This week the newly-appointed Standards Commissioner and previous chief justice, Joseph Azzopardi issued a very shocking and ridiculous ruling that argued that politically-appointed public officials are not politically exposed persons and therefore do not require scrutiny by his office. The Nationalist Party had objected to his appointment because it argued he was going to be very much biased in favour of the government and his latest ruling is very clear of this.
Joseph Azzopardi who looks as if he is about to die has made a very simple and illogical error in his judgment. Political appointees are politically exposed by default of their appointment and they are directly politically exposed to political factors. You can’t be even more politically exposed than a chairman of a head of entity appointed by the Prime Minister or the Minister himself. Joseph Azzopardi should know about this too since he occupies his role thanks to Labour’s support.
The results of the Commissioner’s decision are very convenient for him and for Labour. With a simple and nonsensical argument, Joseph Azzopardi has quickly relieved himself from enforcing standards on the whole government and state apparatus simply by designating top state and public bureaucrats and executives as non-PEPs.