COE anti-corruption watchdog says Malta still far from implementing 2019 recommendations

Council of Europe anti-corruption watchdog, GRECO has said that Malta has not yet implemented a national anti-corruption strategy, and that Malta has only implemented “in a satisfactory manner” two out of its 23 recommendations.

Elaborating on the implementation of these recommendations in a report published on Tuesday, the Group of State Against Corruption, noted that Malta has partly implemented 12 recommendations and 9 have not been implemented at all.

The recommendations were issued in the Fifth Round Evaluation Report on Malta in March 2019.

The report also noted how “important challenges” remain in the investigations of some high-profile corruption cases. “The lack of special investigation techniques for revealing corruption offences also remains a serious drawback,” it reads.

Lack of implementation ‘in practice’

In its conclusions, the group said that the over-arching anti-corruption strategy “built on a risk assessment in respect of the Government and its top executive officials” has not yet been initiated.

The report noted how, even though reforms have been initiated by the authorities, including “promising legal amendments”, disconnecting the prosecuting and advisory functions of the Attorney General and implementing a “cooling-off” period of up to two years between public-to-private sector employments, the majority of the measures still need to be implemented.

“Most of these measures and initiatives are still to be implemented in practice and several significant shortcomings are yet to be addressed,” it said.

The report also highlighted how the Commissioner for Standards in Public Life has not been vested with any power to impose additional sanctions for violations discovered, and how transparency of the legislative process at the government level requires further improvement, inclusive of “meaningful public consultations”.

Unregulated Persons of Trust and Lobbyists

The report noted how more safeguards are required in order to “limit the number of appointments of persons of trust in the Government to an absolute minimum.” No measures have been taken to disclose conflicts of interest in this regards and there are no procedures to manage such situations, it said.

A similar observation was noted with regards to lobbying between top executives and third parties.

“Regulation of lobbying and the disclosure of contacts between top executives and third parties is yet to be accomplished, and plans to establish an Integrity Unit to support public office-holders in solving ethical dilemmas have not materialised,” it said.

The report notes that several important policy documents have been adopted and changes have been made with regards to law enforcement authorities, however “additional measures must be taken to fully meet the demands of all the recommendations”.

GRECO said that further progress was therefore necessary to demonstrate “an acceptable level of compliance” with its recommendations within the next 18 months. 

You can read the full report here.

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2 days ago

When oh when is the E.U. going to stop pandering to the government which talks the talk but resolutely fails to walk the walk?

Put independent officials in charge of all investigations involving Maltese PEPs and we might actually see convictions and prison sentences resulting rather than the current charade that passes for the upholding of the rule of law!

2 days ago

Let’s face it:
Robber Abela and his big lie of good Governance.

saviour mamo
saviour mamo
2 days ago

There is a reason why the level of corruption increased drastically in the last ten years. Large Cabinet of ministers brings with it a massive amount of the so called people of trusts. These people are nothing less than opportunists and contribute to corruption.

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