Icelandic Association of Local Authorities

Icelandic Association of Local Authorities is the forum for co-operation between the local authorities. It was established in 1945 by 52 local authorities; since 1973, all local authorities in the country have been members of the association.

Chairman of the Association is Mrs. Heida Bjorg Hilmisdottir and CEO Mr. Arnar Thor Saevarsson.

Information regarding interpretation, administration, housing and more, as well as Icelandic municipalities, can be found at Multicurtural and information Centre, www.mcc.is.

The European office in Brussels safeguards the interests of Icelandic local authorities vis-á-vis the European Union and in the EEA co-operation and facilitates the participation of municipalities in European programmes.

Local Authorities in Iceland

Iceland′s local authorities function under the Local Government Act, No. 138/2011. While tasks that the local authorities are required to do by law are defined in various items of separate legislation, the act sets out their rights and obligations.

The number of local authorities areas has fallen recently as they have been combined to form larger administrative units. In the year 2000 the number of municipalities in Iceland was 124 but in May 2024 the number is down to 63. The role of the local authorities has also changed, becoming more complex, now embracing primary schools and social services. All administration of the primary schools was taken over by the local authorities on 1st August 1996, now accounting for the largest single aspect of their work. On January 1st 2011 the Municipalities took over all service for disable people.

Under the Local Government Act the Association of Local Authorities in Iceland is the joint representative of the country′s local authorities. It defends their interests in dealings with the government and other parties both in Iceland and abroad. It formulates common policy on individual issues and therefore works closely with the government and the Althing. A special co-operation agreement is in force between the association and the government, containing formal provisions covering relations between them.

In the column „Sveitarfélög“ here above you can see a list of the municipalities where the local government is listed with the names of the representatives where the words "hreppsnefnd, borgarstjórn and bæjarstjórn" means "local government".

Municipalities and Unification of municipalities in Iceland since 1950.

Structure of the Association

The association′s national congress is held every year. Each local authority has at least one representative at the congress; and the number increases in accordance with changes of inhabitants. The association′s executive board is elected at the congress. It consists of 9 representatives. The chairman of the executive board is elected in a special election at the national congress.

The office of the Association of Local Authorities in Iceland

The functions of the office of the Association of Local Authorities in Iceland are to:

  • Implement the association′s policies. 
  • Defend the interests of the municipalities. 
  • Provide information on particular aspects of local authorities. 
  • Publish material concerning local authorities.

The work is partly divided between three main departments: the Development Department, Management Department, the Office and Service Department, each of which is under a departmental manager. The association publishes the magazine "Sveitarstjornarmal".

The office of the Association of Local Authorities in Iceland is operated in association with the Municipality Credit Iceland (MCI), which is a capital loan fund owned by the local authorities.


Association of Local Authorities in Iceland
Borgartun 30
Postbox 8100
128 Reykjavik