EUROPAM

European Public Accountability Mechanisms

Malta

Country score (European Average*)
  • 24(66) Political Financing
  • 10(50) Financial Disclosure
  • 13(40) Conflict of Interest
  • 81(56) Freedom of Information
  • 65(63) Public Procurement

Country Facts

IncomeHigh
GNI per capita (2011 PPP $)33580.41
Population, total436947.00
Urban population (% of total)95.53
Internet users (per 100 people)77.29
Life expectancy at birth (years)81.95
Mean years of schooling (years)11.3
Global Competitiveness Index4.6
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 2015).

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

2012201520162017Trend
Bans and limits on private income47171717
Public funding38383838
Regulations on spending25252525
Reporting, oversight and sanctions25171717

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 2016)
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 2017


Legislation

Foreign Interference Act 1982 (English)pdf
EPRA (2000) Political Communication on Television Matters for debate (English)pdf
Income Tax Act, 1949, amended 2016 (English)pdf
General Elections Law, No.​ 354, 1991, amended 2015 (English)pdf

Financial Disclosure

No financial disclosure laws apply to the Maltese Head of State. The Code of Ethics of Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Parliamentary Assistants (2015) 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 2016), 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

2012201520162017Trend
Disclosure items34343421
Filing frequency19191912
Sanctions0000
Monitoring and Oversight19191912
Public access to declarations1212126

Alternative Metric

2012201520162017Trend
Head of State0000
Ministers2929293
Members of Parliament26262626
Civil servants13131313

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 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 Yes. No minister should accept gifts, donations, hospitality or services from anyone, who can put under an obligation to that person and this also applies to members of the immediate family of the Minister. In case of doubt must consult the Prime Minister. (Article 4.8 /8.4 of the Code of Ethics of Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Parliamentary Assistants (2015))
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 (2015))
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 Yes. The Ministers should keep separate their roles as ministers and deputies, as well as their role as a member of a political party. (Article 4.9 of the Code of Ethics of Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Parliamentary Assistants (2015))
Participating in official decision-making processes that affect private interests Yes. No Minister should take part in making decisions affecting their family members, other close persons, and no minister should be conditioned improperly in making of conflict of financial interest or otherwise, his or persons close to him, or make improper use of information to be given to his office and in the performance of his duties, particularly if it is done in order to unfairly favor any person or people at the expense of others. (Article 8.2 and 8.6 of the Code of Ethics of Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Parliamentary Assistants (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 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.

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.
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 2016))
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 2016))
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 2016))
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 2016))
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 2016))

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 2016))
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 2017


Legislation

Code of Ethics of Members of Parliament, 1995 (English)pdf
Code of Ethics of Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and Parliamentary Assistants, 2015 (Maltese)pdf
Public Administration Act, 2009, amended 2016 (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 (2015) 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 2015). 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 2016).

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

2012201520162017Trend
Restrictions35323030
Sanctions25888
Monitoring and Oversight0000

Alternative Metric

2012201520162017Trend
Head of State0000
Ministers23201717
Members of Parliament24242424
Civil servants32101010

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.
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 2016))
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 2016))
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 2016))
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 2016))
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 2016))

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 2017


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

2012201520162017Trend
Scope and Coverage82828282
Information access and release0717171
Exceptions and Overrides100100100100
Sanctions for non-compliance100676767
Monitoring and Oversight50838383

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. 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.
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 2017


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 352 as of 201). 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 10,000 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 35 days for open procedures, 30 days for restricted procedures and 30 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 and the number of contracts assigned to SMEs can be monitored . 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. However, no form of independence of  the contracting authority is mandated for the evaluation committee.

There is a payable fee in case of an arbitration procedure, amounting between EUR 400-50,000, but court decisions are not publicly released.


