Auditor General should investigate use of public funds for Ministers’ social media – Repubblika

FILE PHOTO: The Facebook logo is displayed on a mobile phone in this picture illustration taken December 2, 2019. REUTERS/Johanna Geron/Illustration/File Photo

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Rule of law NGO Repubblika has called on Prime Minister Robert Abela to start an investigation into the Ministers’ use of public funds for their own social media.

In its letter, Repubblika has called on the government to ensure that any public funds used by ministers and parliamentary secretaries to elevate their own personal political profiles are refunded.

Repubblika voiced its concern after three out of five ministers failed to answer to the questions sent in by the Commissioner of Standards in Public Life when his office was investigating a complaint. The NGO added that it was also worrying that in his conclusions George Hyzler noted that there possibly could be “worse offenders”.

The NGO has also asked the prime minister to task the auditor general to investigate the misuse of public funds.

Earlier this week, the Commissioner of Standards in Public Life published a report and issued guidelines on social media use by Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries following a complaint on the possible misuse of public funds to pay for social media adverts.

In a report published on Thursday, Hyzler stated that the practice of publishing content that appears to have been created specifically for their personal social media channels using official resources should be discontinued. He noted that the ministers and parliamentary secretaries were using public resources to raise their own personal and political profiles, and that this was a misuse of public resources which blurred their roles as members of the executive and as politicians.