The Group of States Against Corruption (GRECO) earlier this month released their fourth evaluation of how Iceland is responding to the group’s recommendations – some of them years old – on how to fight and prevent corruption.
The group’s top two recommendations were that the Icelandic parliament ratify a code of conduct for MPs, and that regulations of full disclosure be put in place in the event of a conflict of interest. While this recommendation was made in May 2012, it was not until late 2014 that a draft for a parliamentary code of conduct was produced, which is projected to go into effect on July 2015. Even so, the report notes:
“Given that the draft is still subject to discussion, that it will need to pass two readings in Parliament, and that GRECO has not been able to substantiate the content of the code and the way it will effectively meet recommendations … it seems premature to GRECO to make any sound judgement on compliance. GRECO urges the authorities to step up their action in this domain.”
Where the Icelandic courts are concerned, GRECO noted that only about 30% of Icelanders expressed confidence in the judicial system. As such, they noted that they “[do] not see any noticeable improvement regarding the guarantees of independence, impartiality and transparency applicable to the election, nomination and appointment procedures of members of the Labour Court and experts to the bench.”
In conclusion, GRECO says:
“In view of the foregoing, GRECO concludes that none of the ten recommendations contained in the Fourth Round Evaluation Report has been satisfactorily implemented or dealt with in a satisfactory manner by Iceland. … In view of the above, GRECO considers that the action taken by the Icelandic authorities to meet the recommendations issued in the Fourth Evaluation Round has been rather limited. It concludes that the current very low level of compliance with the recommendations is ‘globally unsatisfactory'”
Icelandic authorities have until September 2015 to submit a report to GRECO detailing any kind of progress being made on the recommendations.