Saturday 10/23/21
TO 'RESTORE CONFIDENCE'

Finland Parliament dismisses Auditor General following expense scandal

This is the first time that such a high-ranking official has been removed by Parliament.
Tytti Yli-Viikari is under suspicion of having spent thousands of euros of public funds on beauty treatments. Photo: Twitter/Tytti Yli-Viikari.
Tytti Yli-Viikari is under suspicion of having spent thousands of euros of public funds on beauty treatments. Photo: Twitter/Tytti Yli-Viikari.

The Finnish Parliament agreed on Wednesday to remove Tytti Yli-Viikari from her post as Auditor General following a scandal of alleged misuse of public funds for beauty treatments, irregular salary payments at the Finnish National Audit Office and other suspected irregularities related to the use of Finnair Plus flight points.

The Finnish National Audit Office (VTV) is the institution responsible for auditing government agencies.

Yli-Viikari's dismissal comes after it was recommended by Parliament's Chancery Commission on Monday. On Wednesday, this measure was approved without a vote being necessary since no counter-arguments were presented during the plenary session.

The now former Auditor General had been suspended from her post by the Chancellery Commission since April this year. The suspension came after the National Bureau of Investigation (KRP, in its Finnish acronym) initiated a preliminary investigation into the operations of the National Audit Office.

The police have been investigating the salary payments made by the VTV during Yli-Viikari's mandate to an official for two years in which he did not do any work for the institution.

In addition, a journalistic investigation uncovered expenses for thousands of euros in hairdressing and beauty treatments allegedly made by Yli-Viikari. Some of the expenses associated with her travels are also being reviewed. The article showed the details of each of the uncovered payments and the invoices.

Some of other expenses associated with her travel and the use of Finnair Plus flight points are also being reviewed by Finnish authorities.

Restore confidence

This is the first time that such a high-ranking official has been removed by Parliament.

Finnish members of parliament debated the case for more than two hours before the dismissal took effect. There is a consensus that removing Yli-Viikari from the post is necessary to restore confidence in the National Audit Office.

Yli-Viikkari, for her part, has always defended her work at the head of the VTV and has argued that there were no legal grounds for her dismissal after the scandal.

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