Iceland

Change country

Question Value
1. Is there a ban on donations from foreign interests to political parties?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment
  • Source

    Article 6 of the Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure (2006), last amended in 2011. 

2. Is there a ban on donations from foreign interests to candidates?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment
  • Source

    Article 6 of the Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure (2006), last amended in 2011. 

3. Is there a ban on corporate donations to political parties?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    Except for foreign corporate donations.  

  • Source

    Article 6 of the Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure (2006), last amended in 2011. 

4. Is there a ban on corporate donations to candidates?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    Except for foreign corporate donations. 

  • Source

    Article 6 of the Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure (2006), last amended in 2011. 

5. Is there a ban on donations from Trade Unions to political parties?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
6. Is there a ban on donations from Trade Unions to candidates?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
7. Is there a ban on anonymous donations to political parties?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment

    Contributions from anonymous donors may not be accepted. If a political party or a candidate receives contributions from an unknown donor, the contribution has to be delivered to the Treasury if there is no opportunity to refuse its acceptance.

  • Source

    Article 6 of the Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure (2006), last amended in 2011. 

8. Is there a ban on anonymous donations to candidates?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment

    Contributions from anonymous donors may not be accepted. If a political party or a candidate receives contributions from an unknown donor, the contribution has to be delivered to the Treasury if there is no opportunity to refuse its acceptance.

  • Source

    Article 6 of the Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure (2006), last amended in 2011. 

9. Is there a ban on donations from corporations with government contracts to political parties?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment

    Contributions from enterprises in which a majority is owned, or which is controlled by, the state or municipalities may not be accepted.

  • Source

    Article 6 of the Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure (2006), last amended in 2011. 

10. Is there a ban on donations from corporations with government contracts to candidates?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment

    Contributions from enterprises in which a majority is owned, or which is controlled by, the state or municipalities may not be accepted.

  • Source

    Article 6 of the Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure (2006), last amended in 2011. 

11. Is there a ban on donations from corporations with partial government ownership to political parties?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment

    Contributions from enterprises in which a majority is owned, or which is controlled by, the state or municipalities may not be accepted.

  • Source

    Article 6 of the Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure (2006), last amended in 2011. 

12. Is there a ban on donations from corporations with partial government ownership to candidates?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment

    Contributions from enterprises in which a majority is owned, or which is controlled by, the state or municipalities may not be accepted.

  • Source

    Article 6 of the Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure (2006), last amended in 2011. 

13. Is there a ban on the use of state resources in favour or against a political party or candidate?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
14. Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party during a non-election specific period?
  • CodeYes, for both natural and legal persons
  • Comment

    Political organisations and candidates may not accept contributions from private persons and legal entities exceeding ISK 400,000 per year.

  • Source

    Article 7 of the Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure (2006), last amended in 2011. 

15. If there is a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party during a non-election specific period, what is the limit?
  • Code Annual regular limit of ISK 400,000 applies.
  • Comment
  • Source

    Article 7 of the Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure (2006), last amended in 2011. 

16. Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party during an election?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    No specific limit in relation to an election exists. However, political organisations and candidates may not accept contributions from private persons and legal entities exceeding ISK 400,000 per year, see question 16. 

  • Source

    Article 7 of the Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure (2006), last amended in 2011. 

17. If there is a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party during an election, what is the limit?
  • CodeNot applicable
  • Comment
  • Source
18. Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a candidate?
  • CodeYes, for both natural and legal persons
  • Comment

    Political organisations and candidates may not accept contributions from private persons and legal entities exceeding ISK 400,000 per year.

  • Source

    Article 7 of the Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure (2006), last amended in 2011. 

19. If there is a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a candidate, what is the limit?
  • Code ISK 400,000 per year.
  • Comment
  • Source

    Article 7 of the Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure (2006), last amended in 2011.

20. Is there a limit on the amount a candidate can contribute to their own election campaign?
  • CodeDonation limit for private persons apply
  • Comment
  • Source
21. Is there a limit on in-kind donations to political parties?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment

    Donation limit (ISK 400,000 per year) applies to both cash and in-kind donations. 

  • Source

    Donations are defined as any direct financial contribution or any other item which has a financial value, regardless of its origin or nature (cash or in kind).

    GRECO (2008), Evaluation Report on Iceland - Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p.5. 

