Purchases by the Helsinki and Uusimaa hospital district (HUS) have been placed under the microscope in an internal report that has already revealed 300 unauthorised acquisitions between 2019 and 2021. The figure is expected to rise.
The internal audit was completed in May. Police are now investigating it as a suspected case of malfeasance in a public office.
Helsinki police said that the investigation was in its very early stages, and no HUS employees had been interviewed yet.
According to HUS, the procurements may have breached both national legislation on public procurement and HUS’ internal regulations.
In response, HUS has set up a temporary managerial post to direct and monitor the taxpayer-funded procurement activities.
"The only aim of the post is to ensure that all is done to fix the issue," HUS CEO Juha Tuominen told the Finnish news agency STT.
The provisions scandal first drew public attention in 2019. An earlier internal audit had then revealed 1.7 million euros' worth of lab work that was paid for without a proper tendering process.
HUS then began re-examining its procurement provisions and found that older contracts had been awarded in a questionable way. According to Yle’s sources, 80 million euros were spent unlawfully between 2016 and 2018 alone.