Commission suspends Auditor General pending investigation of payments

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Tytti Yli-Viikari addressing the media after meeting with the Parliament Chancellery Committee Thursday afternoon.

Image: Jani Saikko / Yle

The Parliament Chancellery Committee unanimously decided to suspend Tytti Yli-Viikari of his role as Auditor General of the Finnish National Audit Office (VTV) pending the outcome of a criminal investigation.

The decision was announced after a committee meeting on Thursday afternoon.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has launched a preliminary investigation into salary payments made by VTV to an official during the early stages of Yli-Viikari’s tenure as auditor general. The official received the salary for two years although he had no work obligation.

In addition, Yli-Viikari has been embroiled in an expense scandal since reports revealed that she spent around 5,000 euros of public money on hairdressing and beauty services. Questions were also asked about his use of Finnair Bonus flight points.

The commission said that Yli-Viikari’s ability to perform his duties while the preliminary investigation was underway had deteriorated significantly.

The VTV is responsible for auditing government agencies. Member of the Green Party and Chairman of the Audit Committee of Parliament Outi Alanko-Kahiluoto has previously said the scandal is affecting the agency’s staff and reputation.

Announcing the decision on Thursday afternoon, the Speaker of Parliament Anu Vehviläinen (Cen) noted that Yli-Viikari did not provide satisfactory answers in two committee meetings last month.

“At today’s meeting, his answers also did not satisfy us as members of the Chancellery Commission,” Vehviläinen said, adding that the use of public money depended on trust. citizens.

“Public debate has played a role in forming the big picture,” she said.

The possible final dismissal of Yli-Viikari from his functions should be decided by a plenary session of Parliament.

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