Quantitative Data

Primary Metric

2012201520162017Trend
Scope878788
Information availability434343
Evaluation888881
Open competition838375
Institutional arrangements363636

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 5000. Where the estimated value does not exceed five thousand euro (€5,000), the supplies, works or services may be procured departmentally either after obtaining a minimum of three (3) quotations or after the publication in the government's e-procurement platform of through a direct contract at the discretion of the Head of the Contracting Authority, taking into consideration the amount involved, the urgency attached to the procurement or restrictions of choice and availability. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulations 9(1), 100)
What is the minimum contract value above which the public procurement law is applied? (Product type WORKS) EUR 5000. Where the estimated value does not exceed five thousand euro (€5,000), the supplies, works or services may be procured departmentally either after obtaining a minimum of three (3) quotations or after the publication in the government's e-procurement platform of through a direct contract at the discretion of the Head of the Contracting Authority, taking into consideration the amount involved, the urgency attached to the procurement or restrictions of choice and availability. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulations 9(1), 100)
What is the minimum contract value above which the public procurement law is applied? (Product type SERVICES) EUR 5000. Where the estimated value does not exceed five thousand euro (€5,000), the supplies, works or services may be procured departmentally either after obtaining a minimum of three (3) quotations or after the publication in the government's e-procurement platform of through a direct contract at the discretion of the Head of the Contracting Authority, taking into consideration the amount involved, the urgency attached to the procurement or restrictions of choice and availability. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulations 9(1), 100)

Threshold - by PP type

What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: PUBLIC SECTOR) EUR 10000. The procurement process of public contracts the estimated value of which is less than one hundred and thirty-five thousand euro (€135,000), shall be issued, administered and determined by the contracting authorities on their own without the need to involve the Director. Where the estimated value meets or exceeds ten thousand euro (€10,000), but does not exceed the threshold established under regulation 9(1)(a), the supplies, works or services may be procured after a departmental call for tenders. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulations 9(1), 101)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: UTILITIES) EUR 418000. The value of the thresholds, net of vat, applicable to Public Contracts shall be the following: (a) EUR 418,000 for supply and service contracts as well as for design contests; (b) EUR 5,225,000 for works contracts. (Public Procurement Utilities (Subsidiary legislation 174.06 - Legal Notice 351 of 2016), regulation 30, Schedule 5)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Entity: DEFENCE) EUR 135000. In the case of public supply and service contracts awarded by contracting authorities operating in the field of defence, the value of the threshold is EUR 135 000 net of VAT and it shall apply only to contracts involving products covered by Schedule 7. For public supply and service contracts awarded by central government authorities which operate in the field of defence, the value of the threshold is EUR 209 000 net of VAT and it shall apply where these contracts involve products not listed in Schedule 7. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulation 9 and Schedule 5.)

Threshold - by product type

What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type GOODS) EUR 10000. The procurement process of public contracts the estimated value of which is less than one hundred and thirty-five thousand euro (€135,000), shall be issued, administered and determined by the contracting authorities on their own without the need to involve the Director. Where the estimated value meets or exceeds ten thousand euro (€10,000), but does not exceed the threshold established under regulation 9(1)(a), the supplies, works or services may be procured after a departmental call for tenders. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulations 9(1), 101)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type WORKS) EUR 10000. The procurement process of public contracts the estimated value of which is less than one hundred and thirty-five thousand euro (€135,000), shall be issued, administered and determined by the contracting authorities on their own without the need to involve the Director. Where the estimated value meets or exceeds ten thousand euro (€10,000), but does not exceed the threshold established under regulation 9(1)(a), the supplies, works or services may be procured after a departmental call for tenders. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulations 9(1), 101)
What are the minimum application thresholds for the procurement type? (Product type SERVICES) EUR 10000. The procurement process of public contracts the estimated value of which is less than one hundred and thirty-five thousand euro (€135,000), shall be issued, administered and determined by the contracting authorities on their own without the need to involve the Director. Where the estimated value meets or exceeds ten thousand euro (€10,000), but does not exceed the threshold established under regulation 9(1)(a), the supplies, works or services may be procured after a departmental call for tenders. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulations 9(1), 101)

