09/04/2015 - The OECD Working Group on Bribery has serious concerns about Iceland’s lack of progress in combatting the bribery of foreign public officials, and to implement the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions. In 2010, the Working Group made 17 recommendations to Iceland for improving its fight against foreign bribery. By 2012, just 2 of the recommendations had been fully implemented. Since then, Iceland has created an Inter-Ministerial Steering Group to implement the outstanding recommendations. Otherwise, Iceland has made little effort to further implement the recommendations. Iceland also continues to have no foreign bribery enforcement actions.
The Working Group is especially disappointed that Iceland has not implemented recommendations to effectively criminalise bribery of officials in foreign state-owned entities, and to raise the maximum sanctions against natural persons for foreign bribery. In addition, special investigative techniques continue to be unavailable in foreign bribery cases. The obligation of officials to report foreign bribery has not been clarified. There is no legislation that specifically protects whistleblowers in the private sector. More efforts could also be made to raise awareness of foreign bribery. The Working Group is equally disappointed about Iceland’s failure to formally respond to correspondence from the Working Group Chair on two occasions.
The Working Group concludes that Iceland seriously lacks efforts to adequately implement the Convention. Iceland is invited to report to the Group in writing by October 2015 on steps taken to implement the Working Group’s recommendations. The Working Group looks forward to hearing additional progress at that time, including the work of Iceland’s Inter-Ministerial Steering Group. Absent significant progress by that time, the Working Group will consider additional measures.