The circumstances prevailing within the country are so extraordinary and grave that immediate actions are needed to restore serenity and confidence in the country and in our marketplace.
Our profession demands an incredibly strong message from government and the institutions in the form of immediate changes in the executive arm running this country and those leading the relevant institutions. The satisfactory conclusion of the investigations into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia must be the primary objective within the country to ensure justice is served, and definitely seen to be served without any shadow of doubt. Conflicts of interest, actual or perceived, must not impact the process or outcome of the investigations.
The persons leading the country, within the government, and the persons leading the relevant institutions have chosen to do so to protect our society, our economy and our market. These positions carry with them responsibility and accountability for the achievement or otherwise of these objectives.
The people occupying such roles should make way now to avoid further reputational damage for Malta and above all to carry political responsibility. We are in this unsustainable situation where stakeholders and the Maltese people in general have to plead for the appropriate reaction which is obviously expected in a democracy.
Our profession is continuously expected to raise quality standards, comply with more rigorous regulatory requirements and perform better generally. Likewise, our profession certainly demands that higher standards are also imposed on government, on the public sector and on the relevant institutions.
Our profession is working in extreme adverse conditions with the difficulties experienced with correspondent banking and hence strained relationships with banks and financial institutions; the outcome of the Moneyval assessment and the potential implications on the profile of the country; together with the proposed changes in the regulatory framework within which accountants work, impacting severely the market place.
We have been let down by the certain elements within government and the institutions. The professed higher standards need to be embraced by these as well as being imposed on the private sector and professionals in general.
These higher standards need to be implemented today through changes in the leadership of the country and of the institutions. We simply cannot wait anymore; our economy and our market dictate this.