The University of Helsinki has opened a dedicated channel for reporting suspected breaches. Through this channel, employees of the University can safely and confidentially report any suspected criminal activity, offences or misconduct in University operations of which they have become aware directly or indirectly through their work.

The University of Helsinki expects all community members to comply in their day-to-day activities with not only the legislation and internal guidelines applying to the University as a public organisation but also with ethical principles and the University’s values in general. Should there nonetheless be reason to suspect a breach, we want to know about it.

The general requirement for whistleblower protection is that the whistleblower has reasonable grounds to believe, at the time of reporting, that the matters they report are true and that the information reported falls within the scope of the relevant legislation. The new channel is not intended for reporting matters concerning employment, research ethics or the assessment of studies, all of which are subject to separate procedures.

The whistleblower channel will be implemented through a dedicated Efecte service channel, and only reports submitted by this means will be handled. A VPN connection is required to log in to the service. It is also possible to report suspected breach via the email address ilmoituskanava@helsinki.fi. Both reports are submitted to Efecte and are handled by a limited number of experts.This is to protect the identity of whistleblowers throughout the handling of reports. The University of Helsinki permits anonymous reporting, but if whistleblowers include their names in their reports, it will be much easier to investigate matters and request further information, if necessary. The University does not communicate separately on measures taken in response to anonymous reports.

If a whistleblower is unsure whether the suspected breach relates to the operations of the University or another organisation, they can use the centralised reporting channel of the Office of the Chancellor of Justice.

After the first sign-in, the notifier will be able to access the codes on the service portal, where it can monitor the progress of the case. If the university needs more information to explain the matter, additional requests for information will be displayed on the portal.

What breaches may be reported?

The whistleblower channel can be used to report suspected breaches in matters covered by the ‘Whistleblower Directive’ (Directive 2019/1937 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2019 on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union law, Official Journal of the European Union L 305/34, 26 November 2019). See details below.

The purpose of legislation on whistleblower protection is to ensure that persons who identify or suspect, in the context of their work-related activities, threats or harm to the public interest in separately defined areas of EU law can report them safely without fear of retaliation. In Finland, further provisions on whistleblower protection are laid down in the Act on the protection of persons who report breaches of Union and national law (1171/2022), which came into effect on 1 January 2023.

Reports will be handled only by independent and neutral appointees, who are bound by confidentiality and the duty as representatives of the University to protect the whistleblower.

This channel can be used to report suspected breaches in the following matters (if relevant to the University):

  1. public procurement;
  2. financial services, products and markets;
  3. prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing;
  4. product safety and compliance;
  5. transport safety;
  6. protection of the environment;
  7. radiation protection and nuclear safety;
  8. food and feed safety, animal health and welfare;
  9. public health;
  10. consumer protection;
  11. protection of privacy and personal data;
  12. security of network and information systems;

Reports must be submitted in good faith, which means that whistleblower protection must not be used for harm. Deliberately reporting incorrect information is prohibited, and such reports may have legal consequences.