New Grímsey island ferry generates debate Skip to content

New Grímsey island ferry generates debate

The local authority in the Grímsey island municipality, northeast Iceland, has expressed its dissatisfaction with a report by the Icelandic National Audit Office on the purchase and renovation of a new ferry for the island.

In return the Icelandic National Audit Office has announced that it is not pleased with the local authority’s criticism of the report, Fréttabladid reports.

According to the Audit Office, the matter should be settled as Grímsey had accepted the purchase of the ferry Oleain Arann, currently located in a dockyard in Hafnarfjördur, southwest Iceland, waiting for the debate to end.

The local authority of Grímsey municipality issued a statement on Tuesday, claiming that Grímsey residents had filed several remarks about the purchase of Oleain Arann with conversations, both in person and via telephone, and with emails, which had not been complied with. But the statement still admitted that Grímsey had accepted the purchase of the ferry in the end.

The Audit Office said the Grímsey local authority had made several demands about the renovation of the ferry after the purchase was completed and agreements signed.

The local authority said the renovations they had made demands for were mainly for improving safety equipment, facilities for passengers and organization of the inner space of the ferry.

The Audit Office said the demands included renovation of the deck of the ship, the fixtures of crew cabins, windows in the lower passenger hall, plastic doors for the upper passenger hall, a state-of-the-art television and sound system and chairs, similar to airplane chairs, for the upper passenger hall.

Director of the Ministry of Transport Ragnhildur Hjaltadóttir announced in a statement to the media that the ministry’s regulations had been violated during the purchase and renovation of the new Grímsey island ferry.

According to Hjaltadóttir, such projects should be undertaken according to a carefully made project plan including a detailed description of its execution and a time and cost analysis. The project leader is obligated to inform the director of the ministry about the progress of the project and wait for the ministry’s approval.

“These regulations were not followed during the execution in this case. We will deal with that in the appropriate manner in accordance with good governance,” Hjaltadóttir said in the statement, without elaborating.

Former Minister of Transport Sturla Bödvarsson would not comment to Fréttabladid about this case, apart from saying, “I wanted to give my successor [Kristján Möller] space to deal with this case in whatever way he chooses.”

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