruption and risks of actual bribery are considered to be low or non-existent. However, recent scandals in public life, including a major corruption scheme in the Helsinki Police, have put into question whether what has been considered the most prominent instrument of Finland to combat corruption, i.e. trust, is in itself alone a sufficiently preventive anti-corruption tool. The Police is encouraged to strengthen its internal control processes to better manage corruption risks. The Border Guard could also take the opportunity to engage in an inclusive dialogue within its ranks regarding its integrity policy and the way forward. Finland needs yet to develop an overarching protection system for whistleblowers, an issue that is decisively important for law enforcement.