08 Jul 2024

The Commissioner for Standards in Public Life has issued his annual report for 2023. This is the first annual report to cover the activities of the current Commissioner, Chief Justice Emeritus Joseph Azzopardi, who was appointed on 8 March 2023. The Commissioner presented the report to the Speaker on 5 July 2024, and the Speaker laid it on the table of the House of Representatives as required by law on 8 July.

During 2023 the Commissioner received 27 complaints. He closed an identical number of complaints. He found that 20 of these complaints did not warrant investigation or further investigation. He investigated the remaining seven complaints by means of five investigations (some complaints dealt with the same matter, so they were covered by a single investigation).

Four of the five investigations undertaken by the Commissioner resulted in a finding that misconduct had taken place. Three of these cases were not serious in nature, so the Commissioner closed them himself after receiving apologies from the persons investigated. He referred the remaining case to Parliament’s Standards Committee in accordance with the Standards in Public Life Act.

The annual report also covers other activities, including the conclusion of an EU-funded project to improve the integrity and transparency framework in Malta. This project, which was carried out at the Commissioner’s request, resulted in the publication by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) of a 224-page report setting out recommendations to improve public integrity in Malta. This report is awaiting consideration by the government of Malta.

The Commissioner’s annual report for 2023 can be downloaded from here.

Photograph: aerial view of Valletta and Tigné Point (iStock.com/ZoltanGabor).