GRECO, Malta needs to implement a national strategy to fight corruption

VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – GRECO, the Group of States against Corruption within the Council of Europe declared that the Maltese government has not yet put into practice a national strategy to fight corruption in Malta. On a positive note, it was noted that the Maltese govornment has embarked on reforms in law-enforcement, including the Anti-Fraud and Corruption Policy, the Police Code of Ethics, and new procedures in the appointment of the Police Commissioner although urged the government to introduce new mechanisims for more transparency in recruitment, transfers, and promotions of police officers.
The report published on Tuesday confirmed that only two out of 23 proposals recommended in 2009 were implemented by the Maltese government while 12 recommendations were partially put into effect and 9 others were not effected at all.
GRECO warned about “the lack of special investigation techniques for revealing corruption offences remains a serious drawback”, adding that “the development of an 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.”
GRECO also emphasised that the Maltese government should limit to the minimum number of appointment of “persons of trust” in governmental entities, and such positions should reflect the same integrity requirments and supervision as established in the public service sector.
The anti-corruption body remarked that “no measures have been taken to introduce ad hoc disclosure when conflicts of interest occur in respect of top executive officials and there are no procedures to manage such situations. In addition, 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”.
The report referred to the Commissioner for Standards in Public Life, and noticed that it has not been given power to impose additional sanctions for uncovered violations.
GRECO declared that police officers reporting possible corruption from with the Police Force should “benefit from the protection measures as set out in the Protection of Whistle-Blowers Act”.

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Source: medNews