From Iceland — Objects To Recording Committee Meetings

Objects To Recording Committee Meetings

Published December 14, 2011

An MP for the Progressive Party objects to a bill which, if passed into law, would require all government committee meetings to be audio recorded.
The recording proposal is an article of a larger bill on the Prime Minister’s office, and was added on the request of Þráinn Bertelsson and Þór Saari. While the recordings themselves would be kept secret for a span of 30 years, the prime minister would have the right to older recordings, and the media would have the right to have access to recordings taken just after committee meetings.
Not everyone is on board with the proposal, RÚV reports. Progressive MP Vigdís Hauksdóttir objected to the clause, on the grounds that it would create less government transparency.
“Yes, shouldn’t we just talk in a smoke-filled room somewhere other than in the Prime Minister’s office?,” she argued before parliament, “Because naturally, there’s a chance that when we’re discussing sensitive matters which cannot immediately come before the public eye that decisions will be made elsewhere.”
Þór responded that while this may be the case in some instances, such a work practice would be inappropriate. Furthermore, he added that one of the conclusions of the Special Investigative Commission regarded government decisions being made behind closed doors.
“If people want to take this off the table, then they’re going against one of the most important conclusions in all the reports about the wake of the financial collapse, and that is a very serious matter,” he said.

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