On 15 September 2021 the Commissioner for Standards launched a project entitled “Improving the Integrity and Transparency Framework in Malta”. This project will be funded by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Structural Reform Support (DG Reform) and will engage the expertise of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a respected international body known for its expertise in the field of good governance.
The project aims to strengthen the Commissioner’s oversight role and to improve awareness of integrity so as to bring about a strengthened public integrity system in Malta. To achieve these objectives, the project will cover six key areas:
- increasing the effectiveness of the Commissioner’s office;
- improving integrity standards to strengthen the Commissioner’s oversight role;
- improving the process for collecting and verifying declarations of assets and conflict of interest declarations by ministers and members of Parliament;
- strengthening the codes of ethics for MPs and ministers, and supporting implementation through tailored guidance;
- improving the policy framework for responsible lobbying; and
- improving communications on integrity.
The project will run for 24 months and it will be supported by a steering committee comprised of representatives from the Commissioner’s office, the parliamentary group of each of Malta’s two main political parties, the Ministry for Justice and Governance, civil society, DG Reform, and the OECD.
The launch event was presided over by Julio Bacio Terracino, acting head of the OECD’s Public Sector Integrity Division. It was addressed by the Standards Commissioner, Dr George Hyzler; Dr Edward Zammit Lewis, Minister for Justice and Governance; Dr Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi, Parliamentary Secretary for EU Funds; Daniele Dotto, Deputy Director within DG Reform; Jeffrey Schlagenhauf, Deputy Secretary General of the OECD; Carissa Munro, Policy Analyst in the OECD’s Public Sector Integrity Division; Dr Nikola Soukmandjiev, Assistant Director in the office of the Standards Commissioner; and Ciresica Lavinia Feyer, Project Manager in DG Reform.
Photograph: Daniele Dotto, Ciresica Lavinia Feyer, Dr George Hyzler, Julio Bacio Terracino, and Carissa Munro.