Speaker of the House can never be investigated by Standards Commissioner

A legal lacuna has cropped up that means the Speaker of the House of Representatives can never be investigated by the Commissioner for Standards in Public Life because the Speaker chairs Parliament’s Standing Committee for Standards in Public Life.

The issue was flagged by Standards Commissioner Joe Azzopardi in reply to a request for an investigation into Speaker Anglu Farrugia from independent politician Arnold Cassola over Farrugia’s refusal to adopt a standards commissioner report that found 18 ministers had misused public funds by spending them on purely partisan political advertisements.

In June 2022, former Standards Commissioner George Hyzler published a report after an investigation into a supplement in Labour’s newspaper Kullhadd the previous January celebrating Prime Minister Robert Abela’s two years of party leadership.

In his report, the Commissioner found that 18 ministers forked out for the supplement and all breached four articles of the Ministerial Code of Ethics by spending €16,700 of public funds for a wholly partisan purpose.

Hyzler had recommended that the ministers reimburse the funds spent.

Farrugia, however, last week voted against the report in the Committee he chairs.

“With his vote in the parliamentary committee on standards, the Speaker failed in his duty to look after the interests of the people and instead chose to look after the interests of 18 Members of Parliament who broke the rules on advertising,” Cassola said at the time.

“With this act, the speaker not only covered up the shame of a parliamentarian who did not behave ethically, but undermined, discredited and ridiculed the valuable and honest work of the Commissioner for Standards.”

While Azzopardi, in his reply to Cassola’s request to investigate Farrugia over his vote, strongly defended the report, drawn up by his predecessor George Hyzler, he said he was unable to proceed against the Speaker because of his Committee chairmanship.

“This,” Cassola said this morning after receiving his reply, “is because, as a general rule, the Commissioner believes that he should discuss neither the functions nor the discretion of the Speaker, as President of the Parliamentary Committee on standards in public life, since this would bring about a conflict of roles between Speaker and Commissioner.

“Basically, despite being a parliamentarian, the Speaker will never be subject to the rules drawn up for parliamentarians, and is free to contradict any decision taken by the Commissioner for Standards.”

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2 months ago

Go the Constitutional Court.
There is nobody above the law.
The Intention of the law makers of the law in question was not to make the House Speaker above the law , but his decisions on parliamentary procedures final , not his actions.
With all the lawyers around this place in high places , have they been neutered ?
Does it take the likes of Republika and its lawyers ,probuono ( they give free legal support), to stop these criminals running the place ?

2 months ago
Reply to  makjavel

Basically, the mafia has seized all power.
Wake up.

Last edited 2 months ago by viv
2 months ago

Let’s face it:
Farrugia is only the SPEAKER OF THE CROOKS!

He is not Malta, maybe he is just a small guy bought by the Mafia.

Shame on him!

Martin Christopher
Martin Christopher
2 months ago

Cassola! You’ll never make straight men out of crooked ones. Nevertheless, we must continue to speak out loudly and clearly each time these thugs hit out.
Factuality and Truth will eventually follow lies and deceit as day follows night. The night has been long … and it’s not over …yet. But a bright day awaits us … p.e.r.s.e.v.e.r.e.

Last edited 2 months ago by Martin Christopher
2 months ago

These politicians have to keep in mind that they represent the illiterate and gahan. The shame is that they have no shame at all in gov departments. Yesterday I have seen a family woman crying way out the passport office and someone asked her what was wrong with her. She replied that they do not want to accept her two year photo of her son, because of that this two year baby teeth were slightly just a little shown on photo. Are these departments serious or delitanti. Crying all the way. Are you serious.

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