EUROPAM

European Public Accountability Mechanisms

Malta

Country score (European Average*)
  • 24(67) Political Financing
  • 17(50) Financial Disclosure
  • 14(41) Conflict of Interest
  • 81(56) Freedom of Information
  • 63(65) Public Procurement

Country Facts

IncomeHigh
GNI per capita (2011 PPP $)27,390
Population, total431,333
Urban population (% of total)95.4
Internet users (per 100 people)73.2
Life expectancy at birth (years)80.7
Mean years of schooling (years)10.3
Global Competitiveness Index4.4
Sources: World Bank, UNDP, WEF.

Political Financing

The Financing of Political Parties Act 2015 and the Malta Foreign Interference Act 1982 are the main laws regulating the financing of political parties in Malta. The 2015 law adds more details regarding permitted donations, reporting requirements and sanctions which did not exist in the previous General Elections Act (1991, amended 2012). 

There are some limits on the private income of political parties. Donations from foreign interests and in some cases from corporations are prohibited. Trade unions are permitted to donate but anonymous donations are banned. Donations from some sources have also been banned and are specified in the law. There are limits on the amount donors may contribute. 

There appear to be no provisions for the direct or indirect public funding of parties or candidates in Malta. 

For regulations on spending, vote buying is banned but there are no limits on the amount parties or candidates may spend. 

Parties are required to keep accounts. These do not have to disclose financial information in relation to election campaigns and only need to reveal the identity of donors in some cases. The accounts are to be made public. The accounts are overseen by Election Commission and the First Hall, Civil Court. Sanctions for breaches of the provisions are fines and forfeiture.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

201220152016Trend
Bans and limits on private income471717
Public funding383838
Regulations on spending252525
Reporting, oversight and sanctions251717

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Bans and limits on private income

Bans on donations from foreign interests

Is there a ban on donations from foreign interests to political parties? Yes. D3. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, it shall not be lawful for an alien to perform, do, hold, take part in, aid or abet, or allow, any restricted activity in Malta. (2) For the purposes of this Act, "a restricted activity" means - (a) any activity, or participation in any activity, of a political nature or having a political purpose at any time during the period commencing nine months prior to the date on which Parliament would, unless sooner dissolved, stand dissolved by virtue of article 76(2) of the Constitution and the date of the publication of the results of an election, or at any time between the dissolution of Parliament according to article 76(1) of the Constitution and the date of the publication of the results of an election; (b) the provision at any time to or for the benefit of a political party, person, club or similar institution, whether directly or through an intermediary agent, of any money, equipment or other material, by way of gift or otherwise not against equivalent valuable consideration, excluding books and other publications intended for sale or distribution not exclusively or mainly for Malta, unless such provision is authorised by the Monitoring Committee in accordance with thisAct: (Section 3(1) & 2 Foreign Interference Act 1982)
Is there a ban on donations from foreign interests to candidates? Yes. D3. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, it shall not be lawful for an alien to perform, do, hold, take part in, aid or abet, or allow, any restricted activity in Malta. (2) For the purposes of this Act, "a restricted activity" means - (a) any activity, or participation in any activity, of a political nature or having a political purpose at any time during the period commencing nine months prior to the date on which Parliament would, unless sooner dissolved, stand dissolved by virtue of article 76(2) of the Constitution and the date of the publication of the results of an election, or at any time between the dissolution of Parliament according to article 76(1) of the Constitution and the date of the publication of the results of an election; (b) the provision at any time to or for the benefit of a political party, person, club or similar institution, whether directly or through an intermediary agent, of any money, equipment or other material, by way of gift or otherwise not against equivalent valuable consideration, excluding books and other publications intended for sale or distribution not exclusively or mainly for Malta, unless such provision is authorised by the Monitoring Committee in accordance with thisAct: (Section 3(1) & 2 Foreign Interference Act 1982)

Bans on corporate donations

Is there a ban on corporate donations to political parties? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on corporate donations to candidates? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on donations from corporations with government contracts to political parties? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on donations from corporations of partial government ownership to political parties? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on donations from corporations with government contracts to candidates? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on donations from corporations of partial government ownership to candidates? No. Absent from legal framework

Bans on donations from trade unions

Is there a ban on donations from Trade Unions to political parties? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on donations from Trade Unions to candidates? No. Absent from legal framework

Bans on anonymous donations

Is there a ban on anonymous donations to political parties? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on anonymous donations to candidates? No. Absent from legal framework

Other bans on donations

Is there a ban on state resources being given to or received by political parties or candidates (excluding regulated public funding)? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a ban on any other form of donation? No. Absent from legal framework

Donation limits

Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party over a time period (not election specific)? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a political party in relation to an election? No. Absent from legal framework
Is there a limit on the amount a donor can contribute to a candidate? No. Absent from legal framework

Public funding 

Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties

Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of votes in previous election No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Representation in elected body No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Participation in election No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Number of candidates No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of seats in previous election No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of votes in next election No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Registration as a political party No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Share of seats in next election No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Number of members No. Absent from legal framework
Eligibility criteria for direct public funding to political parties: Other No. Absent from legal framework

Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties

Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Proportional to votes received No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Equal No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Proportional to seats received No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Flat rate by votes received No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Share of expenses reimbursed No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Proportional to candidates fielded No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Number of members No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation calculations for direct public funding to political parties: Other No. Absent from legal framework

Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties

Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Campaign spending No. Absent from legal framework
Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Ongoing party activities No. Absent from legal framework
Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Intra-party institution No. Absent from legal framework
Earmarking provisions for direct public funding to political parties: Other No. Absent from legal framework

Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties

Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Equal No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Number of candidates No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Share of seats No. Absent from legal framework
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Share of votes in preceding election Yes. "A 1971 Court of Appeal decision affirmed that in apportioning participation in such schemes of electoral broadcasts between political parties the Broadcasting Authority had an obligation to take account of the size of the parties.‌" (EPRA (2000) Political Communication on Television Matters for debate, EPRA, Paris.​)
Allocation criteria for free or subsidized access to media for political parties: Other No. Absent from legal framework
Are there provisions for free or subsidized access to media for candidates? Yes. "in Malta, the Broadcasting Authority organises schemes of political broadcasts during electoral campaigns and grants access to these schemes to all political parties and independent candidates contesting the general elections.‌" (EPRA (2000) Political Communication on Television Matters for debate, EPRA, Paris.​ )

Are there provisions for any other form of indirect public funding?

Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Premises for campaign meetings No. Absent from legal framework
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Space for campaign materials No. Absent from legal framework
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Tax relief Yes. There shall be exempt from the tax : the income of any political party including the income of clubs adhering to political parties (Article 12(1)(f) of the Income Tax Act, 1949, amended 2015)
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Free or subsidised transport No. Absent from legal framework
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Free or subsidised postage cost No. Absent from legal framework
Provisions for any other form of indirect public funding: Other No. Absent from legal framework
Is the provision of direct public funding to political parties related to gender equality among candidates? No. Absent from legal framework
Are there provisions for other financial advantages to encourage gender equality in political parties? No. Absent from legal framework

Regulations on spending 

Is there a ban on vote buying? Yes. The following persons shall be deemed guilty of the offence of bribery: [.‌.‌.‌] every person who, directly or indirectly, by himself or by any other person on his behalf, gives, lends or agrees to give or lend, or offers, promises or promises to procure, or to endeavour to procure, any money or valuable consideration to or for any voter, or to or for any person on behalf of any voter, or to or for any other person, in order to induce any voter to vote or refrain from voting, or corruptly does any such act as aforesaid on account of such voter having voted or refrained from voting at any election under this Ordinance; (Article 56, General Elections Law, No.​ 354, 1991, amended 2015)
Are there bans on state resources being used in favour or against a political party or candidate? No. Absent from legal framework
Are there limits on the amount a political party can spend? No. Absent from legal framework
Are there limits on the amount a candidate can spend? No. Absent from legal framework

Reporting, oversight and sanctions 

Reporting standards

Do political parties have to report regularly on their finances? No. Absent from legal framework
Do political parties have to report on their finances in relation to election campaigns? No. Absent from legal framework
Do candidates have to report on their campaign finances? Yes. 50(1). Within thirty-one days after the date of the publication of the result of an election in the Government Gazette, every candidate at that election shall transmit to the commissioners a return of his election expenses, containing the particulars specified in the Seventh Schedule to this Ordinance, signed by the candidate. (Article 50, General Elections Act, 1991, amended 2015)
Is information in reports from political parties and/​or candidates to be made public? No. Absent from legal framework
Must reports from political parties and/​or candidates reveal the identity of donors? No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Electoral Management Board Yes. 50(1). Within thirty-one days after the date of the publication of the result of an election in the Government Gazette, every candidate at that election shall transmit to the commissioners a return of his election expenses, containing the particulars specified in the Seventh Schedule to this Ordinance, signed by the candidate. (Article 50, General Elections Act, 1991, amended 2015)
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Auditing agency No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Ministry No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Special institution No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Court No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions receiving financial reports from political parties and/​or candidates: Other No. Absent from legal framework

Political finance oversight

Is it specified that a particular institution(s) is responsible for examining financial reports and/​or investigating violations?
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Court No. Absent from legal framework
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Ministry No. Absent from legal framework
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Auditing agency No. Absent from legal framework
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Electoral Management Body No. Absent from legal framework
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Institution for this purpose No. Absent from legal framework
Institution responsible for examining financial reports and/or investigating violations: Other No. Absent from legal framework
Other institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Court No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Ministry No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Auditing agency No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: EMB No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Institution for this purpose No. Absent from legal framework
Institutions with a formal role in political finance oversight: Other No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Fines No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of public funding No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Penal/Criminal No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Forfeiture No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Deregistration of party No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of elected office No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Suspension of political party No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of nomination of candidate No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Loss of political rights No. Absent from legal framework
Sanctions for political finance infractions: Other No. Absent from legal framework

Qualitative data for 2016


Legislation

Foreign Interference Act 1982 (English)pdf
EPRA (2000) Political Communication on Television Matters for debate (English)pdf
Income Tax Act, 1949, amended 2015 (English)pdf
General Elections Law, No.​ 354, 1991, amended 2015missing file:

Financial Disclosure

No financial disclosure laws apply to the Maltese Head of State. The Code of Ethics of Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Parliamentary Assistants (1994) requires Ministers to disclose real estate, cash, debts, gifts as well as shares or bonds in public or private companies. MPs disclose real estate and any income from outside employment as to the Code of Ethics of Members of Parliament (1995). Meanwhile, Civil Servants may engage in secondary employment only upon authorization by their superior. This is specified in the Code of Ethics Section C of the Public Administration Act (2009, last amended in 2015), and would include private or public firm ownership and holding advisory positions. The law prescribes that Ministers, MPs and Civil Servants always disclose any private interests they have in a matter of decision-making at the earliest possible instance. 

While Ministers only declare their interests upon taking office, MPs make fillings annually and Civil Servants declare interests ad hoc. All the while, the law specifies no sanctions for violations of financial disclosure. While the Secretary to the Cabinet receives declarations made by Ministers, the Speaker of the House of Representatives does so for MPs. Civil Servants always deposit their statements with the administrative superior. While no statements by Civil Servants are public, declarations by Ministers are shared upon authorization by the Prime Minister. MP’s declarations are also to be open to the public. All the while, no location of access is specified for these declarations.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

201220152016Trend
Disclosure items343434
Filing frequency191919
Sanctions000
Monitoring and Oversight191919
Public access to declarations121212

Alternative Metric

201220152016Trend
Head of State000
Ministers292929
Members of Parliament262626
Civil servants131313

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Head of State

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure No. Absent from legal framework.
Income and Assets
Real estate No. Absent from legal framework.
Movable assets No. Absent from legal framework.
Cash No. Absent from legal framework.
Loans and Debts No. Absent from legal framework.
Income from outside employment/assets No. Absent from legal framework.
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official No. Absent from legal framework.
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework.
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework.
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Absent from legal framework.
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework.
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required upon leaving office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required annually No. Absent from legal framework.
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified No. Absent from legal framework.
Enforcement body explicitly identified No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy No. Absent from legal framework.

Public access to declarations

Public availability No. Absent from legal framework.
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Location(s) of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Cost of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.

