EUROPAM

European Public Accountability Mechanisms

Iceland

Country score (European Average*)
  • 66(67) Political Financing
  • 14(50) Financial Disclosure
  • 14(41) Conflict of Interest
  • 36(56) Freedom of Information
  • 60(65) Public Procurement

Country Facts

IncomeHigh
GNI per capita (2011 PPP $)46,120
Population, total330,823
Urban population (% of total)94.1
Internet users (per 100 people)98.2
Life expectancy at birth (years)82.7
Mean years of schooling (years)10.6
Global Competitiveness Index4.8
Sources: World Bank, UNDP, WEF.

Political Financing

The Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates (2006, amended 2011) and the Rules on the Financial Accounts of Political Parties 2007 are the main laws regulating the financing of political parties in Iceland.

There are some restrictions on the amount that can be donated to political parties. There are bans on donations from foreign entities, and from corporations with partial government ownership but not from corporations generally. Trade unions are permitted to donate but donations from anonymous donors are banned. There are limits regulating the amount a donor can contribute to political parties and candidates. 

Public funding is available for political parties and is allocated based on the share of votes in a previous election, the representation in the elected body and the participation in the election. Funding is available to cover expenses incurred in the general election campaign and for the general activities of political parties. Subsidized media access is available as is tax relief as a form of indirect funding. 

The regulations on spending include a ban on vote buying and limits on the amount a candidate can spend in an election. There do not appear to be limits on the amount a political party can spend. 

Parties are required to keep accounts which must provide information on finances in relation to election campaigns, the reports must be made public and must in some cases reveal the identity of donors. The accounts are overseen by the National Audit Bureau. There are sanctions for breaches of the provisions in the form of fines, forfeiture and imprisonment.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

201220152016Trend
Bans and limits on private income696969
Public funding626262
Regulations on spending505050
Reporting, oversight and sanctions758383

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Bans and limits on private income

Bans on donations from foreign interests

Is there a ban on donations from foreign interests to political parties? Yes. Contributions may not be accepted from foreign citizens, enterprises or other parties registered in other countries. This prohibition shall not apply, however, to contributions from foreign citizens who have voting rights in Iceland as provided for in the third paragraph of Art. 2 of Act No. 5/1998, on municipal elections. (Art 6, Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure 2006, amended 2011)
Is there a ban on donations from foreign interests to candidates? Yes. Contributions may not be accepted from foreign citizens, enterprises or other parties registered in other countries. This prohibition shall not apply, however, to contributions from foreign citizens who have voting rights in Iceland as provided for in the third paragraph of Art. 2 of Act No. 5/1998, on municipal elections. (Art 6 Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure 2006, amended 2011 )

Bans on corporate donations

Is there a ban on corporate donations to political parties? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on corporate donations to candidates? No . Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on donations from corporations with government contracts to political parties? Yes. Contributions from enterprises in which a majority is owned, or which is controlled by, the state or municipalities may not be accepted. Contributions may not be accepted from public bodies not included under the provisions of Chapter II (Art 6 Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure 2006, amended 2011 )
Is there a ban on donations from corporations of partial government ownership to political parties? Yes. Contributions from enterprises in which a majority is owned, or which is controlled by, the state or municipalities may not be accepted. (Art 6 Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure 2006, amended 2011 )
Is there a ban on donations from corporations with government contracts to candidates? Yes. Contributions from enterprises in which a majority is owned, or which is controlled by, the state or municipalities may not be accepted. Contributions may not be accepted from public bodies not included under the provisions of Chapter II (Art 6 Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure 2006, amended 2011 )
Is there a ban on donations from corporations of partial government ownership to candidates? Yes. Contributions from enterprises in which a majority is owned, or which is controlled by, the state or municipalities may not be accepted. (Art 6 Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure 2006, amended 2011 )

Bans on donations from trade unions

Is there a ban on donations from Trade Unions to political parties? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on donations from Trade Unions to candidates? No. Absent from legal framework

Bans on anonymous donations

Is there a ban on anonymous donations to political parties? Yes. Contributions from anonymous donors may not be accepted. [If a political organisation or candidate receive contributions from an unknown donor, the contribution shall be delivered to the Treasury if there was no opportunity to refuse its acceptance. (Art 6 Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure 2006, amended 2011 )
Is there a ban on anonymous donations to candidates? Yes. Contributions from anonymous donors may not be accepted. [If a political organisation or candidate receive contributions from an unknown donor, the contribution shall be delivered to the Treasury if there was no opportunity to refuse its acceptance. (Art 6 Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure 2006, amended 2011 )

Other bans on donations

Is there a ban on state resources being given to or received by political parties or candidates (excluding regulated public funding)? Yes. Contributions may not be accepted from public bodies not included under the provisions of Chapter II (Art 6 Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure 2006, amended 2011 )
Is there a ban on any other form of donation? No. Absent from legal framework

Donation limits

Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party over a time period (not election specific)? Yes. Political organisations and candidates may not accept contributions from legal entities exceeding ISK [400,000] per year. (Art 7 Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure 2006, amended 2011)
Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party in relation to an election? Yes. Art 6 Political organisations and candidates may accept contributions for their activities or an election campaign with the restrictions which result from the second to fifth paragraphs of this Article and the provisions of Article 7. Art 7 places an annual restriction of 400,000 so it appears that applies to elections as well. (Art 6 Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure 2006, amended 2011 )
Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a candidate? Yes. Political organisations and candidates may not accept contributions from legal entities exceeding ISK [400,000] per year. (Art 7 Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure 2006, amended 2011)

Public funding 

Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties

Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of votes in previous election Yes. Each year allocations shall be made from the Treasury for the activities of political organisations who have had at least one person elected to the Althingi or who have received at least 2.5% of votes in the most recent elections to the Althingi, in accordance with a budget decision in each instance. (Art 3 Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure 2006, amended 2011)
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Representation in elected body Yes. Each year allocations shall be made from the Treasury for the activities of political organisations who have had at least one person elected to the Althingi or who have received at least 2.5% of votes in the most recent elections to the Althingi, in accordance with a budget decision in each instance. (Art 3 Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure 2006, amended 2011)
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Participation in election Yes. Political organisations who field candidates in all constituencies in elections to the Althingi may, upon the conclusion of the elections, apply for a special financial grant from the Treasury to cover expenses incurred in their election campaign, of a maximum of ISK 3 million. (Art 3 Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure 2006, amended 2011)
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Number of candidates No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of seats in previous election No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of votes in next election No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Registration as a political party No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of seats in next election No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Number of members No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Other No. Absent from legal framework

Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties

Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Proportional to votes received Yes. The amount shall be allocated in proportion to the number of votes. (Art 3 Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure 2006, amended 2011)
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Equal No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Proportional to seats received No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Flat rate by votes received No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Share of expenses reimbursed No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Proportional to candidates fielded No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Number of members No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Other No. Absent from legal framework

Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties

Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Campaign spending Yes. Political organisations who field candidates in all constituencies in elections to the Althingi may, upon the conclusion of the elections, apply for a special financial grant from the Treasury to cover expenses incurred in their election campaign, of a maximum of ISK 3 million. (Art 3 Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure 2006, amended 2011)
Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Ongoing party activities Yes. Each year allocations shall be made from the Treasury for the activities of political organisations (Art 3 Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure 2006, amended 2011)
Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Intra-party institution No. Absent from legal framework
Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Other No. Absent from legal framework

Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties

Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Equal Yes. "Some form of indirect funding of election campaigns is provided through free broadcasting time on the State-‌owned television channel at the time of election campaigns.‌ There are no specific provisions on media space, but, according to the Law No.‌ 53/‌2000 (Art.9) on Broadcasting, all radio and television stations are bound by the basic rules of democracy and freedom of expression.‌ On this basis, parties are treated equally when allocating air time.‌" (GRECO (2008) Evaluation Report on Iceland, Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II))
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Number of candidates No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Share of seats No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Share of votes in preceding election No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Other No. Absent from legal framework
Are there provisions for free or subsidized access to media for candidates? No. Absent from legal framework

Are there provisions for any other form of indirect public funding?

Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Premises for campaign meetings No. Absent from legal framework
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Space for campaign materials No. Absent from legal framework
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Tax relief Yes. Individual gifts and donations to churches, acknowledged charities, fields of culture, political parties and scientific research, though not above 0,75% of income in acc. with section B of Article 7 in the year of giving. The Minister of Finance decides via regulation which areas and institutions are governed by this point. (Article 31(2), Law No.‌ 90/‌2003 on Income Tax, amended 2009)
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Free or subsidised transport No. Absent from legal framework
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Free or subsidised postage cost No. Absent from legal framework
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Other No. Absent from legal framework
Is the provision of direct public funding to political parties related to gender equality among candidates? No. Absent from legal framework
Are there provisions for other financial advantages to encourage gender equality in political parties? No. Absent from legal framework

Regulations on spending 

Is there a ban on vote buying? Yes. Banned election propaganda and election sabotage" include:] "To offer anyone money or advantages in order to have an effect on whether they cast a vote or for whom they cast a vote, to deprive a person or to threaten a person with the deprivation of his or her job or advantages for the same purpose, to promise money or advantages to a person if an election turns out this way or that way, to make it difficult for others to go to a polling session or to a pre-‌election polling station, as well as to apply coercive measures in connection with elections.‌ Pays, promises to pay or offers to pay someone money or some other gain with a view to having them vote in a particular way, or not vote (...) shall be subjected up to 2 years’ imprisonment, or to a fine if the offence is minor. (Act on Parlimentary Elections to the Althing, No.​ 24/​2000, Art. 117 Penal Code, Art. 103(4))
Are there bans on state resources being used in favour or against a political party or candidate? No. Absent from legal framework
Are there limits on the amount a political party can spend? No. Absent from legal framework
Are there limits on the amount a candidate can spend? Yes. Candidates' total expenses [in an election campaign for national or municipal elections] 1) may not exceed ISK 1 million, plus a premium as follows: In an electoral district with over 50,000 residents 18 years of age and older, ISK 75 per person. In an electoral district with 40,000-49,999 residents 18 years of age and older, ISK 100 per person. In an electoral district with 20,000-39,999 residents 18 years of age and older, ISK 125 per English translation person. In an electoral district with 10,000-19,999 residents 18 years of age and older, ISK 150 per person. In an electoral district with fewer than 10,000 residents 18 years of age and older, ISK 175 per person. (Art 7 Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure 2006, amended 2011)

Reporting, oversight and sanctions 

Reporting standards

Do political parties have to report regularly on their finances? Yes. Political organisations must keep consolidated accounts for all units they are comprised of, such as subsidiary associations, constituency boards, holding companies and related self-governing institutions. (Art 8 Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure 2006, amended 2011)
Do political parties have to report on their finances in relation to election campaigns? Yes. "Political parties shall report all their income and expenses in their income statements, except as other provided by law or statutory accounting standards." [Candidates must prepare financial results of their election campaigns, listing all contributions and expenses in connection with it in accordance with general accounting rules ( Art. 15 Rules on the Financial Accounts of Political Parties, 2007 Art 10 Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure 2006, amended 2011)
Do candidates have to report on their campaign finances? Yes. [Candidates must prepare financial results of their election campaigns, listing all contributions and expenses in connection with it in accordance with general accounting rules (Art 10 Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure 2006, amended 2011)
Is information in reports from political parties and/​or candidates to be made public? Yes. The National Audit Bureau shall, as soon as possible thereafter, publish an excerpt from the statements in a co-ordinated manner. (Art 11 Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure 2006, amended 2011)
Must reports from political parties and/​or candidates reveal the identity of donors? Yes. The names of all legal entities providing contributions to the candidate's election campaign and the respective amounts shall be published. In addition, the names of all individuals providing contributions valued at over ISK 200,000 to the candidate's election campaign shall be published. (Art 11 Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure 2006, amended 2011)
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Electoral Management Board No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Auditing agency Yes. Political organisations must, prior to 1 October each year, send the National Audit Bureau their accounts from the previous year, cf. Art. 8, endorsed by auditors. (Art 9 Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure 2006, amended 2011)
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Ministry No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Special institution No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Court No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Other No. Absent from legal framework