22. Is there a limit on in-kind donations to candidates?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment

    Donation limit (ISK 400,000 per year) applies to both cash and in-kind donations. 

  • Source

    Donations are defined as any direct financial contribution or any other item which has a financial value, regardless of its origin or nature (cash or in kind).

    GRECO (2008), Evaluation Report on Iceland - Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p.5. 

23. Is there a ban on political parties engaging in commercial activities?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment

    Public funding is granted to support operational activities of political parties. According to the political parties interviewed at the time of the GET’s visit, public funding constituted some 60% to 90% of their revenue. Party subsidies may thus not be used for any commercial or private purpose.

    GRECO (2008), Evaluation Report on Iceland - Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p.4. 

  • Source
24. Is there a ban on political parties taking loans in relation to election campaigns?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    If a campaign is financed through a loan, details must be provided on the identity of the lender, the amount of the borrowing and the lending terms.

  • Source

    Article 21: If a campaign is financed through borrowings, a detailed account shall be given of the lender, the amount of the borrowing and lending terms in the notes in the financial report of the campaign. If the term of a loan extends beyond the accounting period, the National Audit Office shall be informed annually of the position of the debt of the campaign. Cancellations of debts and obviously favourable loan terms shall be assessed as a contribution by the lender to the campaign.

    Rules on the financial accounts of political parties - National Audit Office (2007).

25. Is there a ban on candidates taking loans in relation to election campaigns?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    If a campaign is financed through a loan, details must be provided on the identity of the lender, the amount of the borrowing and the lending terms.

  • Source

    Article 21: If a campaign is financed through borrowings, a detailed account shall be given of the lender, the amount of the borrowing and lending terms in the notes in the financial report of the campaign. If the term of a loan extends beyond the accounting period, the National Audit Office shall be informed annually of the position of the debt of the campaign. Cancellations of debts and obviously favourable loan terms shall be assessed as a contribution by the lender to the campaign.

    Rules on the financial accounts of political parties - National Audit Office (2007).

26. Is there a ban on donors to political parties/candidates participating in public tender/procurement processes?
  • CodeNo data
  • Comment
  • Source
27. Are there provisions requiring donations to go through the banking system?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment
  • Source

    Article 19:  A candidate must always open a separate bank account for the campaign, through which all cash deposits and withdrawals in connection with the campaign must pass. Separate accounts shall be kept of expenses relating to the campaign, as well as income, whether in the form of cash payments or contributions in other form. All entries in the accounts shall be based on adequate source documents or data, such as the originals of invoices, receipts for contributions received, etc.

    Rules on the financial accounts of political parties - National Audit Office (2007).

Question Value
28. Are there provisions for direct public funding to political parties?
  • CodeYes, both regularly provided funding and in relation to campaigns
  • Comment

    Parties that obtain at least one seat in the parliament or receive more than 2.5 per cent of votes in the last general elections are entitled to public funding. 

    Moreover, political parties who field candidates in all constituencies in parliamentary elections may, upon the conclusion of the elections, apply for a special financial grant from the Treasury to cover expenses incurred in their election campaign, of a maximum of ISK 3 million. 

  • Source

    Article 3 of the Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure (2006), last amended in 2011. 

29. What are the eligibility criteria for political parties to receive public funding?
  • CodeRepresentation in elected body | Share of votes in previous election | Participation in election
  • Comment

    Parties that obtain at least one seat in the parliament or receive more than 2.5 per cent of votes in the last general elections are entitled to public funding. Moreover, political organisations who field candidates in all constituencies in elections to the Parliament may, upon the conclusion of the elections, apply for a special financial grant from the Treasury to cover expenses incurred in their election campaign, of a maximum of ISK 3 million.

  • Source

    Article 3 of the Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure (2006), last amended in 2011. 

30. What is the allocation calculation for political parties to receive public funding?
  • CodeProportional to votes received
  • Comment
  • Source

    Article 3 of the Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure (2006), last amended in 2011.

31. What are the provisions on 'ear marking' direct public funding to political parties (how it should be used)?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
32. Are there provisions for free or subsidized access to media for political parties?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment
  • Source

    Some form of indirect funding of election campaigns is provided through free broadcasting time on the State-owned television channel at the time of election campaigns. There are no specific provisions on media space, but, according to the Law No. 53/2000 on Broadcasting, all radio and television stations are bound by the basic rules of democracy and freedom of expression. On this basis, parties are treated equally when allocating air time.