Ministers

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure Yes. Property of spouse needs to be included in declaration if it forms part of community of acquests. If minister has custody of minor children, their property needs to be included as well. (Article 49 of the Code of Ethics of Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Parliamentary Assistants (1994))
Income and Assets
Real estate Yes. Immovable property of minister has to be included in declaration. (Article 48 of the Code of Ethics of Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Parliamentary Assistants (1994))
Movable assets No. Absent from legal framework.
Cash Yes. The sum of total money deposited in banks needs to be included in declaration as well as income in previous year. (Article 48 of the Code of Ethics of Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Parliamentary Assistants (1994))
Loans and Debts Yes. The sum total of loans the minister may have received which are still outstanding need to be included in declaration. (Article 48 of the Code of Ethics of Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Parliamentary Assistants (1994))
Income from outside employment/assets No. Outside work is not permitted. The income in the previous year (year before appointment to minister) needs to be included in the declaration. (Article 48 of the Code of Ethics of Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Parliamentary Assistants (1994))
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official Yes. Ministers, their spouses and minor children should not accept gifts that might create an obligation (real or imaginary). (Article 58 of the Code of Ethics of Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Parliamentary Assistants (1994))
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. Shares, bonds or other interests the minister has in company or partnership, public or private, need to be included in declaration. (Article 48 of the Code of Ethics of Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Parliamentary Assistants (1994))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. Shares, bonds or other interests the minister has in company or partnership, public or private, need to be included in declaration. (Article 48 of the Code of Ethics of Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Parliamentary Assistants (1994))
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Absent from legal framework.
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests Yes. Whenever any matter discussed in cabinet that could affect his private interests, he should declare his interest and withdraw from meeting. (Article 51 of the Code of Ethics of Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Parliamentary Assistants (1994))
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office Yes. Within two months from appointment (not later than March of each year) ministers need to deposit declaration with Secretary to the Cabinet. (Article 48 of the Code of Ethics of Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Parliamentary Assistants (1994))
Filing required upon leaving office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required annually No. Absent from legal framework.
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified Yes. The Secretary to the Cabinet receives declaration. (Article 48 of the Code of Ethics of Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Parliamentary Assistants (1994))
Enforcement body explicitly identified No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy No. Absent from legal framework.

Public access to declarations

Public availability Yes. The Cabinet Secretary shall make available copies of the declarations as authorized by Prime Minister. (Article 50 of the Code of Ethics of Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Parliamentary Assistants (1994))
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Location(s) of access specified No. 0
Cost of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.

Members of Parliament

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure Yes. Immovable property of spouses (if community of acquests applies) and minor children need to be indicated in public register (manner of acquisition and use of property may be indicated as well). (Article 5 of the Code of Ethics of Members of Parliament (1995))
Income and Assets
Real estate Yes. Immovable property of member of House of Representatives needs to be indicated in public register. (Article 5 of the Code of Ethics of Members of Parliament (1995))
Movable assets No. Absent from legal framework.
Cash No. Absent from legal framework.
Loans and Debts No. Absent from legal framework.
Income from outside employment/assets Yes. Work or profession and identity of employer, directorship or other official positions in commercial companies, associations, boards, co-operatives or other groups (even if voluntary) need to be indicated in public register. (Article 5 of the Code of Ethics of Members of Parliament (1995))
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official No. Absent from legal framework.
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. Shares in commercial companies, investments and other forms of pecuniary interest need to be indicated in public register. (Article 5 of the Code of Ethics of Members of Parliament (1995))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. Shares in commercial companies, investments and other forms of pecuniary interest need to be indicated in public register. (Article 5 of the Code of Ethics of Members of Parliament (1995))
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. Official position in board needs to be indicated in public register. (Article 5 of the Code of Ethics of Members of Parliament (1995))
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests Yes. Professional interest (including work interest consultancy, management or other form of connection, pecuniary or otherwise) with persons, groups or companies that have direct interest in legislation before House needs to be declared in House at first opportunity (before vote is taken). (Article 5 of the Code of Ethics of Members of Parliament (1995))
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required upon leaving office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required annually Yes. The Speaker of the House of Representatives establishes time at which member of House of Representative needs to file (annually). (Article 5 of the Code of Ethics of Members of Parliament (1995))
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified Yes. The register will be kept by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. (Article 5 of the Code of Ethics of Members of Parliament (1995))
Enforcement body explicitly identified No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy No. Absent from legal framework.

Public access to declarations

Public availability Yes. The register shall be open to inspection by the public. (Article 5 of the Code of Ethics of Members of Parliament (1995))
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Location(s) of access specified No. 0
Cost of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.

Civil servants

Disclosure items

Spouses and children included in disclosure No. Absent from legal framework.
Income and Assets
Real estate No. Absent from legal framework.
Movable assets No. Absent from legal framework.
Cash No. Absent from legal framework.
Loans and Debts No. Absent from legal framework.
Income from outside employment/assets No. Absent from legal framework.
Incompatibilities
Gifts received as a public official No. Absent from legal framework.
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. Prior approval of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry concerned or the Chairperson/Chief Executive Officer is required before public employees may engage in any form of business/employement outside official duties. (Article 27 of the Code of Ethics Section C of the Public Administration Act (2009) (last amended in 2015))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. Prior approval of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry concerned or the Chairperson/Chief Executive Officer is required before public employees may engage in any form of business/employement outside official duties. (Article 27 of the Code of Ethics Section C of the Public Administration Act (2009) (last amended in 2015))
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. Prior approval of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry concerned or the Chairperson/Chief Executive Officer is required before public employees may engage in any form of business/employement outside official duties. (Article 27 of the Code of Ethics Section C of the Public Administration Act (2009) (last amended in 2015))
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests Yes. If a potential or actual conflict of interest arise upon assuming office, change in duties or due to a change in circumstances, the public employee has to inform his senior in writing within a week. (Article 11 and 12 of the Code of Ethics Section C of the Public Administration Act (2009) (last amended in 2015))
Concurrent employment of family members in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Filing frequency

Filing required upon taking office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required upon leaving office No. Absent from legal framework.
Filing required annually No. Absent from legal framework.
Ad hoc filing required upon change in assets or conflicts of interest Yes. If a potential or actual conflict of interest arise upon assuming office, change in duties or due to a change in circumstances, the public employee has to inform his senior in writing within a week. (Article 11 and 12 of the Code of Ethics Section C of the Public Administration Act (2009) (last amended in 2015))

Sanctions

Sanctions stipulated for late filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for non-filing (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.
Sanctions stipulated for false disclosure (fines, administrative, and/or criminal) No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Depository body explicitly identified Yes. If a potential or actual conflict of interest arise upon assuming office, change in duties or due to a change in circumstances, the public employee has to inform his senior in writing within a week. (Article 11 and 12 of the Code of Ethics Section C of the Public Administration Act (2009) (last amended in 2015))
Enforcement body explicitly identified No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying submission No. Absent from legal framework.
Some agency assigned responsibility for verifying accuracy No. Absent from legal framework.

