Advisory Body on Civil Service Ethics

The Advisory Body on Civil Service Ethics is a permanent body for considering ethical issues, which currently has been appointed for a term running from 1 March 2018 till 31 December 2020. 

Tasks of the Advisory Body 

 The tasks of the Advisory Body on Civil Service Ethics referred to in section 68(1) of the Public Servants Act (750/1994) are: 

  1. submitting initiatives and issuing general recommendations on public service ethics as well as supporting decision-making; 
  2. giving statements on issues concerning civil service ethics on request of central government agencies; 
  3. promoting discussion on a public service ethics; 
  4. at its discretion, performing tasks related to public service ethics proposed to it by the Ministry of Finance.

 The Advisory Body on Civil Service Ethics makes its own decisions about the issues related to public service ethics or ethical problems which it examines and on which it gives statements. In this context, an ethical problem refers to situations where it is unclear what the ethically justified way to act would be. The Advisory Body may, on its own initiative, also discuss problematic cases other than those listed here. In addition, public officials may propose issues for the Advisory Body to discuss. Rather than answering individual questions posed to it, the purpose of the Advisory Body is to express its views as public statements. 

The Advisory Body is tasked to examine civil service ethics as part of the political and administrative system as a whole, in which the specific roles of public officials and politicians are also relevant to ethics in public administration. The members of both groups must act in an ethically sustainable manner.  

The statements and recommendations issued by the Advisory Body are consultative rather than legally binding. 

The Advisory Body works independently. Its tasks do not include settling disputes or hearing complaints. 

Advisory Body members 

The Advisory Body on Civil Service Ethics is chaired by Pekka Vihervuori, Doctor of Law (as from 1 February 2019). 


Lea Kauppi, Director General, Finnish Environment Institute
Matti Häyry, Professor, Aalto University
Ari Salminen, Professor, University of Vaasa
Anne Kiiski, Head of Consultation, KT
Kirsi Varhila, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Pentti Mäkinen, Board Member, Transparency International Suomi
Heidi Nummela, Director of Human Resources and Administration, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Paula Paloranta, Secretary General, Finland Chamber of Commerce
Tommi Toivola, Director, Legal Affairs and Administration, Confederation of Finnish Industries EK 


Sanna Helopuro, Senior Adviser for Legislative Affairs, Prime Minister’s Office

Further information

Recommendation of the Advisory Body on Civil Service Ethics concerning public officials and the social media 15 June 2016 (in Finnish) 
Ethical compass for public officials (in Finnish)
Advisory Body on Civil Service Ethics, appointment decision (in Finnish)
Recommendation of the Advisory Body on Civil Service Ethics on actions to be taken when ministers or State Secretaries’ and ministers’ special advisers move to new roles 22 September 2014 (in Finnish)

Contact information 

Pekka Vihervuori, Doctor of Law 

Sanna Helopuro
Senior Adviser for Legislative Affairs
tel. + 358 295 160170
[email protected]