The Finnish Foreign Ministry launches a ”corruption button” to increase transparency regarding development cooperation
The Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs took into use an online service where anyone who suspects abuse and other suspicious behaviour can go and press the “corruption button". HEUNI was present in the launch where Minister Haavisto introduced how the service operates and what other ways there are to increase transparency regarding development cooperation.
Notification can be given at www.vaarinkaytosilmoitus.fi and the service operates in Finnish, Swedish and English. The notifications can be done anonymously. Anonymity is hoped to lower the threshold for notifying suspicions as it helps to protect against potential blackmail or intimidation. Other security and privacy efforts have been made to ensure that the personal data stays encrypted, as well as information existing only a fixed-term.
Similar notification systems have already been available in other Nordic countries. The other Nordic countries have a similar notification system in use. The Swedish whistle-blower system received 31 notifications in 2012 and the corresponding Norwegian service 35. Denmark has received 90 notifications since 2005. In 2013 The Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs registered 36 suspected misconducts.
Haavisto believes that, like with other transparency, the new system will have a preventative effect. “In negotiations we emphasize that we have zero tolerance concerning abuse and easy systems available where suspicions of abuse can be reported. The more open the work is, the less temptation there is for any kind of wrongdoing,". Haavisto emphasized that in verified cases an immediate recovery of misused funds will follow.