Information availability

Publishing and record keeping

Is there a requirement that tender documents must published in full? Yes. The authority responsible for the tendering process may make known its intentions of planned procurements through the publication of a prior information notice. These notices shall contain the information set out in Schedule 9 part B section I. They shall be published either by the Publications Office of the European Union or by the contracting authorities on their buyer profiles in accordance with paragraph 2(b) of Schedule 11. Contract notices shall contain the information set out in Schedule 9 part C and shall be published in accordance with regulation 44. The authority responsible for the tendering process shall send a contract award notice on the results of the procurement procedure. The notice shall contain the information set out in Schedule 9 part D and shall be published in accordance with regulation 44. Notices referred to in regulations 41, 42 and 43 are obligatory only in respect to tenders with an estimated value which meets or exceeds the threshold established under Schedule 5 and shall include the information set out in Schedule 9 in the format of standard forms, including standard forms for corrigenda. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulations 41, 42(2), 43, 44(1), Schedules 9 and 11)
Are any of these documents published online at a central place? Yes. etenders.gov.mt
Is it mandatory to keep all of 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. In relation to a procurement procedure carried out by the Director on behalf of a contracting authority with an estimated value which falls under regulation 9(1)(b) it shall also be the function of the Director: (n) to make and transmit to the Minister a report, by not later than six months after the end of each financial year, on the performance of the General Contracts Committee, and of the Special Contracts Committee during the financial year being reported upon, which report shall, in particular, provide details regarding the results of the monitoring activities: Provided that, following the transmission of the report to the Minister, the Director shall ensure that the report is made public. Report to the Commission. Also, by 18 April 2017 and every three years thereafter the Director shall forward to the Commission a statistical report for procurement as set out in the EU Directive 2014/24. For every contract or framework agreement covered by these regulations, and every time a dynamic purchasing system is established, contracting authorities shall draw up a written report. Furthermore, the Review Board shall by not later than six months after the end of the financial year, make and submit to the Minister a report dealing with the performance of the Board during the financial year being reported upon. The report shall, in particular, provide details regarding appeals submitted by candidates and tenderers and any person having or having had an interest in obtaining a particular public contract in terms of these regulations and the decisions arrived at by the Review Board. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulations 13(n), 14, 94 and 241(2))
Are contracts awarded within a framework agreement published? Yes. Not later than thirty days after the conclusion of a contract or of a framework agreement, following the decision to award or conclude it, the authority responsible for the tendering process shall send a contract award notice on the results of the procurement procedure. The notice shall contain the information set out in Schedule 9 part D and shall be published in accordance with regulation 44. In the case of framework agreements concluded in accordance with regulations 167 to 173, the authority responsible for the tendering process shall not be bound to send a notice of the results of the procurement procedure for each contract based on that agreement: Provided that the authority responsible for the tendering process shall group notices of the results of the procurement procedure for contracts based on the framework agreement on a quarterly basis. In that case, contracting authorities shall send the grouped notices within thirty days of the end of each quarter. Certain information on the contract award or the conclusion of the framework agreement may be withheld from publication where its release would impede law enforcement or otherwise be contrary to the public interest, would harm the legitimate commercial interests of a particular economic operator, public or private, or might prejudice fair competition between economic operators. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulations 43, and regulations 167, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172 and 173)

Sub-contracting

Are contracts awarded within a framework agreement published (ie mini contracts)? No. In the procurement documents, the authority responsible for the tendering process may ask the tenderer to indicate in its tender any share of the contract it may intend to sub-contract to third parties and any proposed subcontractors. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), schedule 9 and regulation 60)