Political finance oversight

Is it specified that a particular institution(s) is responsible for examining financial reports and/​or investigating violations?
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Court No. Absent from legal framework
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Ministry No. Absent from legal framework
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Auditing agency Yes. The National Audit Bureau may, at any time, request all documentation to verify that the expenses of the election campaign and contributions from individuals and legal entities to the candidate are within the limits set in Chapter III. (Art 10 Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure 2006, amended 2011)
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Electoral Management Body No. Absent from legal framework
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Institution for this purpose No. Absent from legal framework
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Other No. Absent from legal framework
Other institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Court No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Ministry No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Auditing agency No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: EMB No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Institution for this purpose No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Other No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Fines Yes. Anyone receiving contributions, or their equivalent, which may not be accepted according to Art. 6, or higher contributions than provided for in Art. 7, shall be subject to fines or imprisonment of up to two years. (Art 6 and 7 Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure 2006, amended 2011)
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of public funding No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Penal/Criminal Yes. Anyone receiving contributions, or their equivalent, which may not be accepted according to Art. 6, or higher contributions than provided for in Art. 7, shall be subject to fines or imprisonment of up to two years. (Art 6 and 7 Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure 2006, amended 2011)
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Forfeiture Yes. Unauthorised contributions accepted or contributions accepted in excess of limits provided for in this Act may be confiscated by the Treasury, as stated in Chapter VII A of the Criminal Code. (Penal Code, Chapter VII A)
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Deregistration of party No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of elected office No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Suspension of political party No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of nomination of candidate No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of political rights No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Other No. Absent from legal framework

Qualitative data for 2016


Legislation

Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure 2006, amended 2011 (English)pdf
Law No.‌ 90/‌2003 on Income Tax, amended 2009 (English)pdf
Act on Parlimentary Elections to the Althing, No.​ 24/​2000 (English)pdf
Penal Code, 1940, amended 2015 (English)pdf
Rules on the Financial Accounts of Political Parties, 2007 missing file:

Financial Disclosure

Iceland’s financial disclosure legislation does not apply to the Head of State or to Civil Servants. According to the Ministerial Code of Conduct (2011), Ministers must declare gifts and information on any financial or private interests they have which may lead to a conflict of interests. The Disclosure Regulations for Members of Parliament and Senior Positions outside Parliament (2011) makes more specific requirements for MPs to declare real estate that is not for personal use, cash, debt, income from outside employment, and private or public firm ownership. While Ministers make their declaration only upon taking office, Members of Parliament are obliged to an annual declaration. No declarations include family members.  

However, no sanctions are specified for the failure to make declarations or for making false statements. The Althing Secretariat and the Parliamentary Office receive declarations made by Ministers and MPs respectively. The Coordinating Committee for Public Administration Ethics functions as an enforcement body only for Ministers. Meanwhile, Members of Parliament do not fall under the control of an enforcement body. However, the declarations made by Members of Parliament are publicly available on the website of parliament.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

201220152016Trend
Disclosure items151212
Filing frequency252525
Sanctions000
Monitoring and Oversight121919
Public access to declarations121212

Alternative Metric

201220152016Trend
Head of State000
Ministers191717
Members of Parliament333838
Civil servants000

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Head of State

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure No. Absent from legal framework.
Income and Assets
Real estate No. Absent from legal framework.
Movable assets No. Absent from legal framework.
Cash No. Absent from legal framework.
Loans and Debts No. Absent from legal framework.
Income from outside employment/assets No. Absent from legal framework.
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official No. Absent from legal framework.
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework.
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework.
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Absent from legal framework.
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework.
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required upon leaving office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required annually No. Absent from legal framework.
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified No. Absent from legal framework.
Enforcement body explicitly identified No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy No. Absent from legal framework.

Public access to declarations

Public availability No. Absent from legal framework.
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Location(s) of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Cost of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.

Ministers

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure No. Absent from legal framework.
Income and Assets
Real estate No. Absent from legal framework.
Movable assets No. Absent from legal framework.
Cash No. Absent from legal framework.
Loans and Debts No. Absent from legal framework.
Income from outside employment/assets No. Absent from legal framework.
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official Yes. The gifts which ministers accept by virtue of their office shall be recorded and shall accrue to the ministry concerned. However, this does not apply to personal gifts of a minor nature. Subsection (e) further states that normally, ministers are not to accept courtesy trips from private entities unless duties of public office are part of the trip agenda. (Article 3 (d) of Ministerial Code of Conduct (2011))
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. Ministers must provide information on any shared financial interests or similar connections which might lead to a conflict of interests. (Article 2 (c) of Ministerial Code of Conduct (2011))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. Ministers must provide information on any shared financial interests or similar connections which might lead to a conflict of interests. (Article 2 (c) of Ministerial Code of Conduct (2011))
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. A minister's work (generally in addition to being a member of the Althing) is considered a full-time position. Ministers are not to be engaged in any other work during this period.
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. A minister's work (generally in addition to being a member of the Althing) is considered a full-time position. Ministers are not to be engaged in any other work during this period.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework.
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office Yes. Any minister who has not filled out this form as a member of the Althing must do so immediately on taking office. (Article 2 (c) of Ministerial Code of Conduct (2011))
Filing required upon leaving office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required annually No. Absent from legal framework.
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified Yes. The Althing Secretariat, cf. (Article 2 (c) of Ministerial Code of Conduct (2011))
Enforcement body explicitly identified Yes. Coordinating Committee for Public Administration Ethics (Article 3 (b) and article 8 of Ministerial Code of Conduct (2011))
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy No. Absent from legal framework.

Public access to declarations

Public availability No. In consultation with the Cabinet, the Prime Minister may decide to call systematically for more information on ministers' shared interests which would be revealed to the general public. (Article 2 (c) of Ministerial Code of Conduct (2011))
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Location(s) of access specified No. 0
Cost of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.

