UN group reviewed corruption in Finland
Implementation of the United Nations Convention against Corruption has been reviewed in Finland this week. Criminalisation of the acts defined in the Convention, such as different forms of bribery, was the object of the review. In addition, the activities of the police and the criminal justice system as well as the international cooperation have been reviewed.
The Implementation Review Group was also interested in e.g. how the criminalisation of the bribery of Members of Parliament has been organised in Finland and what is the time scale for the entry into force of the new legislation. The Parliament is handling the Government proposal concerning this question at the moment.
The Review Group consists of experts from the Contracting States and from the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime. The Group has met with members of the Finnish cooperative network against corruption, authorities, representatives of the private sector and civic organisations as well as academics. The Finnish section of Transparency International, The Finnish League for Human Rights and The Advisory Board on Civil Society Policy are the organisations that participated in the meetings.
Finland is the first country where the UN review was carried out. The visit of the reviewers is a part of a larger entity, where the other forms of operation are the so-called self-evaluation and activities of a working group consisting of representatives from the Contracting States. The report concerning Finland will be handled in the working group's next meeting in June 2011.
The United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) is the first universal anti-corruption instrument. It provides a foundation for establishing common policies and enables police and judicial cooperation between states around the world. Altogether 148 states have acceded to the Convention.
The Finnish authorities have actively participated in the development of the Convention and the review mechanism. Peer review, which enables profound discussions between the experts, is used as a tool within the review mechanism. The system of the reviewed state is first examined in detail, and different solutions based on the best practices are then presented.
Finland has considered it to be important that representatives for different organisations, the private sector and academics may openly participate in the review of the implementation of the Convention. Each reviewed state may decide to which extent it wishes to consult different interest groups. As Finland is the first country to be reviewed, the Ministry of Justice has tried to get as many interest group representatives to be involved in the visit as possible. This way Finland hopes to encourage the authorities and citizens also in other states to actively discuss the prevention of corruption.
GRECO and OECD have also reviewed corruption in Finland
Finland has also acceded to other anti-corruption conventions. Finland has three times been reviewed by the Council of Europe's Group of States against Corruption (GRECO). The previous time that GRECO evaluated Finland's measures in implementing the recommendations concerning transparency of party funding and criminalisation of bribery was in 2009.
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD has also evaluated the anti-corruption measures in Finland three times. In June 2010, a working group of the organisationevaluated the combating of bribery of foreign public officials in international business transactions in Finland.
Matti Joutsen, Director of the International Unit, tel 09 1606 7778
e-mail: [email protected]
The report on Finland will be published on the website of the Ministry of Justice during this spring.