The Commissioner for Standards in Public Life has issued a statement reiterating that it is wrong for the government to give jobs to backbench members of Parliament, that is to say those who are not ministers or parliamentary secretaries.
The statement follows a report issued by the Commissioner on 5 July 2019 in which he expressed the view that it was fundamentally wrong for the government to engage backbench MPs as consultants, persons of trust or members of boards and committees. On 11 November 2019 the Principal Permanent Secretary published a response on behalf of the government in which he argued that there was nothing wrong with this practice.
In his newly issued statement, the Commissioner for Standards explains in clear and direct terms why he disagrees with the Principal Permanent Secretary’s views. As the Commissioner says, the issues at stake are not obscure legal matters of concern only to lawyers. They are fundamental issues that concern every citizen of this country.
Photo: detail of the Maltese Parliament building in Valletta.