Sub-contracting

Preferential treatment

Is there a ban on mentioning specific companies or brands in tender specification/call for tender? Yes. Technical specifications shall not refer to a specific make or source, or a particular process which characterises the products or services provided by a specific economic operator, or to trade marks, patents, types, or a specific origin or production with the effect of favouring or eliminating certain undertakings or certain products. Such reference shall be permitted on an exceptional basis. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulation 53 (8))
Is there a preferential treatment for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs)? No. Although there is no preferential treatment, the law mention SMEs in several provisions. For instance, it is one of the duties of the Director of Contracts to provide information and guidance on the interpretation and application of these regulations, to assist contracting authorities and economic operators, in particular SMEs, in correctly applying these regulations. Furthermore, the number of tenders received from SMEs, as well as information on whether the successful tenderer is a SME are amongst the informations that should be included in contract award notices, (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulation 12(d), Schedule 9, Part D: 11(a), 12(a), Part F: 11, )
Is there a preferential treatment for local/national companies? (companies from other EU MS are considered foreign companies) No. Contracting authorities shall treat economic operators equally and without discrimination and shall act in a transparent and proportionate manner. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulation 39(1))
Is there a specific set of rules for green/sustainable procurement? Yes. In so far as this is not inconsistent with the duties established under sub-regulation (2) and regulation 79, it is the duty of all contracting authorities to take appropriate measures to ensure that during the execution of a contract, economic operators comply with the applicable obligations in the fields of environmental, social and labour law established by Union law, national law, collective agreements or by the international environmental, social and labour law provisions listed in Schedule 13. In that sense, where contracting authorities require the production of certificates drawn up by independent bodies attesting that the economic operator complies with certain environmental management systems or standards, they shall refer to the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) of the Union or to other environmental management systems as recognised in accordance with Article 45 of Regulation (EC) No 1221/2009 or other environmental management standards based on the relevant European or international standards by accredited bodies. They shall recognise equivalent certificates from bodies established in other Member States. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulations 13(m), 16(1)(k), 232(g), 234(2), 240(1)(b), 245, Schedule 13)

Bid evaluation

Are there restrictions on allowable grounds for tenderer exclusion? Yes. The authority responsible for the tendering process shall exclude an economic operator from participation in a procurement procedure where it has established or is otherwise made aware that such an economic operator has been the subject of a conviction by final judgement having the nature of a res judicata for one of the reasons laid out in regulation 192 1(a) to 1(f). An economic operator shall likewise be excluded from participation in a procurement procedure where the authority responsible for the tendering process is aware that the economic operator is in breach of its obligations relating to the payment of taxes or social security contributions and where this has been established by a local or foreign judicial or administrative decision having final and binding effect. A contract shall also not be awarded to an economic operator who, during the procurement procedure for that contract: (a) is bankrupt or is the subject of insolvency or winding-up proceedings, where its assets are being administered by a liquidator or by the court, where it is in an arrangement with creditors, where its business activities are suspended or it is in any analogous situation arising from a similar procedure under national laws and regulations; (b) is the subject to a conflict of interests as referred to under the definition in regulation 2 which cannot be effectively remedied by other less intrusive measures; (c) has been involved in the preparation of the procurement procedure, unless such an exclusion cannot be remedied by other, less intrusive measures. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulations 192, 193, 194)
Are some bids automatically excluded? e.g., lowest/highest price; unusually low price, etc. Yes. Contracting authorities shall require economic operators to explain the price or costs proposed in the tender where tenders appear to be abnormally low in relation to the activity to be carried out when the estimated value of these falls under regulation 9(1)(b). Failure by the economic operator to send his explanations within the written time-fram imposed, shall be deemed as acceptance that his tender is abnormally low. The contracting authority shall assess the information provided by consulting the tenderer. It may only reject the tender where the evidence supplied does not satisfactorily account for the low level of price or costs proposed, taking into account the elements referred to in sub-regulation (2). Furthermore, contracting authorities shall reject the tender, where they have established that the tender is abnormally low because it does not comply with applicable obligations referred to in regulation 13(m) and 16(k). (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulation 243 (1) (2) (3) (4) (5))
Is scoring criteria published? Yes. Without prejudice to regulations or administrative provisions concerning the price of certain supplies or the remuneration of certain services, contracting authorities shall base the award of public contracts on the most economically advantageous tender. The most economically advantageous tender from the point of view of the contracting authority shall be identified on the basis of the price or cost, using a cost-effectiveness approach, such as life-cycle costing in accordance with regulation 240, and may include the best price-quality ratio, which shall be assessed on the basis of criteria, including qualitative, environmental and, or social aspects, linked to the subject-matter of the public contract in question. Such criteria may comprise, for instance: (a) quality, including technical merit, aesthetic and functional characteristics, accessibility, design for all users, social, environmental and innovative characteristics and trading and its conditions; (b) organisation, qualification and experience of staff assigned to performing the contract, where the quality of the staff assigned can have a significant impact on the level of performance of the contract; or (c) after-sales service and technical assistance, delivery conditions such as delivery date, delivery process and delivery period or period of completion. The contracting authority shall specify, in the procurement documents, the relative weighting which it gives to each of the criteria chosen to determine the most economically advantageous tender, except where this is identified on the basis of price alone. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulation 239)
Are decisions always made by a committee? Yes. The General Contracts Committees shall be composed of the Director of Contracts, who shall be ex officio chairman, together with not less than four and not more than ten other members. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulation 65(1))
Are there regulations on evaluation committee composition to prevent conflict of interest? Yes. A person shall be disqualified from being appointed to and from remaining a member of the General Contracts Committee if he: (a) is a member of the House of Representatives, or of the European Parliament or of a Local Council; (b) has such a financial or other interest that is likely to prejudice the discharge of his functions as a member of the General Contracts Committee; (c) is legally incapacitated or interdicted; (d) has been adjudged bankrupt or has made a composition or arrangement with his creditors; or (e) has been convicted of a crime affecting public trust or of theft or of fraud or of knowingly receiving property obtained by theft or fraud. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulation 67(2), 68)
Is some pregulation of evaluation committee mandatorily independent of contracting authority? No. ( )
Are scoring results publicly available? No.
Does the law specify under which conditions the tender can be cancelled? Yes. The Director has the right to cancel the award of a contract at any time during a call for tenders even after the recommended bidder has been decreed and the time establish to file and appeal before the Public Contracts Review Board has lapsed, if it is found that such a contract has been awarded either in breach of these regulations or the award has been made in such a way as to discriminate between economic operators. The Director may decide to cancel any procurement procedure even if an evaluation process has not been concluded by the end of the validity period of the submitted bids. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulation 15(1) (2) )

