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Audit Office

Who is the Audit Officer

The Audit Officer is appointed by the Authority with the concurrence of the Minister responsible for planning after consulting with the Standing Committee, of the House of Representatives. The Audit Office was set up by an amendment of Act No. XXI of 2001 section 17 C of the Development Planning Act in order to make the planning process more transparent.

The Audit Officer is entrusted with the review of all the functions and workings of the Authority.  In reviewing the functions and working of the Authority, the Audit Officer can investigate whether the Authority acts correctly and whether its workings are carried out in strict conformity with its role as established by law, rules, regulations and the Authority’s own policies. The Audit Officer may suggest to the Authority what redress, if any, should be given.

The Audit Officer as set up by the Development Planning Act Section 17 C, besides investigating complaints also has the authority to investigate the role and functions of the MEPA on his own motion.  The Audit Office is completely independent of the MEPA and operates in an impartial manner.

The Audit Officer is currently Perit Joseph Falzon B.E. & A.

Contacting the Audit Officer

The Audit Office may be contacted on 2290 2012 or through email address:

What is the role of the Audit Officer and what does he stand for?

The Audit Officer reports identified shortcomings to the Authority’s Board of Directors. He can also recommend remedial action.

What type of complaints does the Audit Officer investigate?

The Audit Officer investigates complaints by citizens who feel dissatisfied with the functions and workings of the Authority.
Irregularities identified by the Audit Officer include:
•    undue and avoidable delay in taking decisions, in replying to correspondence, inequitable application of rules and procedures and failure to observe correct procedures;
•    administrative behaviour and practices that are inconsistent with the way in which the Authority acted in the past in similar circumstances;
•    withholding access to information that is of direct interest to citizens and refusal to provide reasonable information;
•    treating in a different manner citizens who are in the same situation;
•    lack of courtesy by public officials towards citizens;
•    mistakes in handling citizens' affairs;
•    a rigid and inflexible application of rules and procedures that gives rise to inequity;
•    failure to act in a fair and independent way and to abstain from bias, prejudice and preferential treatment on any grounds whatsoever;
•    abuse of discretionary powers;
•    wrongful application and / or interpretation of laws and policies pertaining to development planning and environmental matters falling within the Authority’s remit.

What happens when a complaint reaches the Audit Office?

Written complaints are acknowledged.  The Audit Officer then decides whether or not to accept the complaint for investigation.

Grounds on which complaints are refused for investigation include that it appears that:
•    the complaint is trivial or frivolous or not made in good faith
•    the complainant does not have sufficient interest in the subject matter of the complaint
•    the planning application is still being processed and
•    the planning application is being decided by the Appeals Board.

The Audit Officer will give reasons, in writing, when he decides no to take up a complaint.

What happens if the Audit Officer decides to take up a complaint?

The Audit Office will contact those among the Authority’s staff who may be involved for their comments and suggestions about the complaint. The Audit Officer will investigate all the relevant planning application files. The Audit Officer will normally set a reasonable time-frame within which the Authority’s staff members must report to him about your complaint

Responding to complaints

The Audit Office will prepare a report stating his findings and making recommendations.  Before doing so, the Audit Officer sends a preliminary report for comments to the MEPA Chairman.
Referring your Complaint to the Ombudsman
Since 2007, the administration of the MEPA Audit Office is serviced by the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s Office.  The idea is to enhance the institution’s investigating capabilities while affording it greater autonomy from the bodies it is meant to scrutinize whilst at the same time subjecting it to the control of the Office of the Ombudsman.  The Audit office therefore also acts as the Liaison Officer with the Ombudsman and deals with any complaints concerning MEPA that may be lodged with the Ombudsman.

Before dealing with your case, the Ombudsman will normally ask the complainant if he has exhausted all other ordinary remedies available, including lodging a complaint directly with MEPA. The Audit Office should be contacted prior to contacting the Ombudsman.

If you are still not satisfied with the Audit Officer’s reply, you may then consider referring your complaint to the Ombudsman in writing or by calling at the office of the Ombudsman at

Office of the Ombudsman
11 St Paul Street
Valletta VLT1210

Persons who would like to discuss in confidence whether their complaints are eligible for consideration by the Office of the Ombudsman or to seek advice about the way that this Office operates or about their concerns before lodging a formal complaint are welcome to contact the Public Relations Officer at the Office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman:

Ms Maria Borg
Public Relations Officer
Office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman
11 St Paul Street
Valletta VLT1210

Office e-mail:
Phone: 21 24 79 44/45/46 (extension 116)

The Office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman is open to the public as follows:

  October - May
08.30am - 12.00pm
01.30pm - 03.00pm

  June - September
08.30am - 12.30pm

Office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman
11 St Paul Street
Valletta VLT1210

Phone: 21 24 79 44/45/46 (extension 114)