From Iceland — City Politics Investigative Commission Approved

City Politics Investigative Commission Approved

Published January 4, 2011

Today, Reykjavík city council approved a measure calling for the formation of an independent investigative commission, which would have the task of examining city management.
Eyjan reports that the commission will be modelled after the parliamentary equivalent. Comprised of three people, the commission will be an independent body set with investigating city politics from top to bottom. Its main areas of focus include city procedures, levels of transparency, how work is delegated, connections to special interests and ethics regulations.
A final report from the commission will be ready 15 September.
The proposal has actually been awaiting approval for some time now. Þorleifur Gunnlaugsson, a city councilperson for the Leftist-Green Party, said the approved proposal was a watered-down version of an earlier version from last May. In that version, Vísir reports, the commission would have also been called upon to investigate connections between city officials, contractors, and banks, to see if any clients working with the city received unusual preferential treatment, and to see if any city official had personally benefited from a connection to financial sources.
The approved commission will nonetheless have access to all necessary city files and documents, including those of a confidential nature, and will have the power to call in for questioning any individual within and outside of the city political system. The commission will also be able to recommend further investigation of any department, company or office that is or has been connected to the city.

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