Former tourism minister to head parliamentary committee that will scrutinise public appointments

A committee of MPs will start scrutinising public appointments with the first to undergo the grilling process being former Labour MP Stefan Buontempo, who is nominated for an ambassadorial role

Former tourism minister Edward Zammit Lewis will chair a new parliamentary committee that will scrutinise public appointments
Former tourism minister Edward Zammit Lewis will chair a new parliamentary committee that will scrutinise public appointments

Edward Zammit Lewis will chair the parliamentary committee that will scrutinise appointments to public authorities and ambassadors, MaltaToday has learnt.

The former tourism minister will head the seven-member committee that also includes government MPs Clayton Bartolo, Manuel Mallia and Robert Abela.

The Opposition is expected to nominate former foreign minister Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici, Herman Schiavone and Nationalist Party secretary general Clyde Puli to the committee.

The first people to appear in front of the committee are likely to be former Labour MP and parliamentary secretary Stefan Buontempo and Ronald Micallef, who are slated for ambassadorial roles, sources said.

The law setting up the committee was approved last January after the government and the Opposition reached broad consensus on the procedures to be used.

As things stand, nominees will first answer in writing a set of questions given to them by MPs and then appear in front of the committee to answer any questions that may arise.

The Opposition had insisted on having mandatory hearings, a proposal the government acceded to.

However, the government refused to accept all the list of authorities and public posts suggested by the Opposition, including the Police Commissioner and the army chief.

The committee will give its opinion on the nominees that appear before it but ultimate discretion on the appointment rests with the minister.

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