Gifts and revolving doors should be included in MPs’ code of conduct

GRECO, the Council of Europe’s anti-corruption watchdog, has reiterated its call on the Maltese authorities to revise the Code of Conduct for MPs

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James Debono
11 July 2017, 9:00am
GRECO had already called on the Maltese authorities to cover issues such as revolving doors and gifts in a revised Code of Conduct, back in 2014
GRECO had already called on the Maltese authorities to cover issues such as revolving doors and gifts in a revised Code of Conduct, back in 2014
GRECO, the Council of Europe’s anti-corruption watchdog, has reiterated its call on the Maltese authorities to revise the Code of Conduct for MPs because it does not sufficiently cover “topics that one might expect to see in such a code”. 

Among these are rules on gifts, misuse of public resources, misuse of confidential information, third-party contracts and “revolving doors” – the practice of ministers and people in influential public employment who drift out of public service straight into a private company, to their own personal benefit. 

GRECO lamented that “more than two years have elapsed” since the draft Bill on Standards in Public Life was tabled in parliament, which still awaits adoption.

It also complained that several of the new Bill’s provisions raise substantial questions and ambiguities with regard to their application, including measures to be taken in case of their infringement. 

GRECO had already called on the Maltese authorities to cover issues such as revolving doors and gifts in a revised Code of Conduct, back in 2014.

But the latest compliance report notes that the Code of Conduct appended to the draft Bill, was not changed from the one in existence at the time of the Fourth Round Evaluation Report carried out in 2014.

The report issued from March before the start of the electoral campaign reports that the Maltese authorities “foresee that the bill on standards in public life will be approved by the end of 2017”. 

But after the election the PM announced that the debate on the bill was scheduled to start again in parliament before the summer recess.

james
James Debono is MaltaToday's chief reporter on environment, planning and land use issues, ...