AbleToTrain by Willing & Able

Anticorruption In Finland

1. What is the legal framework in Finland for bribery?

The CCF (the Criminal Code of Finland 39/1889, as amended) is the legal framework that governs bribery in Finland.


2. What is the definition of a bribe?

Bribery is defined differently by the CCF depending on the responsibilities of the provider and recipient, as well as the conduct to which the bribe relates. Electoral bribes, bribes to public officials, bribery to a Member of Parliament, and bribery in economic activities all have their own sections.

The common denominator is a monetary or other benefit offered or received with the goal of encouraging or rewarding poor performance of a relevant function or activity.


3. What are the most serious violations of this legal framework?

Electoral bribery (Chapter 14, Section 2) is defined as promising, offering, or giving another a fee or other benefit in exchange for voting or refraining from voting in a general election or referendum, or demanding a fee or other benefit in exchange for voting or refraining from voting in a general election or referendum.

Bribery of public officials (Chapter 16, Section 13): promising, offering, or giving to a public official a gift or other benefit intended for them or for another in exchange for their actions in service that influences, is intended to influence, or is conducive to influencing the public official’s actions in service.

Bribery in business (Chapter 30, Section 7): promising, offering, or providing an unlawful benefit to a person working for a business, a member of the administrative board or board of directors, the managing director, auditor, or receiver of a corporation or foundation engaged in business, a person performing a duty on behalf of a business, or a person serving as an arbitrator and a mediator.

Receivers, demanders, and acceptors of such bribes are all prosecuted under various sections of the CC.


4. What is the legal framework’s jurisdictional scope?

An offence committed in Finland (where the criminal act was committed and the consequence contained in the statutory definition of the offence became apparent) is deemed to have been committed, as is an offence directed at or committed by a Finnish authority, an offence committed outside of Finland that is directed at a Finnish citizen, and a felony. When it comes to legal entities, if Finnish law relates to the crime, it also applies to determining corporate criminal culpability.


5. Who can be held accountable for bribery? (government officials, private citizens, legal entities, and so on.)

Individuals, government officials, legal entities, and their representatives could all be held accountable.

When an offence is committed in the operations of a corporation, foundation, or other legal entity, the perpetrator may be sentenced to a corporate fine if the perpetrator is a member of the corporation’s management, has a service or employment relationship with it, or has acted on assignment by a representative of the corporation. The main requirement for a legal entity’s liability is that a person who is a member of the entity’s statutory organ or other management, or who exercises actual decision-making authority therein, has been an accomplice in bribery or allowed the commission of bribery, or if the entity’s operations lack the care and diligence required for bribery prevention.


6. Can a parent firm be held accountable for bribery committed by a subsidiary?

Yes, if it can be proven that the bribery was carried out on behalf of or for the advantage of the parent firm, and that the bribery was carried out under the supervision of the parent company’s representative. Separation of a parent and its subsidiaries remains a solid starting point, and a parent’s accountability for the activities of a subsidiary is not assumed.


7. Are bribes considered facilitation payments (small payments to expedite regular government action)?

Yes, indeed. If the criteria are met, facilitation payments are considered bribery, regardless of the amount.


8. Is there any restriction on political and charity contributions under the law?

If a political or charity donation is provided or received with the goal of influencing or rewarding someone for doing inappropriately, it may be termed a bribe.


9. Is corporate hospitality subject to any legal restrictions?

Customary hospitality is permissible, but the CCF makes no explicit provisions for business hospitality. Any pecuniary or other benefit provided in that context would be evaluated in light of the aforementioned provisions. The Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authority, for example, has established a set of guidelines to assist in determining the acceptability of hospitality in the context of public authorities.


10. Do bribery offenses have any defenses?

There aren’t any precise legal defenses.


11. What are the main anti-bribery regulatory or enforcement bodies?

Bribery offenses investigated by the police are prosecuted by the Finnish Prosecution Service.


12. What are the legal ramifications of being convicted of bribery?

Individuals might face up to four years in prison and/or a monetary fine. A conditional sentence of imprisonment may be imposed.

Companies can be fined between EUR 850 and EUR 850,000.

The proceeds of crime stemming from the offense may also be confiscated from an individual or a company. This could include the earnings made from a contract obtained by a bribe, in addition to the bribe’s worth.

A sole proprietor or legal representative of an organization guilty of bribery might face a three- to seven-year ban from doing business.

If a corporation or its representatives have been convicted of bribery during the last five years, the company or its representatives may be barred from participating in public procurement contracts.


13. Do you have any deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs) or other similar settlement options?

Individuals and corporations can enter into plea bargaining conversations with the prosecution, agreeing to plead guilty to a charge in exchange for a more lenient penalty. The system was established in 2015 and is only occasionally used.