The Malta Independent 6 June 2023, Tuesday
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TMID Editorial: The need for accountability

Monday, 27 March 2023, 11:49 Last update: about 3 months ago

There is a lack of accountability in Malta.

It becomes evident almost every time there is a major incident or controversy.

A recent inquiry into led by Justice Emeritus Geoffrey Valenzia's on the responsibility of each state entity in relation to the murder of Bernice Cassar found that the system failed Bernice Cassar. The inquiry's conclusion has been made public.

It found that the system didn't work because 1) lack of resources, and 2) increasing workload. With regard to the police this led to a delay in the processing of reports, bad or no risk assessment and an inadequate and non-immediate response on the part of the police." With regard to the courts, the lack of resources and the workload of the magistrate led to delays for cases to be appointed and heard.

Holding such an inquiry is good, of course, and the failings must be addressed. By all means do address the shortcomings to ensure that such tragedies will be prevented in the future. But… who is shouldering responsibility for allowing the situation to reach this point in the first place?

Following the inquiry, the Malta Women’s Lobby said that it is the responsibility of the State to ensure that adequate resources are made available for victims of domestic violence. The State ‘system’ is not an abstract construct - it is a system run by individuals elected to serve, the lobby said. The MWL reiterated its stand that minimising responsibility and shifting the collective blame on “the system” is tantamount to manipulation, with the objective of giving false assurances that someone, somewhere is shouldering responsibility.

And it is right. Responsibility must be upheld. Why weren’t these issues addressed earlier?

But this is not the only case where no responsibility has seemingly been shouldered.

In the hospitals’ deal scandal, nobody has yes taken responsibility. Fingers have been pointed, yes, but nobody has come forward and admitted that they are at fault… not Cabinet, not past politicians.

Hundreds of millions of taxpayers money was poured into the hands of the concessionaires, which the court said acted fraudulently. Responsibility for that must be upheld, regardless of the filed appeal. Let’s also not forget the signing of the €100m side agreement which was not in the people’s interest. Responsibility must be upheld and investigations into the government’s actions are warranted.

There is a lack of accountability in this country, and this is something that seriously needs to change.

While we are at it, a thorough investigation is needed into the apparent lack of police investigations in cases in the past. Here, we will mention he Panama Papers for one.


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