Case reports

Case reports by the Standards Commissioner

The Commissioner for Standards in Public Life can investigate cases on his own initiative or in response to complaints. Each investigation results in the preparation of a case report that sets out the Commissioner’s findings and conclusions.

Case reports can be drawn up in either Maltese or English. Where an investigation is based on a complaint, the case report will usually be written in whichever of Malta’s two official languages is used by the complainant.

The Commissioner sends each case report to the complainant (where applicable), the person who has been investigated, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives in his capacity as chairperson of Parliament’s Standards Committee. In turn the Speaker forwards the case report to the members of the Committee.

Some cases are closed by the Commissioner and the relevant case report is sent to the Standards Committee for information purposes only, while other cases are closed after they are considered by the Committee. As a general rule, the Commissioner’s case reports are published once cases are closed. All reports published so far can be accessed from the list below.

Case report K/011 | Date issued: 4 October 2019 | Language: Maltese
Subject of complaint: Prime Minister Joseph Muscat
Allegation: Publication of a misleading press statement concerning the salaries of ministers and parliamentary secretaries.
Outcome: Complaint not upheld.

Case report K/007 | Date issued: 16 September 2019 | Language: English
Subject of complaint: Minister Owen Bonnici
Allegation: Publication of a press statement of a political nature through the Department of Information.
Outcome: Complaint not upheld, but the Commissioner reiterated the call he made in a previous report (K/004) for ministers to avoid issuing statements of a partisan nature through the DOI.

Case report K/005 | Date issued: 6 September 2019 | Language: Maltese
Subject of complaint: Minister Owen Bonnici
Allegation: Delay in consideration of an application for leave of absence from Mount Carmel Hospital as a result of deliberate discrimination.
Outcome: Complaint not upheld. This report is being published with redactions to avoid identifying the complainant.

Case report K/004 | Date issued: 9 August 2019 | Language: English
Subject of complaint: Minister Konrad Mizzi
Allegation: Publication through the Department of Information of a press statement that was inappropriate in tone and content.
Outcome: Complaint upheld. Case resolved by the Commissioner through the adoption of a remedy whereby Minister Mizzi agreed to direct his officials not to make use of the Department of Information for private or partisan matters in future.

Case report K/002 | Date issued: 5 July 2019 | Language: Maltese and English
Subject of complaint: Backbench members of Parliament who hold positions within or provide contractual services to the public sector
Allegation: Conflict of interest.
Outcome: The report finds that two thirds of all backbench MPs hold appointments in or contracts with the public sector. The report does not address individual cases but concludes that the engagement of backbenchers by the government is fundamentally wrong and calls for an end to this practice.

Case report K/003 | Date issued: 12 April 2019 | Language: English
Subject of complaint: Alessandro Mangion, Private Secretary, Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion
Allegation: Use of offensive language against a member of an international NGO.
Outcome: Complaint upheld. Case resolved by the Commissioner through the adoption of a remedy whereby Mr Mangion was required to make an apology to the NGO member.

Case report K/006 | Date issued: 2 April 2019 | Language: Maltese
Subject of complaint: Prime Minister Joseph Muscat
Allegation: Unethical behaviour and misuse of state property for party political purposes.
Outcome: Complaint not upheld.

Case report K/001 | Date issued: 4 February 2019 | Language: English
Subject of complaint: Minister Konrad Mizzi
Allegation: Discriminatory treatment of the media in invitations to official press events.
Outcome: Behaviour did not constitute a breach of ethics, but the Minister accepted the Commissioner’s recommendation to invite all media to major press events in future.

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The Committee for Standards in Public Life