The Malta Independent 15 May 2021, Saturday

NGO commissioner says he always acted autonomously, invites Repubblika to discuss

Monday, 15 March 2021, 17:15 Last update: about 3 months ago

The Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations, Anthony Abela Medici, has denied claims by civil society NGO Repubblika and insisted that he has no political interference and has always acted autonomously.

The NGO claims the government is trying to silence it through the MCVO, after the latter said it was in breach of the NGO Act by “instigating political propaganda” and of breaching its own statute with regard to funding and the sources it uses to fund its activities.

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Repubblika has pointed its finger at Prime Minister Robert Abela and has even written to ambassadors in Malta to inform them about the “threats”.

In a letter of reply, the Commissioner said that in his role he has always acted autonomously and independently without any political interference, including but not limited to the Office of the Prime Minister.

He pointed out that, as per law, he is the primary regulator of the voluntary sector and has a separate legal personality under the Voluntary Organisations Act.

The Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations is reiterating this in the light of the unfounded allegations made by the association Repubblika regarding the work carried out by the Commissioner and his office.

Abela Medici said that the letter sent to Repubblika to be compliant with the law was also sent to other defaulting Voluntary Organisations in order to comply with the Voluntary Organisations Act.

In fact, the Commissioner within his Office met with Voluntary Organisations who were not complying with the Act. During these meetings the Commissioner emphasised to these Voluntary Organisations the importance to address and change the anomalies found in their respective Statutes. Eversince, most Voluntary Organisations have taken seriously the suggestions passed by the Commissioner and his Office, so much so, that they have changed their respective Statutes and are now in compliance with the Act and other laws governing the voluntary sector.

In view of this, the Commissioner would like to re-confirm that he acted in an equal and unbiased manner with other Voluntary Organisations who were not complying with the Law, in accordance with the powers given to him under article 7 of the Act.

The Commissioner said he is again inviting Repubblika to discuss together any anomalies contained in the Statute of the Organisation so that they are also in compliance with the law.

The Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations strongly emphasises that as he has always done in the past, he will continue to be of guidance and helpful to all Voluntary Organisations to keep the voluntary sector growing in a legal, transparent, and accountable manner.

 

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