Svandís Svavarsdóttir, the parliamentary chair of the Left Green Movement, has formally submitted an enquiry about MPs’ registry of outside interests to Einar K. Guðfinnsson, President of Alþingi.
The enquiry is five-fold, Vísir reports, and Svandís wants to know, among other things, whether the President of Alþingi intends to work on clarifying the rules governing parliamentarians on registering their outside financial and business interests for the public good, so that MPs have less room for interpretation of the rules.
She goes on to ask whether the President of Alþingi believes the rules on registering outside interests were broken by former prime minister, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, when he failed to register his share in the offshore company Wintris as an outside interest when joining Alþingi in 2009.
She asks the same question regarding the finance minister and leader of the Independence Party Bjarni Benediktsson, “when he neglected to register his share in the offshore company Falson & Co. with regard to the fact that the minister has been a parliamentarian since 2003.”
The question comes in the wake of Bjarni publishing a receipt from accountants Ernst & Young, which states that all taxes had been paid correctly on behalf of Falson & Co. He stopped short of publishing his full tax returns; unlike opposition party leaders and the social affairs minister have done.
Svandís also wants to know whether the President of Alþingi believes it is acceptable for MPs to have personal responsibility for registering their own outside interests, or whether the prime ministerial committee should take over responsibility and oversight of registering MPs’ outside interests.
Finally, she asks whether he believes the rules on the registration of outside interests should be tightened up; forcing MPs to divulge more information than at present.