Public access to declarations

Public availability No. Absent from legal framework.
Timing of information release specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Location(s) of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.
Cost of access specified No. Absent from legal framework.

Qualitative data for 2016


Legislation

Code of Ethics of Members of Parliament, 1995 (English)pdf
Code of Ethics of Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Parliamentary Assistants, 1994 (English)pdf
Public Administration Act, 2009, amended 2015 (English)pdf

Conflict of Interest

As in Malta’s financial disclosure legislation, no restrictions for conflicts of interests apply to the Head of State. Meanwhile, Ministers and Civil Servants are obliged by law to avoid conflicts of interests in general. Additionally, Ministers, MPs and Civil Servants may not accept gifts. The Code of Ethics of Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Parliamentary Assistants (1994) also prevents Ministers from pursuing any second employment. This would include owning a private or public company, or holding advisory positions. Similarly, MPs are prevented from being party to a private enterprise by the Constitution (1964, last amended in 2007). While no specific limits are specified for Civil Servant’s secondary employment, they must ensure not to pursue any activities which cast doubt on their integrity after ending tenure. This is laid down in the Public Administration Act (2009, last amended 2015).

All the while, no sanctions for violating conflicts of interests are specified for Ministers or Civil Servants. If Members of Parliament do not alleviate secondary activities in a company, they are forced to resign from their seat. However, no monitoring or enforcement bodies exist for any public officials.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

201220152016Trend
Restrictions353230
Sanctions2588
Monitoring and Oversight000

Alternative Metric

201220152016Trend
Head of State000
Ministers232017
Members of Parliament242424
Civil servants321010

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Head of State

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest No. Absent from legal framework.
Accepting gifts No. Absent from legal framework.
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework.
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework.
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Absent from legal framework.
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework.
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) No. Absent from legal framework.
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) No. Absent from legal framework.

Ministers

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest Yes. The Ministers should ensure that there is no conflict between the public duties and their private interests, financial or otherwise. It is personal responsibility of each minister individually to decide whether and what should be done to avoid this kind of conflict of interest. If needed, the Prime Minister has to take the final decision on the existence of a conflict of interest. The general principle is that the Minister should dispose of such interests or take alternative measures to avoid it. (Article 8.1 of the Code of Ethics of Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Parliamentary Assistants (2015))
Accepting gifts Yes. No minister should accept gifts, donations, hospitality or services from anyone, who can put under an obligation to that person and shall also apply to members of the immediate family of the Minister. In case of doubt must consult the Prime Minister. The Ministers do not usually accept decorations from foreign countries, except with the permission of the Prime Minister. (Articles 8.4 and 8.5 of the Code of Ethics of Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Parliamentary Assistants (2015))
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings Yes. As soon as a Minister is appointed, it is expected of him not to continue with his private work. He should devote his whole time to his official duties. (Article 7.2 of the Code of Ethics of Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Parliamentary Assistants (2015))
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. As soon as a Minister is appointed, it is expected of him not to continue with his private work. He should devote his whole time to his official duties. (Article 7.2 of the Code of Ethics of Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Parliamentary Assistants (2015))
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm Yes. As soon as a Minister is appointed, it is expected of him not to continue with his private work. He should devote his whole time to his official duties. (Article 7.2 of the Code of Ethics of Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Parliamentary Assistants (2015))
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Ministers should avoid entering conflicts of interest between their public and private interests and give complete and accurate information to Parliament, the Cabinet and the general public. No minister should participate in making decisions affecting their family members, other close persons, and no minister should be conditioned improperly in making a decision on the basis of financial conflict of interest or otherwise for him or for the persons close to him, or make improper use of information given to his office and in the performance of his duties, particularly if it is to unfairly favor any person or people at the expense of others. When a minister is involved in legal proceedings in private situations, they may have implications on the ministerial role. The Secretary of the Cabinet should be informed of these procedures and, if proceedings are instituted by the Minister, the Secretary of the Cabinet shall be informed before being instituted. (Articles 5.7-8.6-8.7 of the Code of Ethics of Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Parliamentary Assistants (2015))
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework. ( )

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) No. Absent from legal framework.
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) No. Absent from legal framework.

Members of Parliament

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest No. Absent from legal framework.
Accepting gifts Yes. A Member of the House of Representatives shall not accept gifts from person or persons, groups or companies that have or had any direct or indirect interest in legislation before the House of Representatives (Article 5(6) of the Code of Ethics of Members of Parliament (1995))
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework.
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) Yes. Noperson shall be qualified to be elected as a member of the House of Representatives if he is a party to, or is a partner with unlimited liability in a partnership or a director or manager of a company which is a party to, a contract with the Government of Malta being a contract of works or a contract for the supply of merchandise to be used in the service of the public and has not, within one month before the date of election, published in the Gazette a notice setting out the nature of any such contract, and his interest, or the interest of any such partnership or company, therein. (Article 54 of the Constitution (1964, last amended in 2015))
Holding government contracts Yes. Noperson shall be qualified to be elected as a member of the House of Representatives if he is a party to, or is a partner with unlimited liability in a partnership or a director or manager of a company which is a party to, a contract with the Government of Malta being a contract of works or a contract for the supply of merchandise to be used in the service of the public and has not, within one month before the date of election, published in the Gazette a notice setting out the nature of any such contract, and his interest, or the interest of any such partnership or company, therein. (Article 54 of the Constitution (1964, last amended in 2015))
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Absent from legal framework.
Post-employment No. Absent from legal framework.
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position Yes. Noperson shall be qualified to be elected as a member of the House of Representatives if he holds or is acting in any public office (Article 54 of the Constitution (1964, last amended in 2015))
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework.
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior Yes. The seat of a member of Parliament shall become vacant if he becomes a party to a contract with the Government of Malta being a contract of works or a contract for the supply of merchandise to be used in the service of the public, or if any partnership in which he is a partner with unlimited liability or a company of which he is a director or manager becomes a party to any such contract, or if he becomes a partner with unlimited liability in a partnership or a director or manager of a company that is a party to any such contract. Provided that he shall not vacate his seat under the provisions of this paragraph if before becoming a party to the contract or before, or as soon as practicable after, becoming otherwise interested in the contract (whether as a partner with unlimited liability in a partnership or as a director or manager of a company) he discloses to the Speaker the nature of the contract and his interest or the interest of the partnership or company therein and the House of Representatives by resolution exempts him from the provisions of this paragraph (Article 55 of the Constitution (1964, last amended in 2015))
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) No. Absent from legal framework.
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) No. Absent from legal framework.

