Minister Vehviläinen: Public Servants Act amendments concerning dual nationality sent out for comments soon
Minister of Local Government and Public Reforms Anu Vehviläinen says that amendments to the Public Servants Act and the Security Clearance Act will be submitted to Parliament in late spring. She is the minister responsible for the preparation of the public servant legislation.
“The purpose of the amendments is to introduce better ways to verify the reliability and loyalty to Finland of persons selected to positions essential to national security. The amendments are now being finalised and they will be sent out for comments soon,” Vehviläinen says.
Vehviläinen says that fundamental and human rights will be taken into account in the legislative amendments and no bans based on nationality will be introduced into the Public Servants Act.
The Public Servants Act would have new provisions on confirming the integrity of persons selected to the position of a public servant as well as on ensuring that the persons selected have no such interests that would endanger the proper management of their duties. The Security Clearance Act would be amended so that foreign interests of persons could be investigated more thoroughly than at present to ensure that they are reliable and can manage their duties independently and without external pressure.
The proposed amendments are intended to take effect at the beginning of 2018 at the latest.
In spring 2015, a working group set up by the Ministry of Finance examined the effects of dual nationality on appointments to government positions. The working group submitted their report to Minister Anu Vehviläinen in June 2015. The preparations to amend the Public Servants Act started after this. A draft government proposal on amendments to the Public Servants Act was circulated for comments in September 2016, after which the preparations to amend the Security Clearance Act were commenced.
The Ministry of Defence and the Border Guard have also communicated this week that they are examining ways to specify legislation concerning dual nationality in the defence administration and the Border Guard.
Kirsi Äijälä, Senior Government Adviser, +358 2955 30172, kirsi.aijala(at)vm.fi
Tuomas Vanhanen, Special Adviser, +358 2955 30216, tuomas.vanhanen(at)vm.fi