Members of Parliament

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure No. Absent from legal framework.
Income and Assets
Real estate Yes. Real estate, which is one-third or more of the shares or company in which the congressman has a quarter or more, other than property for personal use for the congressman and his family and the plot’s rights under such housing. The name and location of the estate property must be provided. (Article 4 (3) (a) of Disclosure Regulations for Members of Parliament and Senior Positions outside Parliament (2011) )
Movable assets No. Absent from legal framework.
Cash Yes. Contribution or other financial support from domestic and foreign legal entities and individuals, including support in the form of a secretariat or similar services, which falls outside the support of the parliament or party MP provider, and value the support of more than 50 thousand. kr. year. Furthermore, registered financial support in the form of a discount on the market and other forms of preferential value of more than 50 thousand. kr. which is expected to be given to member of parliament. (Article 4 (2) (a) of Disclosure Regulations for Members of Parliament and Senior Positions outside Parliament (2011) )
Loans and Debts Yes. Administration of residual debt and preferential changes in the terms of an agreement with creditors. When declared files must be of the creditors and should include the nature of the contract. (Article 4 (2) (d) of Disclosure Regulations for Members of Parliament and Senior Positions outside Parliament (2011) )
Income from outside employment/assets Yes. Gainful board or directorship in private or public companies, paid employment or assignment (other than salaried jobs MP), activities run alongside work and income generating for the member or association which he himself or a partner in. (Article 4 (1) of Disclosure Regulations for Members of Parliament and Senior Positions outside Parliament (2011) )
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official Yes. Gifts from domestic and foreign legal entities and individuals with estimated value of over 50 thousand kr. and the gift is given out for sitting in parliament. (Article 4 (2) (b) of Disclosure Regulations for Members of Parliament and Senior Positions outside Parliament (2011) )
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. The name of the company, savings bank or a private foundation in business, as representing the object and exceeds any of the following criteria is to be declared: i. The market value amounts to more than 1 million. kr. at 31 December each year. ii. Share of 1% or more of a company, or a private savings as assets at year-end are 230 million. kr. or more or income 460 million. kr. or more. iii. Share of 25% or more of the capital or capital company, savings bank or a private foundation. (Article 4 (3) (b) of Disclosure Regulations for Members of Parliament and Senior Positions outside Parliament (2011) )
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. The name of the company, savings bank or a private foundation in business, as representing the object and exceeds any of the following criteria is to be declared: i. The market value amounts to more than 1 million. kr. at 31 December each year. ii. Share of 1% or more of a company, or a private savings as assets at year-end are 230 million. kr. or more or income 460 million. kr. or more. iii. Share of 25% or more of the capital or capital company, savings bank or a private foundation. (Article 4 (3) (b) of Disclosure Regulations for Members of Parliament and Senior Positions outside Parliament (2011) )
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Absent from legal framework.
Post-employment No. The amounts or value of the agreements with the future employer, regardless if the appointment takes effect after the MP leaves parliament are not to be declared. (Article 4 (4) (b) of Disclosure Regulations for Members of Parliament and Senior Positions outside Parliament (2011) )
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework.
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office Yes. Congressmen shall within one month of the newly elected Congress convenes publish reports on the financial interests of trust and outside the Assembly. (Article 2 of Disclosure Regulations for Members of Parliament and Senior Positions outside Parliament (2011) )
Filing required upon leaving office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required annually Yes. For assets, the name of the company, savings bank or a private foundation in business, representing the object and exceeding any of the following criteria is to be declared: i. The market value amounts to more than 1 million. kr. at 31 December each year ii. Share of 1% or more of a company, or private savings as assets at year-end are 230 million. kr. or more or income of 460 million. kr. or more iii. Share of 25% or more of the capital or capital company, savings bank or a private foundation. (Article 4 (3) (b) of Disclosure Regulations for Members of Parliament and Senior Positions outside Parliament (2011) )
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest Yes. Congressmen must maintain their registration by registering new information and additional information within one month of its conclusion. (Article 2 of Disclosure Regulations for Members of Parliament and Senior Positions outside Parliament (2011) )

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified Yes. Parliamentary Office (Article 3 of Disclosure Regulations for Members of Parliament and Senior Positions outside Parliament (2011))
Enforcement body explicitly identified No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy No. Absent from legal framework.

Public access to declarations

Public availability Yes. Registration after the elections shall be made publicly available within 20 working days after the deadline for registration is expired and the information shall be removed from the site when Parliament resigns. The same applies when a substitute or minister who is also an MP resigns. (Article 4 (6) of Disclosure Regulations for Members of Parliament and Senior Positions outside Parliament (2011) )
Timing of information release specified Yes. Registration after the elections shall be made publicly available within 20 working days after the deadline for registration is expired and the information shall be removed from the site when Parliament resigns. The same applies when a substitute or minister who is also an MP resigns. (Article 4 (6) of Disclosure Regulations for Members of Parliament and Senior Positions outside Parliament (2011) )
Location(s) of access specified Online. 0
Cost of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.

Civil servants

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure No. Absent from legal framework.
Income and Assets
Real estate No. Absent from legal framework.
Movable assets No. Absent from legal framework.
Cash No. Absent from legal framework.
Loans and Debts No. Absent from legal framework.
Income from outside employment/assets No. Absent from legal framework.
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official No. Absent from legal framework.
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework.
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework.
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Absent from legal framework.
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework.
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required upon leaving office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required annually No. Absent from legal framework.
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified No. Absent from legal framework.
Enforcement body explicitly identified No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy No. Absent from legal framework.

Public access to declarations

Public availability No. Absent from legal framework.
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Location(s) of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Cost of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.

Qualitative data for 2016


Legislation

Disclosure Regulations for Members of Parliament and Senior Positions outside Parliament, 2011 pdf
Ministerial Code of Conduct, regulation 360/2011 (English)pdf

Conflict of Interest

As financial disclosure legislation on MPs is more extensive, no laws apply to them in the area of conflicts of interests. However, some restrictions are in place for other public officials. The Constitution (1944, last amended 1999) prevents the President from pursuing any paid employment in the interest of a public institution or private enterprise. The Ministerial Code of Conduct (2011) includes a general guideline for Ministers to avoid that conflicts of interests affect their work. Ministers may not pursue additional employment, including advisory positions, during their tenure. Civil Servants face no general restrictions on conflicts of interests. According to the Code of Conduct for Staff in the Government Offices (2012) they may not accept valuable gifts and must ensure that no family or friendly relation affects their work. The Government Office staff is also charged with preventing family relations from making an impact. 

