Many Parliamentarians Fail to Submit Financial Statements Skip to content

Many Parliamentarians Fail to Submit Financial Statements

Out of the 52 companies that current parliamentarians are associated with, 15 have still not handed in their financial statements for the year 2007. The deadline was August 31, 2008.

Althingi. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

This came to light in a new report regarding parliamentarian participation in the private sector compiled by Creditinfo Iceland for Fréttabladid. The findings are based on the registration of corporations and financial statements submitted to the financial statement register.

Present parliamentarians are associated with a total of 52 companies, for example as their owners, members of the board or authorized signers. According to Creditinfo, this information is not exhaustive. Spousal participation is, for example, not taken into consideration; in some cases ownership is not stated in financial statements and also, around 20 percent of all companies have yet to submit their financial statements. As for companies known to be associated with members of Althingi, the default ratio is even higher than the average at 29 percent.

“Parliamentarians for the Progressive Party and the Social Democratic Alliance have the highest number of affiliations with those companies, or four in each party,” the Creditinfo report states.

Creditinfo has once before made a comparable report for Fréttabladid, with its findings published last April. Parliamentary elections have taken place in the period between the publishing of the reports.

“Present parliamentarians are affiliated with 52 companies, listed in the register of corporations. Just over a year ago, parliamentarians were connected to 70 listed companies,” Creditinfo explains. They are unable to name which parliamentarians are connected with specific companies because of privacy rights. Even if the number of companies has decreased, the parliamentarians own a share in more companies since the election, and furthermore, the ownership is larger.

The Left-Green Movement commented on the former Creditinfo report, saying that some of its information was outdated and false. The authors of Creditinfo’s new report say that according to law, any change to the board of corporations must be reported to the Register of Corporations within a month.

“A failure to do so can result in fines or imprisonment,” Creditinfo explains, reiterating that they believe that the former report is based on erroneous data. They also point out that those registered as board members in the Register of Corporations are entitled to obligate the corporations in question and are liable should such situations occur.

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