Civil servants

Restrictions

General restriction on conflict of interest Yes. A conflict of interest may be defined as a situation in which a public employee has a private or personal interest sufficient to influence or appear to influence the objective exercise of his or her official duties. Public employees shall avoid any financial or other interest or undertaking that could directly or indirectly compromise the performance of their duties. (Article 5(B)(8-9) (First Schedule- Code of Ethics) Public Administration Act (2009, last amended 2015))
Accepting gifts Yes. No public employee or any member of his household shall accept gifts or services such as might be deemed to create an obligation, real or imagined. A gift can be interpreted as an inducement or a reward simply because of its intrinsic value and therefore only token gifts may be accepted. (Article 5(C)(13-14) (First Schedule- Code of Ethics) Public Administration Act (2009, last amended 2015))
Private firm ownership and/or stock holdings No. Absent from legal framework.
Ownership of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) No. Absent from legal framework.
Holding government contracts No. Absent from legal framework.
Board member, advisor, or company officer of private firm No. Absent from legal framework.
Post-employment Yes. Former public employees shall ensure that they do not accept employment or engage in activities which may cast doubts on their own integrity or that of the organisation in which they were previously employed or of the Public Service generally. (Article 5(H)(29) (First Schedule- Code of Ethics) Public Administration Act (2009, last amended 2015))
Simultaneously holding policy-making position and policy-executing position No. Absent from legal framework.
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests No. Absent from legal framework.
Assisting family or friends in obtaining employment in public sector No. Absent from legal framework.

Sanctions

Fines are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. Absent from legal framework.
Administrative sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. The sanctions applied shall depend on the seriousness and nature of the breaches and may entail formal disciplinary and, or criminal action as applicable. (Article 5(J)(36) (First Schedule- Code of Ethics) Public Administration Act (2009, last amended 2015))
Penal sanctions are stipulated for violations of COI regulations restricting behavior No. The sanctions applied shall depend on the seriousness and nature of the breaches and may entail formal disciplinary and, or criminal action as applicable. (Article 5(J)(36) (First Schedule- Code of Ethics) Public Administration Act (2009, last amended 2015))

Monitoring and Oversight

Monitoring body specified (guidance, training, data tracking) No. Absent from legal framework.
Enforcement body specified (sanctions, hearings) No. Absent from legal framework.

Qualitative data for 2016


Legislation

Code of Ethics of Members of Parliament, 1995 (English)pdf
Code of Ethics of Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Parliamentary Assistants, 2015 (Maltese)pdf
Constitution, 1964, amended 2015 (English)pdf
Public Administration Act, 2009, amended 2015 (English)pdf

Freedom of Information

The access to information framework in Malta is established by the Freedom of Information Act (2009, amended 2012). The Government and its ministries and departments are included, as well as the parliament. The judiciary is covered although the Attorney General's office is excluded. The law covers bodies or persons which provide services to the public on behalf of the Government or are financed by the Government. However, information held by many public institutions is excluded from the scope of the law, eg Electoral Commission, Employment Commission, National Archives, Public Service Commission, Office of the Attorney General, National Audit Office, Security Service; Broadcasting Authority or the Ombudsman. Information held by these bodies is regulated by other laws. 

Specific exemptions to disclosure are outlined in the aforementioned FOI law, Official Secrets Act (1923), and Data Protection Act (2002). However, there is a public interest test whereby exemptions to disclosure may be overridden in cases where the public interest outweighs the prohibition on disclosure. 

Appeals may be submitted to public authorities through a specific complaint process. Applicants also have the right to seek an investigation and review by the Information and Data Protection Commissioner. Decisions of the Commissioner may be subject to appeal through the Court of Appeal.

The Commissioner can levy fines to those who fail to comply with his/her notices. Destroying evidence with the aim of preventing the disclosure of information to an applicant under the FOIA may also be punishable with imprisonment.

Under the Freedom of Information Act the Minister responsible for FOI and data protection (Minister for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties), shall issue a code of practice providing guidance to public authorities. The law also allows the Ministry, in consultation with the Information Commissioner, to make regulations on a range of matters of implementation.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

201220152016Trend
Scope and Coverage828282
Information access and release07171
Exceptions and Overrides100100100
Sanctions for non-compliance1006767
Monitoring and Oversight508383

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Scope and Coverage

Scope of disclosure

Existence of legal right to access Yes. 3. Any eligible person has a right of access to documents held by public authorities in accordance with and subject to the provisions of this Act. (Article 3 Freedom of Information Act 31 July 2009, amended 2012 (496))
"Information" or "Documents" is defined Yes. "document" means any article that is held by a public authority and on which information has been recorded in whatever form, including electronic data, images, scale models and other visual representations, and audio or video recordings, regardless of whether the information can be read, seen, heard or retrieved with or without the aid of any other article or device; (Article 2 Freedom of Information Act 31 July 2009, amended 2012 (496))
Proactive disclosure is specified No. Public bodies are required to publish information about their structure and a statement of the kinds of information held and description of manuals held. The Minister responsible for FOI may request further information to be published but beyond that there are no pro-active publication requirements. (Article 17(1) &(2) Freedom of Information Act 31 July 2009, amended 2012 (496))

Coverage of public and private sectors

Executive branch Yes. The Government and its ministries and departments are included but information held by Local Councils and in the national archives is excluded. (Article 2 and Article 5 Freedom of Information Act 31 July 2009, amended 2012 (496))
Legislative branch Yes. The legislature is covered by the law. (Article 2 and Article 5 Freedom of Information Act 31 July 2009, amended 2012 (496))
Judicial branch Yes. The judiciary is covered although the Attorney General's office is excluded. (Article 2 and Article 5 Freedom of Information Act 31 July 2009, amended 2012 (496))
Other public bodies No. Information held by many public institutions is excluded from the scope of the law, eg Electoral Commission, Employment Commission, National Archives, Public Service Commission, Office of the Attorney General, National Audit Office, Security Service; Broadcasting Authority or the Ombudsman. Information held by these bodies is regulated by other laws. (Article 2 and Article 5 Freedom of Information Act 31 July 2009, amended 2012 (496))
Private sector Yes. The law covers bodies or persons which provide services to the public on behalf of the Government or another public authority or projects undertaken by them but financed by the Government or another public authority. (Article 2 and Article 18 Freedom of Information Act 31 July 2009, amended 2012 (496))

