A new report from the OECD states that Iceland needs to do more work to detect and address bribery violations that occur within the country. The OECD report provides an analysis of the implementation of the Convention on Bribery in International Trade by the Icelandic government, who signed the convention over twenty years ago.
This report is the fourth part of this analysis. In previous instalments, the working group had called on the government to pursue investigation into instances of alleged bribery. They encouraged the government to promote training for law enforcement officials that would enable them to more efficiently detect and investigate bribery. However, this recent report from the OECD working group on bribery asserts that this issue has not been adequately addressed by the government.
The report notes that, despite the fact that Iceland scored highly on Transparency International‘s corruption perceptions index, the government must be aware that this does not mean bribery and corruption are not issues in the country. Iceland was given a score of 78/100 by the NGO in 2019, which placed them 11th in the world.
The OECD warns that the government should not respond to this ranking by becoming complacent about the issue of bribery. This is especially relevant considering that many of the largest companies in Iceland are operating in industries where bribery is commonly apparent: for example, fishing, geothermal energy, and pharmaceuticals.
The OECD report draws attention to the fact that there are a number of bribery cases which the government has not investigated, citing three examples (two of which concern the same Icelandic pharmaceutical company). The Samherji case, in which one of Iceland’s largest fisheries companies was accused of bribing government officials in Angola and Namibia to gain fishing rights, is the first time the government has launched an investigation into a case concerning international bribery.
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