Government must publish press expert committee’s assessment ‘immediately’

The Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation on Thursday called on the government to “adhere to its obligation” and publish the assessment put together by the press experts committee, which it received in June.

As a report by The Shift pointed out in July, according to terms set by the government itself, Prime Minister Robert Abela was obliged to table a copy of the committee’s recommendations in parliament within 10 days upon receiving the report.

In a press release on Thursday, the foundation highlighted this obligation and said that since parliament is currently in recess, the government should send a copy of the recommendations on the proposed legislation to the Speaker of the House and publish the recommendations “immediately” through the Department of Information (DOI).

“It is in this spirit of accountability and transparency that the government must now adhere to its obligation to publish the committee of experts’ assessment which it received in June.”

The Foundation’s statement followed a goverment statement yesterday saying it was ‘analysing feedback’ from the committee. Prime Minister Robert Abela is in breach of the terms he set for the press experts’ committee set up in January, which stipulate that a copy of the review must be presented to parliament ten days after it is received.

In July, the committee secretary, Frank Mercieca told The Shift that the committee presented “its reactions to the draft legislative amendments as prepared by the government” on 1 June – meaning that over two months have passed since the reactions were submitted.

The extract from the press release published on 11 January outlines the prime minister’s obligation to publish the committee’s review.

When asked about whether the committee intends to publish its assessment, Mercieca had told The Shift that “it is not within the Experts Committee remit to share copies of the document as this is a prerogative of the government”.

The review by the committee is supposed to shed light on what the press experts’ committee thinks of the government’s six proposals linked with press freedom. This, after the government rejected 12 Bills by the Opposition that included the full recommendations by the three judges that led the inquiry.

                           
                               
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Francis Said
Francis Said
1 month ago

Obviously delay is the usual tool by this government, when recommendations are not to the OPM office.

Judy
Judy
1 month ago
Reply to  Francis Said

If some one delays in handing in something required by some Gov department then hell breaks loose.

James
James
1 month ago

If they ever publish its findings who will verify the authenticity of what is released? You can redact an awful lot of things over a period of 2 months if the report is not to the PM’s liking. Such a delay would indicate this is a plausible assumption to make.

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