Access to specific documents (subject to reactive and/or proactive disclosure)

Draft legal instruments Yes. Pro-active publication is not required by the law. Since the legislature is covered and draft laws fall under the scope of public information they should be covered by the law for reactive disclosure. (Article 2 Freedom of Information Act 31 July 2009, amended 2012 (496))
Enacted legal instruments Yes. The Constitution requires a law to be published in the Government Gazette before it comes into force. Enacted laws would also fall within the scope of the FOIA since the legislature is covered. (Article 72(4) Constitution of Malta, 1964 Article 2 Freedom of Information Act 31 July 2009, amended 2012 (496) )
Annual budgets Yes. Government must publish its annual budget. Other public authority expenditure would be covered by the FOIA for reactive disclosure. (Article 16(3) Fiscal Responsibility Act 2014 Article 2 Freedom of Information Act 31 July 2009, amended 2012 (496))
Annual chart of accounts (actual expenditures) Yes. Government must proactively publish expenditure on a monthly basis. Other public authority budgets would be covered by the FOIA for reactive disclosure. (Article 39(6) Fiscal Responsibility Act 2014 Article 2 Freedom of Information Act 31 July 2009, amended 2012 (496))
Annual reports of public entities and programs Yes. Annual reports would be covered by the FOIA for reactive disclosure. (Article 2 Freedom of Information Act 31 July 2009, amended 2012 (496))

Information access and release

Procedural access

Universal access (agencies, citizens and non-citizens) No. Access to information is available to an "eligible person" which is a citizen of Malta or someone who has been resident for at least 5 years. Applicants have to be Maltese, EU citizens or citizens of another countries with which there is a treaty that includes the right to be treated as a Maltese citizen. It does not appear to include legal entities. (Article 2 and Article 3, Freedom of Information Act 31 July 2009, amended 2012 (496))
Type of request is specified (written, electronic, oral) Yes. Applicants must be in writing or by email. (Article 6(a), Freedom of Information Act 31 July 2009, amended 2012 (496))
Assistance to requesters must be provided by law (includes barriers due to language differences, illiteracy, complexity of requests, etc.) Yes. It is the duty of the public authority to take reasonable steps to assist an applicant with their information request free of charge. (Article 7 and Article 41(2)(a) Freedom of Information Act 31 July 2009, amended 2012 (496))
Cost of access is specified (free, request fees, photocopying costs, other administrative costs) Yes. The fees are clearly set out in a separate regulation to the Act. (Article 9, Freedom of Information Act 31 July 2009, amended 2012 (496) Fees charged by public authorities for access to documents regulations 21 April 2010 (496.1))

Deadlines for release of information

20-day response deadline Yes. Responses must be delivered within 20 working days (Article 10, Freedom of Information Act 31 July 2009, amended 2012 (496))
Agency granted right to extend response time Yes. If the request necessitates a search through a large number of documents, or consultations necessary to make a decision on the request are such that a proper response to the request cannot reasonably be made within the original time limit. (Article 11, Freedom of Information Act 31 July 2009, amended 2012 (496))
Maximum total response time of no more than 40 days No. An extension period of up to 40 days is allowed making a total of 60 days. (Article 11, Freedom of Information Act 31 July 2009, amended 2012 (496))

Exceptions and Overrides

Exemptions to disclosure

Existence of secrecy/states secrets law Yes. The Official Secrets Act 23 February 1923 (The Official Secrets Act 23 February 1923)
Existence of personal privacy/data law Yes. The Constitution protects the right to a private life. The Data Protection Act protects use of and access to personal data. (Article 32(c) Constitution Data Protection Act 22 March 2002 (440))
Specific exemptions to disclosure Yes. Exemptions include information covering personal data, information which cannot be disclosed under any other law, national security, defence or international relations, the work of the security services, Cabinet documents, law enforcement and the protection of public safety, documents subject to legal professional privilege or containing material obtained in confidence, business affairs, the economy and research, internal working documents, documents affecting the financial or property interests of public authorities or certain operations of public authorities, fragile archival documents or those compromising personal safety. (Article 5(3), Article 13(1) & (2) and Articles 29-38 Freedom of Information Act 31 July 2009, amended 2012 (496) Article 23 and Article 27 Data Protection Act 22 March 2002 (440) Article 6(4)(a) The Official Secrets Act 23 February 1923)
Public Interest test: Specified exemptions to disclosure may be overridden in cases where disclosure of information benefits the public interest.

Appeals

Appeals allowed within public entities Yes. The law does not explicitly provide for internal appeal mechanisms but requires the Minister responsible to draft a Code of Practice for public authorities. This requires authorities to establish rapid procedures for dealing with complaints about the handling of requests for information. The supplementary legislation to the FOIA - on timeframes for lodging complaints - specifies a 30 day limit for submitting an internal appeal. (Article 41(3) Freedom of Information Act 31 July 2009, amended 2012 (496) Article 8 Freedom of Information Act (496) Code of Practice for Public Authorities 31 May 2012 Article 3 Timeframe for Lodging Complaints and Requests for Investigation and Review Regulations 21 April 2010 (496.2))
Independent, non-judicial appeals mechanism, e.g., information commissioner. Does not include Ombudsman unless appeals decisions are binding. Yes. An applicant has the right to seek an investigation and review by the Information and Data Protection Commissioner of the refusal. (Article 15(b) and Article 23 Freedom of Information Act 31 July 2009, amended 2012 (496))
Judicial appeals mechanism Yes. Decisions of the Information and Data Protection Commissioner under this Act shall be subject to appeal to the Court of Appeal as provided for by article 51 of the Data Protection Act. (Article 40 Freedom of Information Act 31 July 2009, amended 2012 (496))

Sanctions for non-compliance

Administrative sanctions are specified for violations of disclosure requirements No. The Information and Data Protecton Commissioner can levy administrative fines on those who fail to comply with his/her notices. (Article 27 and Article 43 Freedom of Information Act 31 July 2009, amended 2012 (496) )
Fines are specified for violations of disclosure requirements Yes. The Information and Data Protecton Commissioner can levy administrative fines to those who fail to comply with his/her notices. The Criminal Code applies to any person who embezzles, destroys, mutilates or purloins a document with the intention of preventing the disclosure of information to an applicant under the FOIA and is punishable with a fine or imprisonment. (Article 27 and Article 43 Freedom of Information Act 31 July 2009, amended 2012 (496) Article 144 Criminal Code)
Criminal sanctions are specified for violations of disclosure requirements Yes. The Criminal Code applies to any person who embezzles, destroys, mutilates or purloins a document with the intention of preventing the disclosure of information to an applicant under the FOIA and is punishable with a fine or imprisonment. (Article 144 Criminal Code Article 43 Freedom of Information Act 31 July 2009, amended 2012 (496))