Open competition

CFT publication

Does the law specify the location for publicizing open calls for tenders? Yes. The authority responsible for the tendering process may make known its intentions of planned procurements through the publication of a prior information notice.They shall be published either by the Publications Office of the European Union or by the contracting authorities on their buyer profiles in accordance with paragraph 2(b) of Schedule 11. Where the prior information notice is published by the authority responsible for the tendering process on its buyer profile, it shall send a notice of the publication on their buyer profile to the Publications Office of the European Union in accordance with Schedule 11. Contract notices shall be used as a means of calling for competition in respect of all procedures, without prejudice to the provisions of regulation 150. Moreover it is TED and etenders.gov.mt, that include this notice. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulation 41, 42(1), 44, 45, Schedule 11)
Does the law specify the location for publicizing restricted calls for tenders? Yes. The authority responsible for the tendering process may make known its intentions of planned procurements through the publication of a prior information notice.They shall be published either by the Publications Office of the European Union or by the contracting authorities on their buyer profiles in accordance with paragraph 2(b) of Schedule 11. Where the prior information notice is published by the authority responsible for the tendering process on its buyer profile, it shall send a notice of the publication on their buyer profile to the Publications Office of the European Union in accordance with Schedule 11. Contract notices shall be used as a means of calling for competition in respect of all procedures, without prejudice to the provisions of regulation 150. Moreover it is TED and etenders.gov.mt, that include this notice. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulation 41, 42(1), 44, 45, Schedule 11)
Does the law specify the location for publicizing negotiated calls for tenders? Yes. The authority responsible for the tendering process may make known its intentions of planned procurements through the publication of a prior information notice.They shall be published either by the Publications Office of the European Union or by the contracting authorities on their buyer profiles in accordance with paragraph 2(b) of Schedule 11. Where the prior information notice is published by the authority responsible for the tendering process on its buyer profile, it shall send a notice of the publication on their buyer profile to the Publications Office of the European Union in accordance with Schedule 11. Contract notices shall be used as a means of calling for competition in respect of all procedures, without prejudice to the provisions of regulation 150. Moreover it is TED and etenders.gov.mt, that include this notice. However, upon being requested in writing by the contracting authority the Director may, subject to any conditions he may deem appropriate to impose, approve the use of the negotiated procedure without prior publication for public works contracts, public supply contracts and public service contracts as specified in the following regulations. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulations 41, 42(1), 44, 45, 150 Schedule 11)

