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Government's 700,000 euro research report draws criticism

The government's commissioning of a pricey report on Finland's future from a famous philosopher is under scrutiny.

Filosofi Pekka Himanen.
Pekka Himanen's vision of the future set the state back hundreds of thousands of euros. Image: Alessandro Della Bella / EPA

The government did not seek competing offers when commissioning the 700,000 euro paper from philosopher Pekka Himanen's company, Sofos. Furthermore, the prime minister's office did not follow through with a formal decision process when ordering the report, according to the daily Helsingin Sanomat.

Numerous complaints filed with the Chancellor of Justice have called into question Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen's actions regarding the research paper. It will be up to either the Parliamentary Ombudsman or the Chancellor of Justice to investigate the matter.

MP Sirkka-Liisa Anttila of parliament's Audit Committee and MP Inkeri Kerola of the Education and Culture Committee said competing offers should have been sought, though such a process was not legally required. They said the transparent use of public finances was especially important in tough economic times.

This week the journalism collective Long Play publicised the report's price tag and criticised Pekka Himanen for having thin academic credentials.

The Finnish News Agency STT was the first to report the news.

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