Monitoring and Oversight

Information officers must be appointed in public agencies Yes. Public authorities must nominate a FOI officer and at least one alternate FOI officer. The law also provides for the Minister to issue a code of practice for public bodies which includes guidance on providing assistance to requesters. (Section 1 Freedom of Information Act (496) Code of Practice for Public Authorities 31 May 2012)
Public body that is responsible for applying sanctions Yes. The Information and Data Protection Commissioner is responsible for levying fines for non-compliance with his/her notices. (Article 27 and Article 43 Freedom of Information Act 31 July 2009, amended 2012 (496))
Public body that is responsible for public outreach (raising public awareness) Yes. The Information and Data Protection Commissioner is responsible for overseeing implementation of the law and promoting good practice. (Article 21, Freedom of Information Act 31 July 2009, amended 2012 (496))
Nodal agency for RTI (implementation support/compliance within public sector). Does not include Ombudsman. Yes. Under the Freedom of Information Act the Minister reponsible for FOI and data protection (Minister for Social DIalogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties), shall issue a code of practice providing guidance to public authorities as to the practice which it would, in his/her opinion, be desirable for them to follow in connection with the discharge of public authorities’ functions under the FOIA. The law also allows the Ministry, in consultation with the Information Commissioner, to make regulations on a range of matters of implementation. (Article 41 and Article 42, Freedom of Information Act 31 July 2009, amended 2012 (496))
Ombudsman involvement in implementation is specified by law No. Absent from legal framework. (General)
Reporting of data and/or implementation is required Yes. 1.6 FOI Officers shall be required to submit a report to their respective Principal FOI Officers containing the information listed in article 21(5) of the Act. 1.5 FOI Officers are required to provide to the Information and Data Protection Commissioner, the report referred to in paragragh 1.6 of this Code for their Public Authority. (Section 1.5 and 1.6 Freedom of Information Act (496) Code of Practice for Public Authorities 31 May 2012)

Qualitative data for 2016


Legislation

Freedom of Information Act N.496, 2009, amended 2012 (English)pdf
Constitution of Malta, 1964 (English)pdf
Fiscal Responsibility Act 2014 (English)pdf
Fees charged by public authorities for access to documents regulations N.496.1, 2010 (English)pdf
The Official Secrets Act, 1923, amended 2007 (English)pdf
Data Protection Act, 2002, amended 2012 (English)pdf
Freedom of Information Act Code of Practice for Public Authorities, 2012 (English)pdf
Timeframe for Lodging Complaints and Requests for Investigation and Review Regulations N.496.2, 2010 (English)pdf
Criminal Code (English)pdf

Public Procurement

The Maltese public procurement system is regulated by the Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014). The public procurement body is the Department of Contracts under the Ministry of Finance.

The lowest minimum thresholds for conducting a public procurement tender are:

EUR 2500 for goods, works and services

The minimum number of bidders is 5 for restricted procedures and 3 for negotiated procedures and competitive dialogue. The minimum submission period is 52 days for open procedures, 40 days for restricted procedures and 37 for negotiated procedures from dispatch date. The final beneficial owners do not have to be disclosed when placing a bid.

There is a case for preferential treatment, as environmental sustainability factors can be considered. There are also several options for bid exclusion: bankruptcy, conviction of offence concerning professional conduct, guilty of grave professional misconduct, outstanding taxes and social security liabilities, serious misrepresentation in supplying information required under these regulations. Bids can be also excluded because of abnormally low bid prices.

In the bid evaluation phase, there are conflict of interest restrictions on the composition of the evaluation committee. There is also a requirement that some part of the evaluation committee be independent of the contracting authority – a general committee, that is directly accountable to the Prime Minister.

There is a payable fee in case of an arbitration procedure, amounting between EUR 10000-58000, but court decisions are not publicly released.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

201220152016Trend
Scope7171
Information availability7373
Evaluation7575
Open competition6161
Institutional arrangements3333

Values lie in range between 0 and 100, higher values implying higher legislation comprehensiveness


Qualitative Data

We are frequently reviewing and refining our data, so in case you notice any mistake in our assessment, feel free to send us an email by clicking the button ()

Scope

Threshold - lowest PP

What is the minimum contract value above which the public procurement law is applied? (Product type GOODS) EUR 2500. above, no direct award permitted (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), article 20)
What is the minimum contract value above which the public procurement law is applied? (Product type WORKS) EUR 2500. above, no direct award permitted (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), article 20)
What is the minimum contract value above which the public procurement law is applied? (Product type SERVICES) EUR 2500. above, no direct award permitted (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), article 20)

Threshold - by PP type

What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: PUBLIC SECTOR) EUR 2500. 0 (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), Schedule 9)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: UTILITIES) EUR 120000. 0 (Subsidiary legislation 174.06, Legal Notice 178 of 2005 (as amended in 2011), article 16)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: DEFENCE) EUR 134000. Not specified, hence EU thresholds apply. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), Schedule 9 and article 37)

Threshold - by product type

What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type GOODS) EUR 120000. 0 (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), Schedule 9, art. 20(b))
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type WORKS) EUR 4845000. 0 (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), Schedule 9, art. 20(b))
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type SERVICES) EUR 120000. 0 (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), Schedule 9; art. 18)

Information availability

Publishing and record keeping

Which are the documents which are published in full? Notices published, following must be included: country and name of contracting authority, internet address of "buyer profile" (URL), CPV Nomenclature referece No(s). Publication of complementary or additional information encouraged. . 0 (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), Schedule 10 and Annex II)
Are any of these documents published online at a central place? yes. etenders.gov.mt
Is it mandatory to keep these records? Public notices of bidding opportunities, Bidding documents and addenda, Bid opening records, Bid evaluation reports, Formal appeals by bidders and outcomes, Final signed contract documents and addenda and amendments, Claims and dispute resolutions, Final payments, Disbursement data (as required by the country’s financial management system) yes. CA should keep written record of all decisions and justification (incl.motivation on procedure selection, rejection of tenders) (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), article 44(4))
Are contracts awarded within a framework agreement published? no. but CA should inform asap tenderers and candidates on the outcome and motivation of their decisions. CA should respond in writing if requested. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), article 44(2)a)