Minimum # of bidders

What is the minimum number of bidders for restricted procedures? 5. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulation 237(3))
What is the minimum number of bidders for negotiated procedures? 3. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulation 237(3))
What is the minimum number of bidders for competitive dialogue procedures? 3. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulation 237(3))

Bidding period length

What are the minimum number of days for open procedures? 35. A call for competition with an estimated value which falls under the threshold established under regulation 9(1)(b) shall have a minimum time limit for the receipt of tenders of thirty five days from the date of publication. Where the authorities responsible for the tendering process have published a prior information notice, the minimum time limit for the receipt of tenders may be shortened to fifteen days, provided that all of the following conditions are fulfilled: (a) the prior information notice included all the information required for the contract notice in section I of part B of Schedule 9, in so far as that information was available at the time the prior information notice was published; (b) the prior information notice was sent for publication between thirty-five days and twelve months before the date on which the contract notice was sent. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulation 116(1)(a) (2))
What are the minimum number of days for restricted procedures? 30. The minimum time limit for the receipt of tenders from the suitable candidates shall be thirty days from the date on which the invitation to tender was sent. Where contracting authorities have published a prior information notice, the minimum time limit for the receipt of tenders as laid down in sub-regulation (1) may be shortened to ten days, provided that all of the following conditions are fulfilled: (a) the prior information notice included all the information required in section I of part B of Schedule 9, in so far as that information was available at the time the prior information notice was published; (b) the prior information notice was sent for publication between thirty-five days and twelve months before the date on which the contract notice was sent. The time limit for receipt of tenders provided for in subregulation (1) may be reduced by five days where the contracting authority accepts that tenders may be submitted by electronic means in conformity with regulation 48(1) to (6), (10), (11) and (12) to (14). (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulation 121(1) (2) (3))
What are the minimum number of days for competitive negotiated procedures? 30. The minimum time limit for receipt of requests to participate shall be thirty days from the date on which the contract notice was sent to the Publication Office of the European Union or from when the call for competition is published, as the case may be, whilst the minimum time limit for the receipt of initial tenders shall be thirty days from the date on which the invitation was sent. The provisions of regulations 121 and 122 shall apply mutatis mutandis also to the competitive procedure with negotiation. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulation 125(1) (2))

