Measures to Increase Trust in Icelandic Industry

Vala Hafstað

The Icelandic government decided at a meeting this morning to take seven different measures to increase trust in Icelandic industry, according to a statement on the government website.

The measures are the following:

Increase transparency in the operation of larger, non-listed companies.

Preparations are underway for a draft bill regarding increasing the reporting requirement of proportionally large companies. This is done to increase the transparency of their operation and to better ensure honesty and the reputation of Icelandic industry.

Increase transparency in the operation of large companies in the fishing industry.

Encourage the assessment and improvement of fishing internationally.

The minister of fisheries and agriculture will ask FAO, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, to do an assessment of the business practices of fishing companies, which fish and do business with fishing quotas, including in developing countries. Subsequently, FAO would suggest ways for improvement in order to fight corruption, bribery and money laundering.

Complete a review of the definition of the term “related party” by year’s end.

The law on the maximum percentage of catch needs to be reviewed with regard to related parties in the fishing industry.

Ensure added funding for tax investigation.

Due to numerous factors that need investigation, it will be made possible for the Directorate of Tax Investigations and the Directorate of Internal Revenue to temporarily hire additional staff to work on these tasks in a speedy and professional way.

Increase defenses against conflicts of interest and bribery.

Preparations are underway for measures to increase transparency and trust, such as changes to the freedom of information law, a draft bill regarding the protection of whistleblowers, and a planned draft bill to prevent conflicts of interest. Funding of the district attorney’s investigation of the Samherji case was discussed.

Monitor reaction from abroad.

The Samherji case was discussed with regard to international relations. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs monitors coverage abroad and has prepared how to react in case Iceland’s reputation is negatively affected.

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