Heads of regulatory bodies and politically appointed representatives abroad will first have to be scrutinised by a new consultative parliamentary committee, Justice Minister Owen Bonnici announced today.

Addressing a press conference, Dr Bonnici said new draft legislation, set to come into effect this week, would set up the new committee.

It will be made up of three government members, one of whom will chair the committee, and two Opposition members.

The reform will see ministers have to consult this new committee before appointing a new head of a regulatory body or non-career diplomat as ambassador or high-ranking representative.

The committee's recommendation will not be binding, but the scrutiny will be public.

The committee will have the option to keep proceedings secret, if it so chooses.

Asked whether this defeated the purpose of such scrutiny, Dr Bonnici said this was he exception and not the rule.

"What government would introduce such a reform, only to circumvent it?" He said.
The minister was quick to add that certain appointments could have a baring on national security and therefore confidentiality was necessary.

Dr Bonnici described this as a "first step" towards making the process of filling more in line with EU practices.

Ambassadors, High Commissioners, or principle representative of Malta to countries where they are appointed as resident Ambassadors, will be subject to this protocol. As will the heads of the following entities: Central Bank, Malta Financial Services Authority, Regulator of Energy and Water Services, Transport Authority, Communications Authority, Gaming Authority, Planning Authority, Environment and Resources Authority, Voluntary Organisations Commissioner, Lands Authority
Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority, Medicines Authority, Tourism Authority, National Commission for Higher and Further Education Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit


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