NGO Repubblika has reported the Ministry within the Office of the Prime Minister to the Commissioner for Standards over a print advert appearing in national newspapers.

The organisation took exception to adverts depicting Minister Carmelo Abela accompanied by slogans, which do not provide readers with any essential information. 

The advert in question fulfils nothing of the criteria for pre-established budgetary provision, and was nothing more than a public relations vehicle for MP Carmelo Abela who will be seeking re-election to parliament from his constituency. 

"There is nothing wrong with humanising government communications with proportionate and contextual images of senior government officers. But Minister Abela's photo is neither proportionate nor in any way contextually relevant. It is nothing short of personal electoral campaigning at the taxpayer's expense," Repubblika said.

It insisted the minister should be found in breach of the code of ethics and public expenditure rules and is personally ordered to reimburse half of the advertising spend. 

The commissioner should also make recommendations to the government to adopt a centralised control process to restrict advertising by ministers to matters that are strictly within their public function. 

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