Opposition leader Adrian Delia has formally asked the National Audit Office to launch an investigation into the way ministers and parliamentary secretaries had used public funds on their personal social media pages.
Delia wrote to the NAO in the wake of a report by Standards Commissioner George Hyzler, which found widespread use of public funds and resources on the personal social media pages of Cabinet members.
The misuse was both in terms of ‘boosts’, money paid to Facebook to ensure posts reach a wider audience, and the production of original content specifically for the personal profiles of Cabinet members.
“I have urged the Auditor General to prioritise this investigation so that the Maltese public can get back the money that was spent so abusively,” Delia said.
The government has since agreed to abide by a new set of guidelines detailing what Cabinet members can and cannot publish on their personal profiles. Crucially, the guidelines state that content produced using public funds and resources can only be published by official ministry social media profiles, and not by the personal profiles of individual ministers.
The vast majority of ministries didn’t even have their own official pages, but since Hyzler’s report, the Health Ministry and the Economy Ministry have both set up such pages.