    GRECO (2008), Evaluation Report on Iceland - Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p.5. 

33. What criteria determine allocation for free or subsidized access to media for political parties?
  • CodeEqual
  • Comment
  • Source

    Some form of indirect funding of election campaigns is provided through free broadcasting time on the State-owned television channel at the time of election campaigns. There are no specific provisions on media space, but, according to the Law No. 53/2000 on Broadcasting, all radio and television stations are bound by the basic rules of democracy and freedom of expression. On this basis, parties are treated equally when allocating air time.

    GRECO (2008), Evaluation Report on Iceland - Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p.5. 

34. Are there provisions for free or subsidized access to media for candidates?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
35. Are there provisions for any other form of indirect public funding?
  • CodeTax relief
  • Comment
  • Source

    Legal persons donating to a political party qualify for a tax-exemption of up to 0.75% of their income (Article 31(2), Law No. 90/2003 on Income Tax).

     

36. Is the provision of direct public funding to political parties tied to gender equality among candidates?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
37. Are there provisions for other financial advantages to encourage gender equality in political parties?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source

Question Value
38. Is there a ban on vote buying?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment

    It is banned to offer anyone money or advantages in order to have an effect on whether they cast a vote or for whom they cast a vote, to deprive a person or to threaten a person with the deprivation of his or her job or advantages for the same purpose, to promise money or advantages to a person if an election turns out this way or that way. 

  • Source

    Article 117 - Parliamentary Elections Law (2000), last amended in 2017. 

39. Are there limits on the amount a political party can spend?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
40. If there are limits on the amount a political party can spend, what is the limit?
  • CodeNot applicable
  • Comment
  • Source
41. Are there limits on the amount a candidate can spend?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment

    The spending limit per candidate is sum of the fixed amount of ISK 1 million and a surplus calculated based on the number of voters per constituency, in range from ISK 75 to ISK 175 per voter.

  • Source

    Article 7 of the Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure (2006), last amended in 2011.

42. If there are limits on the amount a candidate can spend, what is the limit?
  • Code Depends on the constituency.
  • Comment

    The spending limit per candidate is sum of the fixed amount of ISK 1 million and a surplus calculated based on the number of voters per constituency, in range from ISK 75 to ISK 175 per voter

  • Source

    Article 7 of the Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure (2006), last amended in 2011.

43. Are there limits on the amount that third parties can spend on election campaign activities?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
44. Are there limits on traditional media advertising spending in relation to election campaigns?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
45. Are there limits on online media advertising spending in relation to election campaigns?
  • CodeNo data
  • Comment
  • Source
46. Do any other restrictions on online media advertisement (beyond limits) exist?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source

Question Value
47. Do political parties have to report regularly on their finances?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment

    Political parties are obliged to submit annual financial reports to the NAO by 1 October every year. Political parties must keep consolidated accounts for all units they are comprised of, such as subsidiary associations, constituency boards, holding companies and related self-governing institutions. Party units with income less than ISK 400,000 per year may be omitted from the consolidated account reporting. Political organizations shall entrust auditors with auditing their financial statements.

  • Source

    Articles 8 and 9 of the Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure (2006), last amended in 2011. 

48. Do political parties have to report on their election campaign finances?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment

    The legislation does not require parties to provide separate campaign-related financial reports. 

    OSCE/ODIHR (2017), Iceland, Early Parliamentary Elections, 28 October 2017 OSCE/ODIHR Needs Assessment Mission Report. OSCE/ODIHR, Warsaw. 

  • Source
49. Do candidates have to report on their election campaign finances?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment

    Candidates must prepare election campaign reports, listing all contributions and expenses related to the campaign, endorsed by an auditor or examiner with accounting expertise. Candidates must deliver their endorsed financial statements to the National Audit Office no later than three months after elections took place.

  • Source

    Articles 10 and 11 of the Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure (2006), last amended in 2011. 

50. Do third parties have to report on election campaign finances?
  • CodeNo
  • Comment
  • Source
51. Is information in reports from political parties and/or candidates to be made public?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment

    The NAO publishes summaries displaying total contributions and expenditures together with the sources of donations exceeding ISK 200,000.

  • Source

    Articles 9 and 11 of the Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure (2006), last amended in 2011. 

52. Must reports from political parties and/or candidates reveal the identity of donors?
  • CodeSometimes
  • Comment

    All donations from legal persons and donations from natural persons exceeding ISK 200,000.

