The Malta Independent 19 April 2024, Friday
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Sofia inquiry: ADPD insists political responsibility should be shouldered

Saturday, 2 March 2024, 14:40 Last update: about 3 months ago

The resignations of some of the individuals who occupy positions within construction-related entities, in the wake of the publication of the public inquiry report about what led to the death of Jean Paul Sofia, is merely a start and certainly nowhere near enough, ADPD-The Green Party insisted Saturday.

Above all, political responsibility must be shouldered, starting with the Prime Minister and his cabinet, who collectively failed in their duty to regulate the industry as required. In essence the public inquiry report concludes that it was  a failure by the Maltese state that led to Sofia’s death. 

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Addressing a press conference outside the PM's office in Castille, party deputy chairperson, architect Carmel Cacopardo, highlighted the public inquiry report’s  mentions of a number of institutions and entities which are responsible for the disaster in which the construction industry finds itself, and consequently the death of Jean Paul Sofia.

These entities include the OHSA, INDIS, MCCAA, Malta Enterprise, BCA and the Planning Authority amongst others. The report indicates a number of persons or individuals who were obliged to shoulder responsibility – these being more than the few indicated by the Prime Minister for the fact that they did not carry out their duties as required.

Cacopardo insisted that the mere resignation of these individuals from their positions in the entities concerned is not enough, but they should never occupy public positions again due to their role in the case that led to the death of Jean Paul Sofia, how can their sense of judgement and responsibility ever be trusted again?

They were state-appointed to ensure the proper regulation of the industry. Therefore, undoubtedly, political responsibility must also be shouldered.

ADPD - The Green Party’s Chairperson, Sandra Gauci stated that the public inquiry’s report on Jean Paul Sofia’s death confirmed yet again the incompetence and bad governance of public administration under successive governments which led to such tragedies.

The Prime Minister and his cabinet are responsible for this state of affairs which despite empty promises is still leading to accidents on construction sites, it is often only by chance that they do not claim the lives of even more victims.

It is for this reason, Gauci reminded, that it is no wonder that the Prime Minister never wanted this public inquiry to take place – we have been aware of this for a long time. The public inquiry was conducted only after pressure by Jean Paul Sofia’s mother and thanks to the immense support she received from the public.

It is concerning that the Prime Minister himself has expressed lack of confidence in being able to curb these incidents. This begs the question, how seriously is the government engaged in adopting the report’s recommendations? Due to proximity between the developers and parties in Parliament, the construction industry has always been treated with kid gloves.

As in the case of  Daphne Caruana Galizia, the state facilitated and encouraged a state of permissiveness, oversight and impunity with respect to an entire industry and for this, the state must bear responsibility. The resignations of a few are insufficient, political accountability must be upheld, concluded Gauci.

 

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