Bannister – “Parliamentary Questions only gives numbers”

Parliament is considered to be the highest institution in a democracy. Parliamentary questions are a tool that enable democracy to scrutinise the work of Government, national authorities and departments. Professor Bannister seems to dismiss the importance of such a system.

In an unprecedented defence by the same Bannister on the lack of performance of MFSA, the chairperson said “Unfortunately the Parliamentary Question only gives numbers and no explanations so it is easy to draw conclusions without knowledge of the facts,”   (http://maltawinds.com/2016/08/13/mfsa-defends-position-licence-application-delays/ )

The fact is that when a Parliamentary question is put to the Minister for Finance concerning MFSA, it is Professor Bannister who gives the information to the same Minister. He probably thought that PQs go unnoticed and consequently do not require an explanation. Recognising his error of judgement he decided to downtalk PQs.

This apart from the fact that these numbers are indeed Performance (or the lack of it) indicators and no explanation can justify the lack of performance of the authority, at the helm of one of the economic sectors considered to be one of the main contributors to GDP.

The arrogance of Professor Bannister has reached a level that is inexcusable. This is the person who Prime Minister Joseph Muscat is protecting with the excuse of his full trust. If the Prime Minister backs such a statement and has trust in a person who ridicules parliament then we are no longer in a democratic country. (http://maltawinds.com/2016/05/03/mfsa-deliverables-prime-minister-full-confidence-part-four/)

The PQ replies re MFSA have been questioned on many occasions. This is particularly so when different replies were in contradiction or when the same answers raise more questions. http://maltawinds.com/2016/06/24/questions-raise-even-questions-2/

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has been silent on all this, including allegations that Professor Bannister may have been involved in the financing of the electoral campaign of the Labour Party.  He remained also silent regarding the fact that Members of Parliament including the person who came out full force defending Bannister is receiving a remuneration from MFSA.

The Prime Minister is once again shying away from taking the necessary decision, something that a true leader would have done way back in 2013.