However, no sanctions are specified for behavior that would violate conflicts of interests. Only the Ministerial Code of Conduct makes a reference to monitoring and enforcement. While the Althing Secretariat and Prime Minister decide which data must be submitted by Ministers and provide guidance, the Coordinating Committee for Public Administration Ethic is responsible for reacting to infringements of the Ministerial Code of Conduct. No such bodies are specified for any other public officials. 


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

201220152016Trend
Restrictions181818
Sanctions000
Monitoring and Oversight252525

Alternative Metric

201220152016Trend
Head of State101010
Ministers474343
Members of Parliament000
Civil servants033

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Head of State

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest No. Absent from legal framework.
Accepting gifts No. Absent from legal framework.
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework.
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework.
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. The President of the Republic may not accept paid employment in the interest of any public institution or private enterprise. (Article 9 Constitution of the Republic of Iceland (1944, last amended 1999) )
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position Yes. The President of the Republic may not be a Member of Althingi. (Article 9 Constitution of the Republic of Iceland (1944, last amended 1999) )
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests Yes. The President of the Republic may not be a Member of Althingi or accept paid employment in the interest of any public institution or private enterprise. (Article 9 Constitution of the Republic of Iceland (1944, last amended 1999) )
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) No. Absent from legal framework.
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) No. Absent from legal framework.

Ministers

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest Yes. Ministers shall avoid any conflict of interests and not allow personal connections to affect their work and they must provide information on any shared financial interests or similar connections which might lead to a conflict of interests. (Article 2 Ministerial Code of Conduct (regulation no. 360/2011))
Accepting gifts No. The gifts which ministers accept by virtue of their office shall be recorded and shall accrue to the ministry concerned. However, this does not apply to personal gifts of a minor nature. (Article 3 (d) Ministerial Code of Conduct (regulation no. 360/2011))
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework.
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework.
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. A minister's work (generally in addition to being a member of the Althing) is considered a full-time position. Ministers are not to be engaged in any other work during this period. (Article 3 (a) Ministerial Code of Conduct (regulation no. 360/2011))
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position Yes. Ministers are entitled to a seat in Althingi (Parliament) and, by virtue of their office, have the right to participate in its debates as often as they may desire, but they must observe the rules of procedure. They have the right to vote only if they are at the same time Members of Althingi. (Article 51 Constitution of the Republic of Iceland (1944, last amended 1999) )
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework.
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Ministers shall endeavour to ensure that staff are appointed to office according to merit (Article 2 (b) Ministerial Code of Conduct (regulation no. 360/2011))

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) Yes. Althing Secretariat, the Prime Minister: In consultation with the Cabinet, the Prime Minister may decide to call systematically for more information on ministers' shared interests which would be revealed to the general public (for information tracking) and the Coordinating Committee for Public Administration Ethics to provide guidance. (Article 2 (c) Ministerial Code of Conduct (regulation no. 360/2011) Article 8 (a) Ministerial Code of Conduct (regulation no. 360/2011))
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) Yes. Coordinating Committee for Public Administration Ethic shall promote coordinated responses to any information on infringements of conduct codes or on risks of corruption within the national government. (Article 8 (a) Ministerial Code of Conduct (regulation no. 360/2011))

Members of Parliament

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest No. Absent from legal framework.
Accepting gifts No. Absent from legal framework.
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework.
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework.
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Absent from legal framework.
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework.
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) No. Absent from legal framework.
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) No. Absent from legal framework.

Civil servants

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest No. Absent from legal framework.
Accepting gifts Yes. Staff shall never personally accept any valuable gifts on account of their work. (Article 2 (d) Code of Conduct for Staff in the Government Offices of Iceland (2012))
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework.
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework.
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Absent from legal framework.
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework.
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Government Office staff shall take care that Noinvolvement with family relations, friends or interests affects their work and should there be a risk of any such involvement resulting in a conflict of interests, the staff member shall inform her/his immediate superior, with both of them ensuring that the provision of this information is entered in the Document Registry. (Article 3 (a and b) Code of Conduct for Staff in the Government Offices of Iceland (2012))

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) No. Absent from legal framework.
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) No. Absent from legal framework.

Qualitative data for 2016


Legislation

Code of Conduct for Staff in the Government Offices of Iceland, 2012 (English)pdf
Constitution, 1944, amended 1999 (English)pdf
Ministerial Code of Conduct, regulation 360/2011 (English)pdf

Freedom of Information

Iceland’s freedom of information regime is established by Information Act No 140 (2012), which establishes the right to information and lays out implementing measures. The law applies to all government activities, thus excluding parliamentary and judicial activities from its scope. Any legal entity in which 51% or more shares are owned by the state is covered by the law, along with private enterprises that perform statutory roles or provide statutory services.

Specific exemptions to disclosure are outlined in the aforementioned FOI law, the Act on the Protection of Privacy as regards the Processing of Personal Data, No. 77/2000, and Administrative Procedures Act No. 37/1993. No public interest test exists whereby exemptions to disclosure may be overridden in cases where disclosure of information benefits the public interest.

The Information Committee hears appeals against rejected information requests and issues legally binding rulings enforcing disclosure. Appeals are not accepted at public agencies or in the courts. 

There are no sanctions specified in the law for violations of FOI provisions except in the cases of substantial resulting damage, nor are there any enforcement or oversight bodies tasked with managing implementation. 