  • Source

    Articles 9 and 11 of the Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure (2006), last amended in 2011.

53. Must reports from political parties and/or candidates include information on itemized income?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment
  • Source

    Political parties:

    Article 15 - Rules on the financial accounts of political parties - National Audit Office (2007).

    Candidates:

    According to a standardised draft form being prepared by the National Audit Office, a candidate’s financial report is to include the following elements: (i) Endorsement of the financial statements (sworn statement of the candidate referring to the veracity of the income and expenditure declared) (ii) Auditor’s report (iii) Income statement specifying the campaign period, including: (a) Information on income: donations on legal persons (including name of legal person, nature and amount of donation); donations from individuals, local governments, candidates own contribution, contributions from the political party (including nature and amount of donation); and other income. (b) Information on expenditure: campaign office, advertising and promotional expenses, meeting and travelling expenses, other operational expenditure, other expenditure. (iv) Balance sheet (assets and liabilities) (v) Notes on donations received from legal persons (including name of legal person, nature and amount of donation) and from individuals, local governments, candidates own contribution, contributions from the political party (overall totals including nature and amount of donation). Moreover, when there is substantial surplus or deficit of the campaign, the notes should also contain details on what will be done with the surplus or who will be paying for the deficit of the campaign. In addition, the notes are to provide explanations concerning liabilities (identity of the lender, the amount of the borrowing and the lending terms).

    GRECO (2008), Evaluation Report on Iceland - Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p.9 and 10. 

54. Must reports from political parties and/or candidates include information on itemized spending?
  • CodeYes
  • Comment
  • Source

    Political parties:

    Article 15 - Rules on the financial accounts of political parties - National Audit Office (2007).

    Candidates:

    According to a standardised draft form being prepared by the National Audit Office, a candidate’s financial report is to include the following elements: (i) Endorsement of the financial statements (sworn statement of the candidate referring to the veracity of the income and expenditure declared) (ii) Auditor’s report (iii) Income statement specifying the campaign period, including: (a) Information on income: donations on legal persons (including name of legal person, nature and amount of donation); donations from individuals, local governments, candidates own contribution, contributions from the political party (including nature and amount of donation); and other income. (b) Information on expenditure: campaign office, advertising and promotional expenses, meeting and travelling expenses, other operational expenditure, other expenditure. (iv) Balance sheet (assets and liabilities) (v) Notes on donations received from legal persons (including name of legal person, nature and amount of donation) and from individuals, local governments, candidates own contribution, contributions from the political party (overall totals including nature and amount of donation). Moreover, when there is substantial surplus or deficit of the campaign, the notes should also contain details on what will be done with the surplus or who will be paying for the deficit of the campaign. In addition, the notes are to provide explanations concerning liabilities (identity of the lender, the amount of the borrowing and the lending terms).

    GRECO (2008), Evaluation Report on Iceland - Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p.9 and 10. 

55. Which institution(s) receives financial reports from political parties and/or candidates?
  • CodeAuditing agency
  • Comment

    The National Audit Office. 

  • Source

    Articles 9 and 11 of the Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure (2006), last amended in 2011.

56. Which institution(s) is responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations?
  • CodeYes, auditing agency
  • Comment

    The National Audit Office.

  • Source

    The National Audit Office is vested with wide investigative powers to, at any time, call for all necessary documents to verify that the funding received by political parties complies with the requirements of the Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure. It is not, however, empowered to request supporting further evidence (e.g. receipts, invoices) concerning candidates’ accounts.

    GRECO (2008), Evaluation Report on Iceland - Transparency of Party Funding (Theme II), p.10.

     

57. What power is granted to the institution(s) responsible for examining reports and/or investigating violations?
  • CodeRefer for investigation | Carry out investigation | Request additional information from potential violator | When it comes to political parties. No such powers regarding candidates' accounts.
  • Comment
  • Source
58. What sanctions are provided for political finance infractions?
  • CodeFines | Prison | Forfeiture
  • Comment
  • Source

    Article 12 of the Act on the Finances of Political Organisations and Candidates and their Information Disclosure (2006), last amended in 2011. 

Disclaimer: Maps presented do not imply on the part of the Institute any judgement on the legal status of any territory or the endorsement of such boundaries, nor does the placement or size of any country or territory reflect the political view of International IDEA. Maps are used in order to add visual clarity to data.