A report the City of Reykjavík commissioned on the working environment within City Council had a price tag of ISK 2 million ($14,500/€12,300), RÚV reports. Centre Party Councillor Vigdís Hauksdóttir has filed a complaint with the Data Protection Authority regarding the appraisal and requested the Ministry of Local Government repeal the report. Some City Council members have described the working environment as “unbearable,” in part due to tension between Vigdís and the secretary of the mayor’s office, Helga Björg Ragnarsdóttir.
Accusations of Bullying
The City Council’s Execute Committee decided to hire psychological clinic Líf og sál to assess the working environment of the City Council and the psychosocial risk factors for staff who attend council meetings on a regular basis. At council meetings this term, Vigdís has turned her back on Helga and submitted minutes in which she criticises Hegla’s presence at the meetings. Both Vigdís and Helga have described the other’s behaviour as bullying.
Vigdís filed a complaint with the Data Protection Authority regarding the assessment, and it has responded by sending detailed questions to city authorities. She has also requested the Ministry of Transport and Local Government revoke the Executive Committee’s decision to have the audit done.
Participation Was Optional
The city council majority stated, however, that participation in the assessment was optional and that all were allowed to withdraw their consent. The assessment was not focused on specific individuals, rather risk factors in the work environment of those who chose to participate.
People’s Party Councillor Kolbrún Baldursdóttir has called the report “utter nonsense” and that the methods used by Líf og Sál were questionable. What was first and foremost necessary, stated Kolbrún, was to teach people some manners, and “that does not cost 20 million.”