Robert Abela says he sees nothing wrong for his legal firm to continue “competing” for government work if he is elected Prime Minister if he resigns from the firm.
He’s wrong. What he see as “nothing wrong” actually goes against the law. It’s illegal. Even if he resigns from the firm.
The aspiring Prime Minister of Malta does not understand that the possibility or perception of conflicts of interest are considered as actual conflicts of interest at law.
He never understood that good governance is not only about doing things in the right way, but also about being perceived to do things in the right way.
The EU has laws on conflicts of interest.
The applicable EU provision is Article 24 of the consolidated directive on public procurement, which applies as law and above any Maltese law within its scope.
Member States shall ensure that contracting authorities take appropriate measures to effectively prevent, identify and remedy conflicts of interest arising in the conduct of procurement procedures so as to avoid any distortion of competition and to ensure equal treatment of all economic operators.
DIRECTIVE 2014/24/EU OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL Conflicts of interest
The concept of conflicts of interest shall at least cover any situation where staff members of the contracting authority or of a procurement service provider acting on behalf of the contracting authority who are involved in the conduct of the procurement procedure or may influence the outcome of that procedure have, directly or indirectly, a financial, economic or other personal interest which might be perceived to compromise their impartiality and independence in the context of the procurement procedure.
The conflicts here are obviously massive. Here are a few:
- Abela has an interest in his wife, a member of his family, making money.
- There’s a direct hierarchical relationship between all awarding officers and Abela as prime minister.
- Employees of public authorities may have an interest in helping Abela and his family as that can have an impact on their career.
Effectively, Robert Abela is planning to break the law once he becomes Prime Minister.
Repubblika will be holding a General Meeting on Saturday 11 January 2020 to discuss and consider the adoption of its policy document “Malta Ġdida: Repubblika Ġdida”. The meeting has been convened with the following agenda.
09:30 Call to Order + Introduction by Robert Aquilina, President-Elect
09:40 Presentation of Policy Document by Manuel Delia
10:00 Debate Part 1
10:45 Coffee Break
11:15 Debate Part 2
11:50 Concluding remarks by Vicki Ann Cremona, President
The General Meeting is convening at the St Aloysius Assembly Hall, Birkirkara. Entrance through Triq il-Kulleġġ.
The Press is invited to attend any part of the meeting and committee members will be available for interview. A digital copy of the policy document in English and Maltese will be provided.