My correspondent in the Aylum seeker industry in Helsinki, Stefan, reported on this in 2015. Multiple translators (unneeded) called to a facility to only sit around on their thumbs for hours while being paid for it. There was a whole list of horrors.
YLE: Asylum seeker costs
An Ilta-Sanomat piece on the costs of private measures for asylum seekers such as legal and interpreting services paints a startling picture. The article begins by saying that the “bill” for asylum-related legal firms’ services has swollen considerably.
The paper reports Justice Ministry figures comparing the amounts received by private legal companies for handling asylum seeker cases. In 2015 the total for the firms was 3.8 million euros. Last year it grew to 8.2 million.
Another jump was in translation and interpretation services. The Finnish Immigration Service’s language assistance cost 939,000 euros in 2015, and a whopping 8.6 million euros last year.
The highest-earning legal practice was found to be Legalite, whose revenues bounced from 800,000 euros to more than 2 million euros in a year. The company says it “specialise[s] in solving legal problems for individuals and companies of immigrant origin” on its website.
Justice Ministry legal aid chief Merja Muilu tells IS that the high rates in 2016 are largely because of an invoicing lag. A law change last autumn turned hourly fees into fixed, case-specific rates.
“Some of the services may have been rendered a year previously,” says Muilu in the piece. “Legal aid resources have been greatly increased. Most of the decision-making aides in these cases are lawyers from private offices.”
The Immigration Service’s asylum seeker unit decided on a total of 28,252 cases in 2016.