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Parliament of Malta
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Freedom of Information

House of Representatives

Structure, Functions and responsibilities

In accordance with Articles 3 and 4 of the Parliamentary Service Act (Kap 562) the structure of the Parliamentary Service shall be as follows:

The Speaker has the control of the parliamentary offices and services in the parliamentary precincts and all such offices and services as may be supplied elsewhere by the House or its members.

The Parliamentary Service shall be autonomous and independent from the Executive.

The Service shall be a body corporate having a distinct legal personality and shall be capable of entering into contracts, of employing personnel, of acquiring, holding and disposing of any kind of property for the purposes of its operations and of suing and of being sued and of doing all such things and entering into all such transactions as are incidental or conducive to the exercise or performance of its functions under this Act, including the borrowing of money.

The officers of the Service shall abide by any Code of Ethics applicable to public officers and shall, subject to any law to the contrary, have the same obligations there-under:

Provided that the Service may, with the concurrence of the House Business Committee, draw up service values and a Code of Ethics to supplement any public service Code of Ethics in respect of the Service.

The legal and judicial representation of the Service shall lie in the Speaker.

The Service shall consist of:

  1. officers of the House being:
    1. the Clerk;
    2. other officers required to sit at the Table of the House;
    3. such other officers as the Speaker, on the advice of the House Business Committee, may establish; and
  2. other officers of the Service.

Article 51 of the Constitution of Malta states that there shall be a Parliament of Malta composed of the President and a House of Representatives.

The Maltese House of Representatives, through its elected representatives, is accountable to the people of Malta for the provision and conduct of representative government in the interest of Maltese citizens.

Towards this end the Office of the Clerk is duty bound to deliver effective, apolitical, professional and innovative services to support the efficient conduct of the House of Representatives, its committees as well as a range of services and facilities for Members of Parliament.

The Maltese House of Representatives is committed to remaining an organisation that:

  • Provides a venue to allow the people’s representatives to fully exercise their mandate in a parliamentary democratic process;
  • Promotes sound financial management and good governance by holding Government to account; 
  • Provides for the smooth running of the debates held in Plenary and in Parliamentary Committees;
  • Provides logistical support for 
    • Parliamentary delegations attending conferences abroad;
    • Hosting Parliamentary Conferences in Malta; and foreign parliamentary delegations invited to visit Malta;
  • Works closely with three fully autonomous Parliamentary Officers:
    • The Auditor General who is committed to provide sound and independent assurance to Parliament on the adequacy of accountability and resource management practices in the public sector;
    • The Ombudsman who is committed to investigate grievances submitted by citizens with regard to  maladministration in the public sector and make recommendations;
    • The Commissioner for Standards in Public Life who is committed to conduct investigations with regard to declarations relating to income, assets or other interests of Members of Parliament and Persons of Trust.

The key responsibilities facing the Office of the Clerk in assisting the House of Representatives attain the above mentioned objectives are:

  • The delivery of services requested by Members of Parliament, Ministries, Government departments, the press and the public within existing financial and human resources;
  • The ongoing task of ensuring that the Parliamentary Chamber and its precincts remain a functional working location that is accessible to the public within security constraints;
  • The provision of a wide range of services and facilities to ensure that Parliament function effectively.  While these services primarily consist of the keeping and publishing of Parliamentary minutes and transcripts, they also include research services, audio broadcasting of parliamentary and committee sitting and the provision of IT services to Members of Parliament.

General Description of the categories of Documents held

The Office of the Clerk holds documents falling under the following categories:

  • Personal files of all employees at the House of Representatives
  • Schedules of service of current Members of Parliament and ex Members of Parliament
  • Agendas, minutes and transcripts of Plenary and Committee sessions
  • Documents laid on the Table of the House by Members of Parliament during the parliamentary sittings held in Plenary
  • Parliamentary questions submitted by the Members of Parliament together with the Ministers’ replies
  • Information re subscriptions to international memberships
  • Documents issued by EU institutions referred to Parliament for scrutiny
  • Documents relating to the day to day running of the House of Representatives, including documents pertaining to the procurement of products and services
  • Register of Members’ interests
  • Details regarding benefits given to Members of Parliament and ex Members of Parliament.
     

Manual containing rules or guidelines in accordance with which decisions or recommendations made in respect of members of the public

Standing Orders of the House of Representatives

Contact Details

Requests for information are to be addressed to the Freedom of Information Officer of the House of Representatives who may be contacted on 25596000 or by email on foi.parliament@gov.mt. 

FOI Requests may be submitted by e-mail to foi.parliament@gov.mt, through the FOI Portal www.foi.gov.mt via the e-ID or through the online form or by post:

House of Representatives
Parliament of Malta,
Freedom Square,
Valletta VLT 1010
MALTA

 

Working Days: Monday to Friday.

Working Hours (from 16th June to 30th September) – 7.30 to 13.30,

(from 1st October to 15th June) – 7.45 to 17.15.

 

Freedom of Information Requests charges are applicable as per Legal Notice 158 of 2010. Payments, in cash or by cheque, are to be made at the Accounts Section, House of Representatives, Valletta.

Requests received on weekends and public holidays will be replied to on the next working day.

Details of Internal Complaints Procedure

An applicant whose request for information is refused, or who is otherwise not satisfied with the information provided, its format or the extension of the deadline for the submission of the notification indicating whether a request would be met or not, may address a complaint to the House of Representatives.

The complaint should be addressed to the institution’s FOI Officer, who shall bring the complaint to the attention of the Clerk of the House, who shall reply to the applicant within 10 working days from the receipt of the complaint. The applicant shall also be informed that he or she may appeal the decision or otherwise address a complaint to the Information and Data Protection Commissioner in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (Cap. 496 of the Laws of Malta).

The Clerk of the House shall inform the applicant of the decision taken with respect to his or her complaint, and in the event of confirmation of a decision not to release the pertinent information, shall explain the reasons thereof. Whenever the applicant’s complaint is related to the format of the information provided or to an extension of the deadline for the submission of the notification indicating whether a request would be met or not by the institution, and the original decision is upheld, the applicant shall be given an explanation as to why his or her complaint cannot be positively addressed.

An applicant may also make use of the Internal Complaints Procedure to report failure to meet deadlines or to send notifications.