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

201220152016Trend
Scope and Coverage698787
Information access and release422525
Exceptions and Overrides505050
Sanctions for non-compliance3300
Monitoring and Oversight171717

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Scope and Coverage

Scope of disclosure

Existence of legal right to access Yes. The right of access to material shall apply to: 1. all of the material related to a matter, including copies of correspondence sent by a government authority or other entity according to Chapter I, if this correspondence may be expected to have reached the recipient, (Article 5 Information Act No 140/2012, amended 2015)
"Information" or "Documents" is defined Yes. The right of access to material shall apply to: 1. all of the material related to a matter, including copies of correspondence sent by a government authority or other entity according to Chapter I, if this correspondence may be expected to have reached the recipient, (Article 5 Information Act No 140/2012, amended 2015)
Proactive disclosure is specified Yes. Government authorities (ie legal entities in which a share of 51% or more is in public ownership) must regularly provide the public with information on government activities, for instance by publishing reports electronically, summarising important programmes or publishing other types of material. This information should increasingly be available electronically. (Article 13 Information Act No 140/2012, amended 2015)

Coverage of public and private sectors

Executive branch Yes. The law applies to all government activities. (Article 2 Information Act No 140/2012, amended 2015 Article 7 Act on the Government of Iceland no. 115 2011 as amended 2012)
Legislative branch No. Absent from legal framework. ( )
Judicial branch No. Absent from legal framework. ( )
Other public bodies Yes. Any legal entity in which 51% or more shares are owned by the state is covered by the law. (Article 2 Information Act No 140/2012, amended 2015)
Private sector Yes. Private enterprises that perform statutory roles or provide statutory services are covered (except those which have applied for or received an official listing of shares according to the Act on Stock Exchanges, or their subsidiaries). (Article 2 and Article 3 Information Act No 140/2012, amended 2015)

Access to specific documents (subject to reactive and/or proactive disclosure)

Draft legal instruments Yes. As government ministries are covered by the FOIA, so draft legislation would be covered. In practice draft legislation is often actively published on Ministry websites. (Article 2 Information Act No 140/2012, amended 2015)
Enacted legal instruments Yes. All laws must be published under the Constitution. In addition, as government ministries are covered by the FOIA, so enacted laws would be covered. (Article 27 Constitution No. 33/1944, amended 2013 Article 2 Information Act No 140/2012, amended 2015)
Annual budgets Yes. The budgets of a wide range of (but not all) public bodies are presented to the parliament by the Minister of Finance each year in a bill on public finances. This is accompanied by a projection of government finances for the next 3 years. In addition, all government authorities covered by the FOIA would be required to reveal their budgets and accounts under that law. (Article 21 and Article 28 Government Financial Reporting Act No. 88/1997, amended 2011 Article 2 Information Act No 140/2012, amended 2015 )
Annual chart of accounts (actual expenditures) Yes. A specified group of bodies – including the Office of the President, the parliament, the Cabinet and the Supreme Court, the ministries and government agencies, and non-government entities that are funded by or legally responsible to the Treasury – must report their accounts to the Financial Management Authority (FJS), National Audit Bureau and the relevant Ministry. As these 3 latter bodies are covered by the FOIA, the accounts would be available. In addition, all government authorities covered by the FOIA would be required to reveal their budgets and accounts under that law. (Article 20 Government Financial Reporting Act No. 88/1997, amended 2011 Article 2 Information Act No 140/2012, amended 2015 )
Annual reports of public entities and programs Yes. Government authorities must regularly provide the public with information on government activities, for instance by publishing reports electronically, summarising important programmes or publishing other types of material. This information should increasingly be available electronically. (Article 13 Information Act No 140/2012, amended 2015)

Information access and release

Procedural access

Universal access (agencies, citizens and non-citizens) Yes. The law refers to "the public" and doesn't specify who that covers. It doesn't preclude any particular groups so it can be assumed that there is universal access. (Article 5 Information Act No 140/2012, amended 2015)
Type of request is specified (written, electronic, oral) No. The law doesn't specify how the request must be made, just that the application must clear enough to understand what is needed, without significant effort. The applicant might be required to use a form but it does not specify how that should be submitted (ie written, electronic). (Article 15 Information Act No 140/2012, amended 2015)
Assistance to requesters must be provided by law (includes barriers due to language differences, illiteracy, complexity of requests, etc.) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Cost of access is specified (free, request fees, photocopying costs, other administrative costs) Yes. Fees for copying and expenses for equipment and staff work must be covered according to a schedule set out by the “Minister”. Prepayment may be demanded if the cost of copying or photocopying can be foreseen to exceed ISK 10,000 (c.€70). It has not been possible to locate this cost schedule. (Article 18 Information Act No 140/2012, amended 2015)

Deadlines for release of information

20-day response deadline No. Requests should be dealt with "as soon as possible". If the information requested is not provided within 7 days, applicants must be told why and given an expected delivery date. There is no fixed maximum timeframe. For research materials, the request must be responded to within 20 days. (Article 17 Information Act No 140/2012, amended 2015)
Agency granted right to extend response time No. There is no set maximum timeframe or, therefore, provision to extend. (General)
Maximum total response time of no more than 40 days No. There is no set maximum timeframe - just a recommendation to respond "as soon as possible" and to provide a reason and expected response date if it takes over 7 days. (Article 17 Information Act No 140/2012, amended 2015)

Exceptions and Overrides

Exemptions to disclosure

Existence of secrecy/states secrets law No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Existence of personal privacy/data law Yes. There is a data protection law and the Constitution provides for a right to privacy. (Act on the Protection of Privacy as regards the Processing of Personal Data, No. 77/2000, amended 2014 Article 71 Constitution No. 33/1944, amended 2013)
Specific exemptions to disclosure Yes. Material exempted from the right to information includes minutes and preparatory documents for State Council and Cabinet meetings (except agendas), memoranda at ministerial meetings, preparatory financial material of local authorities, correspondence with experts for use in or about legal proceedings, material related to personnel matters, working documents, personal private or financial information, financial or commercial interests of businesses or other legal entities. It also includes documents containing information on state security or defence issues, relations with other States or international organisations, economically significant State interests, the business of State-owned or municipally owned institutions or companies insofar as they are competing with other bodies, environmental matters. In some cases access to information on an administrative case can be restricted. (Articles 6-10 Information Act 140/2012 , amended 2015 Article 21 Act on the Protection of Privacy as regards the Processing of Personal Data No. 77/2000, amended 2014 Article 17 Administrative Procedures Act No. 37/1993, amended 2012)
Public Interest test: Specified exemptions to disclosure may be overridden in cases where disclosure of information benefits the public interest.

