Laws on the ministerial accountability1on the other hand have never been applied in the history of Iceland and in general political accountability is not common.
Public confidence in the government has vanished and it is likely that the only way to regain the trust of the public is to redefine public sector accountability. Doing so means to look at the nature of government failure within the Icelandic government and to understand how the entire political system directly or indirectly allows for leeway which often leads to lack of accountability.
The catastrophic financial events that shook Icelands economy in 2008 have confirmed the necessity for a complete overhaul of the entire political system. Given the economic reconstruction that is already underway, it is of primary importance to seek renewed government system and to redefine accountability of the public officials. This may also play a key role in reestablishing the trust between Iceland and foreign governments.
The initial aim is to analyze the specific nature of government failures within the context of Iceland. ...
2. The proposed research
Given the overall context described above the research proposal can be summarized under the following points:
The initial aim is to analyze the specific nature of government failures within the context of Iceland. Parliamentarian processes and errors will be examined in order to comprehend whether the Parliament - as the heart of the surveillance mechanism which consists of three power branches - has some inherent procedural weaknesses that prevent it from both following and reacting the changes in society.2
Secondly, the question "to what extent the lack of legislative supervision and discipline affect the nature of accountability in the executive branch" will be addressed. 3
Thirdly, clear ideas so as to how to increase political accountability will be developed. In this regard the surveillance mechanism of the three branches of government will be examined in order to provide improvements of its systemic accountability mechanism. Potential changes might include:
The establishment of an independent Investigation Committee every two years (with a constitutional mandate) that publishes an annual report on government's transparency, accountability and efficiency. This report would be include simplified version so that ordinary people can read it and it will be publicly available.
The Investigation Committee would furthermore investigate whether the delegation of powers functions properly. The possible issues covered will include financing of the judicial branch and legislative discipline.
Establishing a new role for the President, namely to oversee the executive branchs decisions in matters concerning the high public interest.
Building a complete overhaul of the structure of the