The Malta Independent 30 November 2022, Wednesday
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‘Social media posts sponsored by ministry were not self-promotion’ – finance minister

Wednesday, 5 October 2022, 17:14 Last update: about 3 months ago

Finance Minister Clyde Caruana said on Wednesday that social media posts sponsored by his ministry did not amount to self-promotion and were not adverts.

Replying to a parliamentary question by PN MP Karol Aquilina, Caruana said that the social media posts were only promoting his work as finance minister, and that such adverts were not in breach of the self-promotion guidelines issued by former Standards Commissioner George Hyzler.

The guidelines which were issued in June 2021, state that adverts and promotional material produced by government or other public entities should not include partisan content. It also stated that Minister's names or photographs of them featuring in government adverts would constitute as a breach of the guidelines.

Hyzler had also said that government sponsored publications should indicate that they are publicly funded for transparency, and that ministers should direct public funds to the media for advertising under fair and objective criteria.

The guidelines were drafted after Hyzler found that a €7,000 advertising campaign featuring former minister Carmelo Abela did not contain any "information of value" to the public and was found to have only boosted the minister's image.

Caruana defended his post and said that the posts were not self-promotion, insisting that he has never done anything for self-promotion, and never will.

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