Appeals

Appeals allowed within public entities No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Independent, non-judicial appeals mechanism, e.g., information commissioner. Does not include Ombudsman unless appeals decisions are binding. Yes. Refusal of a request for access to material according to the Information Act may be referred to an Information Committee, which shall rule on the dispute. (Article 20 Information Act No 140/2012, amended 2015)
Judicial appeals mechanism No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Sanctions for non-compliance

Administrative sanctions are specified for violations of disclosure requirements No. The Information Committee can force a public body to disclose information through legally binding rulings. (Article 23 Information Act No 140/2012, amended 2015)
Fines are specified for violations of disclosure requirements No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Criminal sanctions are specified for violations of disclosure requirements No. Absent from legal framework. (General)

Monitoring and Oversight

Information officers must be appointed in public agencies No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Public body that is responsible for applying sanctions Yes. The Information Committee hears appeals against rejected information requests and issues legally binding rulings enforcing disclosure. (Article 22 and Article 23 Information Act No 140/2012, amended 2015)
Public body that is responsible for public outreach (raising public awareness) No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Nodal agency for RTI (implementation support/compliance within public sector). Does not include Ombudsman. No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Ombudsman involvement in implementation is specified by law No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Reporting of data and/or implementation is required No. Absent from legal framework.

Qualitative data for 2016


Legislation

Information Act No 140/2012, amended 2015 (Icelandic)pdf
Act on the Government of Iceland no. 115 2011, amended 2012 (Icelandic)pdf
Constitution No. 33/1944, amended 2013 (Icelandic)pdf
Government Financial Reporting Act No. 88/1997, amended 2011 (Icelandic)pdf
Protection of Privacy as regards the Processing of Personal Data, No. 77/2000, amended 2014 (Icelandic)pdf
Administrative Procedures Act No. 37/1993, amended 2012 (Icelandic)pdf

Public Procurement

The Icelandic public procurement system is regulated by the Act No. 84/2007 on Public Procurement (last amended in 2013), and additional regulations are laid down in Government Decrees. The public procurement body (central purchasing unit) is the State Trading Centre (Ríkiskaup) which is an organization under the Ministry of Finance.

The lowest minimum thresholds for conducting a public procurement tender are:

ISK 11500000 (ca. EUR 81000) for goods

ISK 28000000 (ca. EUR 198800) for works

ISK 14900000 (ca. EUR 106000) for services

The minimum number of bidders is 5 for restricted procedures and 3 for negotiated procedures and competitive dialogue. The minimum submission period is 15 days for open procedures, 15 days for restricted procedures and 15 for negotiated procedures from the call for tender publication date. The final beneficial owners do not have to be disclosed when placing a bid.

There is a possibility for preferential treatment, as green/sustainability aspects can be considered during the awarding procedure. There are also several options for bid exclusion: participation in a criminal organization, corruption, fraud, money laundering, bankruptcy, professional misconduct, outstanding tax or social security liabilities, false information. Bids can be also excluded because of abnormally low bid prices.

In the bid evaluation phase, there is no separate conflict of interest regulation on the composition of the evaluation committee. However, the independence of the evaluation committee at the contracting authority is mandated in certain cases.

There is a payable fee in case of an arbitration procedure that is a standard ISK 150,000 (ca. EUR 1100) and the decisions are published as the rulings of the Public Procurement Complaints Commission.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

201220152016Trend
Scope7373
Information availability7373
Evaluation5858
Open competition4444
Institutional arrangements5252

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Scope

Threshold - lowest PP

What is the minimum contract value above which the public procurement law is applied? (Product type GOODS) ISK 11500000. 0 ( Article 20 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)
What is the minimum contract value above which the public procurement law is applied? (Product type WORKS) ISK 28000000. 0 ( Article 20 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)
What is the minimum contract value above which the public procurement law is applied? (Product type SERVICES) ISK 14900000. 0 ( Article 20 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)

Threshold - by PP type

What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: PUBLIC SECTOR) ISK 11500000. 0 (Article 20 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: UTILITIES) ISK 11500000. 0 (Article 20 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: DEFENCE) ISK 11500000. same law applies to civil and defence procurement according to art. 3 (Articles 3 and 20 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)

Threshold - by product type

What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type GOODS) ISK 11500000. 0 (Article 20 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type WORKS) ISK 28000000. 0 (Article 20 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type SERVICES) ISK 14900000. 0 (Article 20 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)

Information availability

Publishing and record keeping

Which are the documents which are published in full? Article 55 states that “public tenders, including public framework agreements, must be advertised in a conspicuous manner such that all interested economic operators can take part in the tendering process.”. 0 (Article 55 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)
Are any of these documents published online at a central place? yes. Ríkiskaup, national public procurement portal (http://www.rikiskaup.is/english/nr/324)
Is it mandatory to keep these records? Public notices of bidding opportunities, Bidding documents and addenda, Bid opening records, Bid evaluation reports, Formal appeals by bidders and outcomes, Final signed contract documents and addenda and amendeds, Claims and dispute resolutions, Final payments, Disbursement data (as required by the country’s financial management system) yes. reports are published in accordance with art. 75 and 76 of Directive and forward it to EFTA surveillance activity (Article 82 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)
Are contracts awarded within a framework agreement published? no. 0

Sub-contracting

Is it mandatory to publish information on subcontractors in some cases? yes. 0 (Article 42 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)
If yes, above what proportion of subcontracted value is it mandatory? 0 (Article 42 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)

