The Malta Independent 2 December 2023, Saturday
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Joseph Muscat’s Proposals to fight corruption

Malta Independent Friday, 14 May 2010, 00:00 Last update: about 11 years ago

Labour Party leader Joseph Muscat yesterday announced 15 measures against corruption, which the party will be implementing once in government.

When asked whether this was an early election campaign programme and if he is predicting that the current government will not last until the end of its term, he said that the Labour Party is always prepared to take on the responsibility to govern for whenever the Maltese people will be asked to voice their opinion.

And when The Malta Independent asked him if these are the “concrete measures against the BWSC Delimara Power Station extension contract” which the PL claimed it would take in the past weeks, he said that these are concrete enough measures.

“This is not an electoral agenda but an agenda for the country. We are willing to share our vision because we are on the rights’ side and because we hope for a better day,” he said.

Speaking about the government’s instability, he said that this is the government’s problem and not his.

On the government’s accountability, he said that the Nationalist government is not capable of taking decisions for good governance, and if this is acceptable to the Prime Minister it is not so for him, Dr Muscat said.

He believes that the government had many opportunities to be accountable but this seems impossible for the government, unlike for other sectors of society. This shows insensitivity towards the people, who were scandalised by how standards were not respected.

“Lawrence Gonzi of two years ago has vanished into thin air and he has become arrogant, incredible and insensitive. Many Maltese people could not understand how he defended those who did not protect our health,” he said.

Regarding the possibility of other corruption cases that the PL is aware of, Dr Muscat said that the party will speak about them when the time is right.

Dr Muscat’s 15 measures against corruption

1. The PL will do its best to quickly and within the shortest time possible guarantee a new electricity system which is in line with the country’s needs and which keeps up with the economic and social targets.

2. The Delimara power station based on heavy fuel oil will be converted to gas which is more sustainable for health and the environment. This would be done without inflicting new burdens on Maltese families and businesses because newer technologies will be cleaner and more accessible. If the current government did not object to finding €100 million to build a new parliament building, €53 million to go back on a promise to public transport drivers, €74 million to lend to Greece, €350 million as a guarantee for a new European fund, and in the meantime sell off one of the government’s major assets, the Shipyards, for a paltry €3 million a year, the next government will not find it a problem to invest in people’s health.

3. The PL would strengthen the Auditor General’s office to give it more power to investigate deeper situations where persons involved do not collaborate. These powers would allow cases like that of the BWSC power station extension, to be re-explored.

4. Cases involving politicians would not be time barred so that no politician would put his mind at rest that hidden cases of corruption would not be investigated after 10 years have elapsed.

5. Whistleblowers will be encouraged to put forward their concerns with the introduction of a serious law that ensures their protection.

6. A Labour government would give the opportunity to all those who have information or have collaborated in cases of political corruption in the past to come forward by not taking action against them.

7. In the case of legal proceedings, the Maltese government will become a party and ask politicians and others who had enriched themselves to pay back what they had taken which was not theirs.

8. Persons or companies found guilty of corruption will be blacklisted by the government and will not be allowed to bid for government contracts for a period of time, depending on the gravity of their case.

9. Those who are blacklisted because of corruption by international organisations such as the World Bank, the EU or the Bank for European Investment will be automatically disqualified from bidding for government contracts.

10. The PL would implement the European Directive 2007/66/ EC to introduce transparency and improve the procedures of how government contracts are awarded following the Auditor General’s recommendations.

11. The Freedom of Information Act, parts of which have not been implemented yet would be improved and fully implemented for the sake of government transparency.

12. Permanent Secretaries and chairpersons of government entities will be held personally responsible in cases of missing files or documentation

13. The code of ethics for authority chairpersons and public entities will be improved on to identify and avoid cases of conflict of interest.

14. A Labour government would introduce a Parliamentary Commissioner for standards, who would be appointed by parliament and would function independently to monitor MPs’ and cabinet members’ behaviour, to ensure that their work and financial interests are fully declared, to investigate as deemed fit, report back to the speaker and publish his or her reports.

15. A law on political party financing will be introduced to ensure that party funds originating directly or indirectly from corruption are not used to help parties or individual politicians.

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