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The Deputy-Ombudsman is investigating Senate Properties’ monopoly position as the lessor to the Finnish government

Deputy-Ombudsman Pasi Pölönen is examining the legal basis for the government’s leasing system and Senate Properties’ legal position as the monopoly lessor to agencies of the Finnish government. 

Senate Properties is a state enterprise, so it is a part of the government. According to the Act on Unincorporated State Enterprises, Senate Properties is tasked with managing the state’s property assets. 

Pölönen has sent a request for information and an opinion to the Ministry of Finance, urging the Ministry to give its views on whether it was possible to create the government’s new leasing system, which was introduced on 1 January 2016, by government decree or whether a law should have been enacted on the matter.

Pölönen has asked the Ministry about matters such as who would be liable (the Defence Forces, the Ministry of Finance or Senate Properties) in the event of an explosion if the Defence Forces’ explosive storage facilities were not entirely in the condition required under the relevant regulations, an issue that the Deputy-Ombudsmen raised in decisions issued in 2008 and 2016. Similar issues concerning the division of liability also apply to the condition and healthiness of storage facilities for detention facilities for people deprived of their liberty and of government agencies. 

The inspections conducted and complaints processed by the Office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman repeatedly draw attention to Senate Properties’ position, as well as the fact that it is not possible to rectify shortcomings in facilities leased by government agencies without the contribution of Senate Properties. 

The request  6870/2019 sent by Deputy-Ombudsman Pasi Pölönen to the Ministry of Finance is available in full in Finnish on the Ombudsman’s website, www.oikeusasiamies.fi.

For more information, please contact Principal Legal Adviser Jarmo Hirvonen, tel. +358 9 432 3336.