Private bailiffs for unprecedented seizure of criminal assets

Works on new maritime quarters for the Malta Armed Forces and on a ‘microwave link’ will be completed, as will works on the Sta Venera fire station.

A new ‘Asset Management Bureau’ operated by both the government and a private business could have the authority to freeze all the assets of people suspected or convicted of major crimes. This is partially intended to help the government fight drug traffickers. This was announced yesterday in the Budget speech as one of the government’s initiatives to improve justice and internal affairs.

New police CEO and police prosecutions unit

The police force will also be reorganised through the appointment of a police chief executive who will report directly to the police commissioner. A prosecutions unit within the police corps could also be set up. The Police Academy is set to become a college with accredited certificates.

Press laws to guarantee freedom of expression

Next year, the government will propose a reformation in press laws to guarantee freedom of expression while insuring that press laws are relevant to the current times. Drug law reforms will also continue following last summer’s consultation process.

New helicopters and a new reception centre for immigrants

Three new helicopters will be bought for the Armed Forces. Works on new maritime quarters for the Malta Armed Forces and on a ‘microwave link’ will be completed, as will works on the Sta Venera fire station. Plans will be drawn up to build a new reception centre for immigrants, as well as new quarters and an academy for the Civil Protection Department. Works to enlarge the youth corrective facility in Imtahleb will commence and the Central Visa Unit will be transferred to Evans Building in Valletta where the passport office is already housed.

Change in legal aid system

A legal aid agency will be set up and lawyers who give legal aid will no longer be paid through the office of the Attorney General.

International arbitration

The government will come up with a plan to introduce international arbitration, completely separate from domestic arbitration.

Training to local wardens

Local wardens will be trained in civil, educative and environmental aspects so that they will no longer be motivated solely by reaching their targets through imposing fines.

New fund for local councils

A new fund to help local councils perform projects in their localities will be set up. Financial resources that would have been spent on the local councils of 2017 before the postponement of local elections to 2019 will also be pooled into this fund.

The government will also finance local councils that organise cultural activities. They will also try and find ways to share the responsibilities of local councils in services such as street and waste management among councils, regions, and the central government. 16-year-olds will also be able to vote for the first time in next year’s local council elections.

More in Budget 2015