Message to the employees of the Central Bank of Iceland from Governor Már Guðmundsson
Due to queries from the media concerning the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs’ announcement that the position of Governor of the Central Bank will be open for application, the Bank has published Governor Már Guðmundsson’s message to the Central Bank staff below.
I was appointed to the post of Governor of the Central Bank for a term of five years beginning 20 August 2009. In accordance with the Act on the Rights and Obligations of Civil Servants, no. 70/1996, the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs was obliged to notify me before the end of the day on Wednesday whether he intended to declare the position open for applications; otherwise, my appointment would have been automatically extended for another five years. Concurrent with this message, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs will publish an announcement stating that I have been notified that the position of Governor of the Central Bank will be advertised as open for applications.
The Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs had informed me that this decision does not entail a lack of confidence in me, and that this will be stated publicly. The reason for the decision is said to be that the Government intends to consider making changes to the senior management structure of the Bank. For this reason, the authorities wish to allow themselves greater scope than they think would exist if my appointment were extended by another five years at this time.
The next steps taken in this matter will be clarified in coming weeks. I am told that there is no intention to compromise the Bank’s independence or the professionalism of its administration. I have previously declared myself willing to undertake a new term as Governor, and that statement still stands. On the other hand, if statutory amendments are made which entail changes to the nature of the position or to the application process itself, I must make a new assessment of the matter. It is therefore necessary to wait and see, and not assume in advance whether such changes would be for better or for worse, as it is indicated that the Central Bank’s expertise will be brought to bear during the process ahead.