Institutional arrangements

Institutions and regulations

Does the law specify the main EXCEPTIONS preventing the application of the public procurement law for tenders/organisations? Yes. The Public Procurement Regulations shall not apply to: (a) public contracts and design contests which, under the Public Procurement of Entities operating in the Water, Energy, Transport and Postal Services Sectors Regulations, 2016, are awarded or organised by contracting authorities exercising one or more of the activities referred to in regulations 8 to 14 of the said Regulations and are awarded for the pursuit of those activities; (b) public contracts excluded from the scope of the Public Procurement of Entities operating in the Water, Energy, Transport and Postal Services Sectors Regulations, 2016, under regulations 18, 23 and 34 thereof; (c) public contracts awarded by a contracting authority which provides postal services within the meaning of paragraph (b) of regulation 13(2) of the Public Procurement of Entities operating in the Water, Energy, Transport and Postal Services Sectors Regulations, 2016, for the pursuit of specific described activities; (d) public contracts and design contests for the principal purpose of permitting the contracting authorities to provide or exploit public communications networks or to provide to the public one or more electronic communications service; (e) public contracts and design contests which the contracting authority is obliged to award or organise in accordance with procurement procedures different from those laid down in these regulations; (f) public contracts and design contests which the contracting authority awards or organises in accordance with procurement rules provided by an international organisation or international financing institution, where the public contracts and design contests concerned are fully financed by that organisation or institution; (g) public service contracts for the acquisition or rental, by whatever financial means, of land, existing buildings or other immovable property or concerning rights thereon; (h) public service contracts for the acquisition, development, production or co-production of programme material intended for audiovisual media services or radio media services, that are awarded by audiovisual or radio media service providers, or contracts for broadcasting time or programme provision that are awarded to audiovisual or radio media service providers; (i) arbitration and conciliation services; (j) legal representation of a client by a lawyer within the meaning of Article 1 of Council Directive 77/249/EEC of 22 March 1977 to facilitate the effective exercise by lawyers of freedom to provide specified services; (k) legal advice given in preparation of any of the proceedings referred to in paragraph (i) of this sub-regulation or where there is a tangible indication and high probability that the matter to which the advice relates will become the subject of such proceedings; (l) document certification and authentication services which must be provided by notaries; (m) legal services provided by trustees or appointed guardians or other legal services the providers of which are designated by a court or tribunal in the Member State concerned or are designated by law to carry out specific tasks under the supervision of such tribunals or courts; (n) other legal services which are connected, even occasionally, with the exercise of official authority; (o) financial services in connection with the issue, sale, purchase or transfer of securities or other financial instruments within the meaning of Directive 2004/39/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 on markets in financial instruments amending central bank services and operations conducted with the European Financial Stability Facility and the European Stability Mechanism; (p) loans, whether or not in connection with the issue, sale, purchase or transfer of securities or other financial instruments; (q) employment contracts; (r) civil defence, civil protection, and danger prevention services that are provided by non-profit organisations or associations, and which are covered by CPV codes 75250000-3, 75251000-0, 75251100-1, 75251110-4, 75251120-7, 75252000-7, 75222000-8, 98113100-9 and 85143000-3 except patient transport ambulance services; (s) public passenger transport services by rail or metro; (t) political campaign services covered by CPV codes 79341400-0, 92111230-3 and 92111240-6, when awarded by a political party in the context of an election campaign; (u) public service contracts awarded by a contracting authority to another contracting authority or to an association of contracting authorities on the basis of an exclusive right which they enjoy pursuant to a law, regulation or published administrative provision which is compatible with the TFEU; (v) public service contracts for research and development services other than those public service contracts for research and development services which fall under the CPV codes 73000000-2 to 73120000-9, 73300000-5, 73420000-2 and 73430000-5 and whose benefits accrue exclusively to the contracting authority for its use in the conduct of its own affairs, on condition that the service provided is wholly remunerated by the contracting authority; (w) public contracts falling within the scope of Public Procurement of Contracting Authorities or Entities in the fields of Defence and Security Regulations and those contracts which are excluded pursuant to regulations 9(1), 12 and 13 of Public Procurement of Contracting Authorities or Entities in the fields of Defence and Security Regulations, 2016; (x) public contracts and design contests not otherwise exempted under paragraph (w) to the extent that the protection of the essential security interests of Malta cannot be guaranteed by less intrusive measures; (y) public contracts and design contests not otherwise exempted under paragraph (w) to the extent that the application of these regulations would oblige Malta to supply information the disclosure of which it considers contrary to the essential interests of its security; (z) the procurement and performance of a public contract or design contest that are declared to be secret or are accompanied by special security measures in accordance with the laws, regulations or administrative provisions in force in Malta, as long as the essential interests concerned cannot be guaranteed by less intrusive measures, such as those referred to in paragraphs (x) and (y); (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 353 of 2016), regulation 7(1))
Does the law specify the main types of institutions that must apply the public procurement law? Yes. The State, regional or local authorities, bodies governed by public law or associations formed by one or more such authorities or one or more such bodies governed by public law. A list of the contracting authorities is further given in Schedule 1, such as 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. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulation 2 and Schedule 1)
Does the law specify the main procedure types or procurement methods permitted? Yes. Contracts may be awarded using the open procedure, the restricted procedure, the competitive procedure with negotiation, the innovation partnership, competitive dialogue, the negotiated procedure without contract notice and design contests. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulation 114)
Is there a procurement arbitration court dedicated to public procurement cases? Yes. It shall be the function of the Review Board to address in particular: (a) concerns or complaints raised before the closure of a submission of a tender by candidates or persons having an interest in obtaining a particular public contract; (b) complaints raised by tenderers or candidates relating to exclusions, non-compliant offers, contract award decisions or cancellations of a procurement procedure after the closing date and time set for the submission of the said call; (c) requests for the ineffectiveness of a public contract as established in these regulations; (d) to hear and determine any cases assigned to it under these regulations or any other law; and (e) to hear and determine any cases assigned to it in a public call for tenders or quotations, even if such call does not involve procurement. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulations 80, 87)
Is there a procurement regulatory body dedicated to public procurement? Yes. The Contracts Committees which shall (a) advise on all matters relating to public contracts, as well as on public procurement of materials, works and services either on its own initiative or on specific issues relating to its functions which may from time to time be referred to it for its advice; (b) evaluate reports and recommendations submitted by contracting authorities and make definite recommendations for the award of contracts ensuring that the best value for money at the lowest possible cost is attained. The Contracts committee is directly accountable to and appointed by the Prime Minister. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulations 64, 72)
Does the law specify procurement advisors' profession (i.e. degree to be obtained, official list of members of the professional association) and its role in the tendering process (e.g. right to draft tender documentations, conduct market research identifying bidders)? No. The only provision that exists regarding this matter is that in case of design contests, the jury shall be composed exclusively of natural persons who are independent of participants in the contest. Where a particular professional qualification is required from participants in a contest, at least a third of the members of the jury shall have that qualification or an equivalent qualification. Moreover, where the Prime Minister determines that the adjudication of tenders for the award of any particular contract requires special expertise, skills or other specialist knowledge, he may appoint a Special Contracts Committee for the award of that public contract. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulations 78(1), 159)
Is disclosure of final, beneficial owners required for placing a bid? No. (No mention in the law)