Evaluation

Preferential treatment

Is there a ban on mentioning specific companies or products in tender specification/call for tender? yes. The contract notice, the contract documents or, in the case of a competitive dialogue, the descriptive document, shall specify as accurately as possible the criteria for choosing the tender. Such criteria may not refer to factors other than those that may be proved relevant on the basis of materials provided by tenderers, or in another objective manner. (Article 45 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)
Are there restrictions on allowable grounds for tenderer exclusion? yes. Closed list: participation in a criminal organisation, corruption, fraud, money laundering, bankrupt, subject of proceedings for bankruptcy, grave professional misconduct, outstanding tax or social security contributions, gave false financial or technical information (Article 47 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)
Is there a preferential treatment for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs)? no. Article 55 states that “concurrent to or following such publication of a notice, a contracting authority may encourage specific parties to participate in the tendering process. Such parties may not, however, be provided with information other than that indicated in the notification of tender.” (Article 55 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)
Is there a preferential treatment for local/national companies? (companies from other EU MS are considered foreign companies) yes. for outside EU/EEA; there is an official list of approved contractors, suppliers or service providers which are so certified by public or private bodies in other states of the EEA or original member states of the EFTA. (Article 54 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)
Is there a specific set of rules for green/sustainable procurement? yes. Allowed. “For works contracts and services contracts, and only in appropriate cases, with information of the environmental management measures that the economic operator will be able to apply when performing the contract”. “Should contracting authorities, in the cases referred to in Item f of Paragraph 1 of Article 50, require the production of certificates drawn up by independent bodies attesting the compliance of the economic operator with certain environmental management standards, they shall refer to the Community Eco- Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) or to environmental management standards based on the relevant European or international standards certified by bodies conforming to EU law or the relevant European or international standards concerning certification. (Article 50 (f) and 52 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)
Are some bids automatically excluded such as lowest/highest price; unusually low price, etc. yes. abnormally low tenders (Article 73 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)

Bid evaluation

Is scoring criteria published and explicit? yes. lowest price or MEAT indicating weighting (Article 45 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)
Can evaluation decision be made by a single person (as opposed to a committee)? Not specified. 0
Are there regulations on evaluation committee composition to prevent conflict of interest? no. 0
If yes, what is banned? Not applicable. 0
Is some part of evaluation comitee mandatorily independent of contracting authority? yes. Only in certain cases. The State Trading Centre (Ríkiskaup) shall prepare framework agreements on behalf of the State and shall manage tenders and other procurement procedures carried out by State institutions for procurements, whether over threshold amounts pursuant to Article 20 or Pursuant to Article 78. The Minister of Finance, however, may authorise individual State institutions to handle their own procurements above the threshold amounts. (Article 85 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)
Are scoring results recorded and publicly available? no. 0
Under which conditions can the tender be cancelled? first 15 days. only on first 15 days from publication. Exceptions: not permitted in agreements authorised without prior contract notice, those for which there si only one tenderer or participant, for resverse auction or framework agreement (Article 76 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)

Open competition

CFT publication

Where should the call for tenders be published? (Procedure type: OPEN) TED and national electronic register. 0 (http://www.rikiskaup.is/english/nr/324)
Where should the call for tenders be published? (Procedure type: RESTRICTED) TED and national electronic register. 0 (http://www.rikiskaup.is/english/nr/324)
Where should the call for tenders be published? (Procedure type: NEGOTIATED) preselected candidates. requisite for negotiated procedure: no valid tenders are submitted in an open or restricted procedure or competitive dialogue. In negotiated, CA do not need to publish the contract notice (Article 32 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)

Minimum # of bidders

If there is a minimum number of bidders stipulated, under what conditions? RESTRICTED 5. 0 (Article 56 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)
If there is a minimum number of bidders stipulated, under what conditions? NEGOTIATED 3. (Article 56 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)
If there is a minimum number of bidders stipulated, under what conditions? COMPETITIVE DIALOGUE 3. (Article 56 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)

Bidding period length

What are the minimum number of days for advertisement required? (Procedure type: OPEN) 15. 15 calendar days. This period shall be calculated from the day following publication of the contract notice up to and including the opening day. All calendar days are included. (Article 58 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)
What are the minimum number of days for advertisement required? (Procedure type: RESTRICTED) 15. 15 calendar days. This period shall be calculated from the day following publication of the contract notice up to and including the opening day. All calendar days are included. (Article 59 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)
What are the minimum number of days for advertisement required? (Procedure type: NEGOTIATED) 15. 15 calendar days. This period shall be calculated from the day following publication of the contract notice up to and including the opening day. All calendar days are included. (Article 59 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)

Institutional arrangements

Institutions and regulations

What are the main EXCEPTIONS preventing the application of the public procurement law for tenders/organisations? In relation to works, an exception applies where the economic operator pays more than 50% when the contract relates to building construction or other structures as defined in Appendix I of the Directive, or when a contract includes construction work for a hospital, sports and recreation facility, school or university or a building used for public administration. In relation to services, an exception applies when the economic operator subsidises by more than 50% and which is connected to a work contract. 0 ( Article 13 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)
What are the main types of institutions which have to apply the public procurement law? Public authorities: the State, local authorities, their institutions and other public entities, associations formed by one or more of such authorities. An entity is considered public if it is governed by public law and if it has been established for the specific purpose of meeting needs in the general interest, provided it does not conduct operations that may be compared with the operation of private entities, such as in the field of business or industry.. 0 ( Article 3 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)
What are the main procedure types or procurement methods permitted by law? open, restricted, negotiated, competitive dialogue, design contest. 0 (Article 2 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)
Is there a procurement arbitration court dedicated to public procurement cases? yes. Public Procurement Complaints Commission (Article 91 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)
Is there a procurement regulatory body dedicated to public procurement? yes. State Trading Centre (Ríkiskaup), which is central purchasing unit in Ministry of Finance (Article 85 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)
Is the procurement regulatory body independent? no.
Is the procurement advisors' profession legally defined (i.e. degree to be obtained, official list of members of the professional association) and its role in the tendering procedure described (e.g. right to draft tender documentations, conduct market research identifying bidders)? no. 0
Is disclosure of final, beneficial owners required for placing a bid? no. 0

Complaints

Is there a fee for arbitration procedure? yes. 0 (Article 94 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)
If yes, how much ISK 150,000 . 0 (Article 94 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)
Is there a ban on contract signature until arbitration court decision (first instance court)? yes. 0 (Article 94(a) of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)
What is the maximum number of days until arbitration court decision from filing a complaint? 1 month after hearing. first, opportunity to parts to express themselves; then, max one month for the Public Procurement Complaints Commission to resolve (Article 95 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)
Are arbitration court decisions required to be publicly released? yes. rulings of the Public Procurement Complaints Commission (Article 99 of Public Procurement Act 2007, amended 2013)

Qualitative data for 2016


Legislation

Public Procurement Act No. 84 2007, amended 2013missing file: