According to the decision, the Prime Minister’s actions did not cause action. Marin also did not participate in making decisions or instructions regarding the meal allowance.
The State Council the Chancellery has received a note from the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Justice regarding its policy regarding the Prime Minister’s cold meal benefit.
The note concerns the instructions of the Prime Minister’s Office regarding the Prime Minister’s housing benefit, as a result of which the Prime Minister To Sanna Marin (sd) and his family were paid cold meals and breakfast items from public funds for almost a year and a half from January 2020 to May 2021.
According to the report, Marin and her family used the meal benefit for more than 14,300 euros. Marin has since paid back the meals.
The corresponding interpretation of the meal allowance has also applied to previous prime ministers staying in the prime minister’s official residence in Kesäranta for more than ten years.
The Office of the Chancellor of Justice received several complaints about the prime minister’s meal allowance after a public outcry arose. The agency’s decision was issued on Monday.
Deputy Chancellor of Justice deputy Petri Martikainen according to the decision made by the Government Office, the interpretation of the Prime Minister’s Office was not in accordance with the provision on the prime minister’s housing benefit, and the interpretation was neither supported by the provision nor by the relevant legislative drafting material.
According to the decision, the Government Office’s interpretation of benefits was against the law.
“In paying for the catering services related to the official residence for Marin and his family from state funds, without having had a legal basis for the procedure, the Government Chancellery has, contrary to its own understanding, exceeded its discretion and has therefore acted unlawfully,” states Martikainen in his decision.
Martikainen also evaluates how Prime Minister Marin acted with the meal allowance. However, according to the decision, the Prime Minister’s actions did not cause surveillance measures.
According to the report, Marin did not participate in making decisions or instructions regarding the meal allowance.
“In my view, the Prime Minister has had the right to rely on the legality of the briefing he received from the officials of the Government Office regarding the use of the official residence and its services,” the decision states.
There was no financial damage to the state because Marin paid back the meal allowance she received. According to the deputy chancellor of justice, however, the activities of the State Council’s office caused the state to face a risk of financial damage.
“In my estimation, it is [kanslian toiminta] has also been apt to undermine citizens’ trust in official activities and the appropriateness of the use of state funds,” the decision says.
The Helsinki police also conducted a preliminary investigation into the activities of government officials in the summer of 2021 due to the meal allowance. According to the police, there was no reason to suspect a crime in the case.
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