Complaints

Is there a fee for arbitration procedure? Yes. The objection submitted to the Public Contracts Review Board shall only be valid if accompanied by a deposit equivalent to 0.5% of the estimated value set by the contracting authority of the whole tender or if the tender is divided into lots according to the estimated value of the tender set by the contracting authority for each lot submitted by the tenderer, provided that in no case shall the deposit be less than four hundred euro (€400) or more than fifty thousand euro (€50,000) which may be refunded as the Public Contracts Review Board may decide in its decision. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulation 273)
Is there a ban on contract signature until arbitration court decision (first instance court)? Yes. The Department of Contracts, the Ministerial Procurement Unit or the contracting authority involved, as the case may be, shall be precluded from concluding the contract during the period of ten calendar days allowed for the submission of appeals. The award process shall be completely suspended if an appeal is eventually submitted. Pending the decision of the Public Contracts Review Board the process of the call for tenders shall be suspended. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulations 275 and 266)
What is the maximum number of days until arbitration court decision from filing a complaint in the case of awarded contracts? 42. The procedure to be followed in submitting and determining appeals as well as the conditions under which such appeals may be filed shall be the following: (f) when the oral hearing is concluded, the Public Contracts Review Board, if it does not deliver the decision on the same day, shall reserve decision for the earliest possible date to be fixed for the purpose, but not later than six weeks from the day of the oral hearing: Provided that for serious and justified reasons expressed in writing by means of an order notified to all the parties, the Public Contracts Review Board may postpone the judgment for a later period. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulation 276(f))
Is there a requirement to publicly release arbitration court decisions ? No. The decision of the Review Board shall be rendered in writing, be signed by all members and be dated. In its decision the Review Board shall indicate the reasons upon which such decision was taken. (Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016), regulation 93(3))

Qualitative data for 2017


Legislation

Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 296 of 2010, amended in 2014) (English)pdf
Public Procurement Utilities Regulations 2006 amended 2011 (English)pdf
Legal Notice 293/2014 amendment public procurement regulations (English)pdf
Legal Notice 68/2015 amendment public procurement regulations (English)pdf
Legal Notice 411-2011 Public Procurement of Defence and Security Regulations.pdf (English)pdf
Public Procurement Regulations (Legal Notice 352 of 2016) (English)pdf
Public Procurement Utilities Regulations 2016 (English)pdf