EXCLUSIVE: Labour Party out of line – audited accounts not presented despite election requirements

The Labour Party still has to present its 2020 audited accounts to the Electoral Commission according to the law regulating political party finances, The Shift can reveal.

The Nationalist Party presented its audited accounts for the 2020 financial year last January, but the Electoral Commission confirmed to The Shift that Labour’s accounts are still missing, despite various reminders.

The law regulating political party finances stipulates that parties have to present their accounts by not later than April of the next financial year. Chief Electoral Commissioner Joseph Camilleri confirmed that the party in government has yet to fall in line.

“The PN submitted its report in January 2022, while the PL report is still outstanding,” Camilleri told The Shift.

According to law, all political parties had to send to the Electoral Commission their 2020 audited financial statements by April 2021. However, none of the parties kept with the strict deadlines of the law, following a concession given by the Commission due to the pandemic.

Camilleri told The Shift that the Commission, which is controlled by delegates from the two political parties represented in parliament, decided to give political parties an extension for the presentation of their financial statements “given the difficulties encountered by the parties to convene the relative party organs required to approve the audited accounts in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Asked how long this concession will last, the Electoral Commission head said, “the concession was to remain valid up to three months from the date when the government authorities withdraw measures related to social contact during the pandemic”.

The Commission did not give a date when this so-called concession is over. Nor did it cite the legal provisions in the law allowing the Commission to give such a concession.

Asked to state what action the Commission will take with regards to political parties that are still in breach of the law over their 2020 accounts, Camilleri said that his office “has been following up issues related to the submission of the said reports by sending regular reminders to all defaulting parties.”

“In view of the mentioned concession, no further action can be taken against any party,” the Chief Electoral Commissioner added. In other words, if the Labour Party fails to meet legal requirements by the date of the general elections, the Commission’s hands are tied.

Unconfirmed reports reaching The Shift also said that Labour is even defaulting on its 2019 audited accounts which have also not been presented to the Electoral Commission despite the April 2020 deadline.

Questions sent to the Labour Party to explain why the accounts for 2019 and 2020 have not been sent to the Commission were left unanswered. On the other hand, a spokesman for the PN confirmed to The Shift that the party has sent all the required documents for both 2019 and 2020.

So far, since the introduction of the Financing and Political Parties Act in 2015, only three sets of accounts for the years between 2016 and 2018 have been approved by the Commission.

Asked what is holding the Commission from publishing the accounts of political parties from 2019 onwards, the Chief Electoral Commissioner said that these are still being studied by its auditors.

“These outstanding reports are still being reviewed by the Electoral Commission’s professional auditors,” Camilleri said.

Commission sources told The Shift that the publication is being delayed due to the lack of accounts supplied by the Labour Party.

                           
                               
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Mark Vassallo
Mark Vassallo
2 months ago

Why is the Electoral Commissioner accepting candidates from a political party that is currently out of status?
Nominations of candidates by such parties should not be allowed.
Only then will we see how fast the accounts can be produced.
So COVID doesn’t allow the party to meet and approve accounts, but it does allow mass meetings.

Albert Mamo
Albert Mamo
1 month ago

ITS COMMON PRACTICE THAT THE CORRUPT LABOUR PARTY MAKES IT’S OWN RULES AND ITS CALLED FASCISM!!!👎👎👎

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