The Finnish Parliament's Chancellery Commission unanimously agreed on Thursday to suspend Tytti Yli-Viikari, who has been involved in a bizarre scandal of alleged misuse of public funds, from her post as head of the Finnish National Audit Office (VTV), the institution responsible for auditing government agencies.
The suspension comes a week after the Commission initiated the process to remove her and the National Bureau of Investigation (KRP, in its Finnish acronym) initiated a preliminary investigation into the operations of the National Audit Office.
The police are reviewing 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, an article published by the newspaper Ilta Sanomat uncovered expenses for thousands of euros allegedly made by Yli-Viikari in hairdressing and beauty treatments. Some of the expenses associated with her travels are also being reviewed.
The journalistic investigation article showed the details of each of the uncovered payments and the invoices.
In Finland, a country that boasts low levels of corruption, it is increasingly difficult to see a public official resign and the institutions are not very forceful when it comes to holding their officials accountable.
Despite the evidence gathered, Yli-Viikari has not yet been dismissed from her post and the suspension agreed by the Chancellery Commission is still officially pending the outcome of the criminal investigation.
Speaker of the Parliament Anu Vehviläinen (Center Party) said that Yli-Viikari has failed to provide "satisfactory answers" in view of the facts of which she is suspected.Her eventual permanent dismissal would require a decision of the Plenary of Parliament.