Sub-contracting

Is it mandatory to publish information on subcontractors in some cases? yes. in contract award notice, indicate vallue and proportion of contract likely to be contracted to third parties (Public Procurement Re, gulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014),schedule 10 and article 31)
If yes, above what proportion of subcontracted value is it mandatory? 0 (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), article 31)

Evaluation

Preferential treatment

Is there a ban on mentioning specific companies or products in tender specification/call for tender? no. CA shall set out technical specifications and include them in the contracts when possible, but no specific ban (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), article 46)
Are there restrictions on allowable grounds for tenderer exclusion? yes. Closed list: Exclusion in case of bankruptcy, convtion of offence concerning professional conduct, guilty of grave professional misconduct, not fulfilled obligations relating to payment of social security contributions or taxes, guilt in serious misrepresentation in supplying information required under these regulations. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), article 50)
Is there a preferential treatment for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs)? no. 0
Is there a preferential treatment for local/national companies? (companies from other EU MS are considered foreign companies) no. 0
Is there a specific set of rules for green/sustainable procurement? yes. possible, but not detailed (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), article 31(2))
Are some bids automatically excluded such as lowest/highest price; unusually low price, etc. yes. abnormally low tender (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), article 29(1))

Bid evaluation

Is scoring criteria published and explicit? yes. Award on grounds of lowest price or MEAT. If MEAT, criteria and weighting should be indicated (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), article 28(2))
Can evaluation decision be made by a single person (as opposed to a committee)? no. Contracts subject to Contacts Committees: shall be composed of Director of Contracts with 4 to 10 other members (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), article 80, 9, 10)
Are there regulations on evaluation committee composition to prevent conflict of interest? yes. ban from Contracts committees to those with financial or other interest likely to prejudice the discharge of his functions (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), article 80)
If yes, what is banned? yes. Disqualified from being appoint to Committee if member of House of Representatives, financial or other interest that is likely to produce discharge of function as member of Committee. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), article 80)
Is some part of evaluation comitee mandatorily independent of contracting authority? yes. general committee, directly accountable to the Prime Minister (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), article 80)
Are scoring results recorded and publicly available? yes. If requested. Notice of results of a contests includes inter alia: winner(s), total number of participants. Must be sent to TED and candidates and selected tenderers on their request (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), Article 49, Schedule 10 and Annex II)
Under which conditions can the tender be cancelled? closed list. Director of Contracts can consider cancellation of tender if evaluation process has not been concluded by end of validity period of submitted bids. Non-conclusion by end of second extension will automatically lead to cancellation of tender. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), article 6(2))

Open competition

CFT publication

Where should the call for tenders be published? (Procedure type: OPEN) TED, etenders.gov.mt, CA buyer's profile. 0 (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), annex II)
Where should the call for tenders be published? (Procedure type: RESTRICTED) invitation, no publicity specifically mentioned. 0 (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), annex II)
Where should the call for tenders be published? (Procedure type: NEGOTIATED) invitation, no publicity specifically mentioned. 0 (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), annex II)

Minimum # of bidders

If there is a minimum number of bidders stipulated, under what conditions? RESTRICTED 5. 0 (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), article 38 (1) a,b)
If there is a minimum number of bidders stipulated, under what conditions? NEGOTIATED 3. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), article 38 (1) a,b)
If there is a minimum number of bidders stipulated, under what conditions? COMPETITIVE DIALOGUE 3. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), article 38 (1) a,b)

Bidding period length

What are the minimum number of days for advertisement required? (Procedure type: OPEN) 52. Part V: 52 days. 15 days under urgency (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), article 41(2)a)
What are the minimum number of days for advertisement required? (Procedure type: RESTRICTED) 40. Part V: 40 days. 15 days under urgency (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), article 41(2)b)
What are the minimum number of days for advertisement required? (Procedure type: NEGOTIATED) 37. Part V: 37 days. Can be limited under certain circumstances. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), article 41(2)b)

Institutional arrangements

Institutions and regulations

What are the main EXCEPTIONS preventing the application of the public procurement law for tenders/organisations? open list. international agreements covering supplies or works or services intended for joint implementation or exploitation of work by signatory states; international organizations; secrets and protection of essential interests; stationing of troops and undertakings in other country; acquisition or rental of land, existing or other immovable property; employment contracts; research and development services; etc. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), artlcie 17)
What are the main types of institutions which have to apply the public procurement law? Office of Prime Minister; Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ministery for Gozo; Ministry for Infrastructure, Transport and Communications; Ministry for Resources and Rural Affairs; Ministry for Education and Employment; Ministry of Finance, the Economy and Investment; Ministry for Home and Parliamentary Affairs; Ministry for Tourism, Culture and the Environment; Ministry for Justice, Dialogue and the Family; Ministry for Fair Competition, Small Business and Consumers. . 0 (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), Schedule 1)
What are the main procedure types or procurement methods permitted by law? Open, restricted and negotiated procedures, competitive dialogue, design contest.. 0 (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), article 2)
Is there a procurement arbitration court dedicated to public procurement cases? yes. Department of Contracts within the Ministry of Finance for pre-contractual remedies and contracts below EUR 120,000, Courts for other procedures (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), article 7)
Is there a procurement regulatory body dedicated to public procurement? yes. Department of Contracts within Ministry of Finance: contracts.gov.mt (Article 80 and 81, Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014))
Is the procurement regulatory body independent? no.
Is the procurement advisors' profession legally defined (i.e. degree to be obtained, official list of members of the professional association) and its role in the tendering procedure described (e.g. right to draft tender documentations, conduct market research identifying bidders)? no. 0 (no mention found)
Is disclosure of final, beneficial owners required for placing a bid? no. 0

Complaints

Is there a fee for arbitration procedure? yes. precontractual and below threshold to Dept. of Contracts, others to Public Contracts Review board (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), article 7)
If yes, how much EUR 10,000-58,000. some procedure to challenge cancellation of tenders: 10,000-58,000 EUR deposit (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), article 83)
Is there a ban on contract signature until arbitration court decision (first instance court)? no. No mention in the law (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), article 85)
What is the maximum number of days until arbitration court decision from filing a complaint? no limit for arbitration of Public Contracts Review board, only max. 2 months for appeal of this decision. 0 (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), article 85(5))
Are arbitration court decisions required to be publicly released? no. 0 (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 as of 2010, amended in 2014), article 85)

Qualitative data for 2016


Legislation

Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 of 2010, amended in 2014)missing file: