A total of 14 ministries have failed to reply to a parliamentary question about the number of individuals employed during the month between the dissolution of parliament and the 2017 general election.
Office of the Prime Minister, as well as the Social Justice, Gozo, Transport, Environment, Economy, Tourism, Justice, Home Affairs, Finance, Foreign Affairs, Energy, Education and Health ministries, have all failed to adequately reply to a question put forward by PN MP Mario De Marco.
The figures were provided by the Speaker of the House Anglu Farrugia in a reply to a parliamentary question (PQ) by Nationalist MP Chris Said. Said asked the speaker for the number of PQs each ministry still had pending since the start of the legislature in 2017 and to specify which PQ had been left pending the longest.
In De Marco’s original question – submitted during the legislature’s first sitting – the MP asked the respective ministers to state how many people had been engaged by the ministry, or any departments or entities it was responsible for, between the 1st May 2017 and the 2 June 2017.
The Nationalist MP also asked for information on the number of individuals employed during the 2013 election campaign, the year of the 2013 general election.
The election followed the last legislature with a Nationalist administration, with De Marco’s question undoubtedly intended to illustrate that the Labour Party had made use of its power of incumbency more than any other previous administration, an assertion made repeatedly by the PN after the snap election.
According to the information provided to Said, there were another 742 questions that remained unanswered during this legislature.
The Gozo Ministry and the Solidarity and Social Justice Ministry were the two with the biggest number of pending questions – a total of 90. The economy, transport and environment ministries have 76, 67 and 55 pending questions respectively.
An analysis of data from parliament by Lovin Malta has shown that parliament has registered a number of unanswered questions at the end of each year starting in 2012. There were no pending questions recorded at the end of each year from 2006 to 2012.
According to the Standing Orders of Parliament, ministries should reply to questions put to them within three working days.
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