Parliament urgently needs culture of ethical conduct – PD

The Democratic Party has urged the Prime Minister to implement recommendations by the Standards Commissioner without delay in order for parliament’s credibility to be restored

Godfrey Farrugia said parliament's backbench was being weakened by design
Godfrey Farrugia said parliament's backbench was being weakened by design

The Democratic Party has urged Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to adopt recommendations by Standards Commissioner George Hyzler regarding the members of parliament being employed by government entity.

In a report published yesterday, the commissioner described the practice as “fundamentally wrong”. The commissioner recommended an end to the practice as well as a pay-rise for members of parliament.

Now, the PN has insisted that parliament’s credibility needs to be restored, given that it has been “hijacked by a dictated agenda of the executive and is compromised by its backbench”.

“The report by the Commissioner of Public Standards clearly indicates that the backbench is not always faithful to its oath in office, as those also employed in Public Administration have conflicting interests,” the PD said.

PD MP Godfrey Farrugia said it was ironic that whilst parliament’s administrative procedure was made autonomous from government, its backbench is being weakened by design.

The party said it was imperative for the culture of ethical conduct recommended by the commissioner to be taken up without any delay by the Prime Minister.

“The commissioner has spoken clearly and specifically, delving into all possible scenarios. The present situation in parliament is unacceptable. It is undermining the fundamentals of democracy and making a mockery of the dignity of the backbench.”

PD noted that it was MPs’ duty to consult the commissioner on matter that give rise to ethical issues.

“The community’s trust in MPs is at its lowest. Through its representation in parliament, Partit Demokratiku will continue to foster a culture of an open society whilst upholding the national and public interests,” the PD said.   

READ MORE: Giving MPs government jobs ‘fundamentally wrong’, Standards commissioner says