Delegation of Powers

Delegation of Powers - Appointments and Recruitment in the Public Service

Throughout the years, ever since the Commission was established in 1960 by the Constitution of Malta, disciplinary authority and certain other powers respecting the Public Service have been delegated to heads of departments and other authorities as provided by article 110 of the Constitution of Malta. The terms and conditions of these delegated powers are normally specified in the respective Instruments of Delegation issued by the Prime Minister, acting on the recommendation of the Public Service Commission.

The following is a list of Instruments of Delegation, regarding the making of appointments and recruitment in the Public Service:

Instrument dated 25th January, 1966 - the Prime Minister, acting on the recommendation of the Public Service Commission, delegated certain powers in respect of the Malta Police Force to the Commissioner of Police.

Instrument dated 20th February, 1970 – the Prime Minister, acting on the recommendation of the Public Service Commission, delegated to the then Administrative Secretary certain powers respecting appointments in the Public Service on the basis of the results of public examinations conducted by the Board of Local Examinations.

Instruments dated 6th October, 1999, and 11th January, 2005 – the Prime Minister, acting on the recommendation of the Public Service Commission, delegated to Permanent Secretaries the power to make engagements on definite contract of Casual Substitutes and to renew their engagement, subject to certain conditions.

Instrument dated 18th January, 2000 – the Prime Minister, acting on the recommendation of the Public Service Commission, delegated to the then Permanent Secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister the power to make appointments to posts in Salary Scale 20 in the Public Service, provided that such appointments are made in accordance with paragraph (c) of sub-article (2) of article 110 of the Constitution.

Instrument dated 4th April, 2009 – the Prime Minister, acting on the recommendation of the Public Service Commission, delegated to Permanent Secretaries the power to engage/re-engage retired persons/retired officers up to the age of 65 on definite contract for not more than 42 months, in areas of acute shortage as decided upon by the Principal Permanent Secretary.

Instrument dated 25th June, 2012 – the Prime Minister, acting on the recommendation of the Public Service Commission, delegated to the Permanent Secretary charged with the Ministry responsible for Education the power to make engagements of ‘Adult Educators’, and to renew their engagement.

Instrument dated 25th June, 2012the Prime Minister, acting on the recommendation of the Public Service Commission, delegated to the Permanent Secretary charged with the Ministry responsible for Education the power to make engagements of ‘On call Supply Learning Support Assistants’ and ‘On call Supply Kindergarten Assistants’, and to renew their engagement.

Instrument dated 3rd May, 2013 – the Prime Minister, acting on the recommendation of the Public Service Commission, delegated to Permanent Secretaries the power to recruit disabled persons in the Public Service in Salary Scales 16 – 20 (both scales included) directly from the register of disabled unemployed kept by the Employment and Training Corporation (ETC), following a selection process carried out by the recruiting department amongst potential candidates referred to the department by the ETC on the grounds that, in the ETC’s judgement, they could be considered suitable to perform the duties, in essence, of the office to be filled, notwithstanding that such candidates would not necessarily be in possession of the eligibility requisites normally required for that office, and provided that the ability of such candidates to perform the duties, in essence, of that office, was proven through an entry examination or test of competence.

Instrument dated 28th May, 2013 – the Prime Minister, acting on the recommendation of the Public Service Commission, delegated to the Commission the power to make, to postpone and revoke appointments to public offices below senior management level (from Salary Scales 6 to 20), and the power to withhold the progression of public officers in the same salary scales from one scale to the next within the same grade.

Instrument dated 16th September, 2015 – the Prime Minister, acting on the recommendation of the Public Service Commission, in exercise of the powers conferred by article 110 of the Constitution, directed as from 1st February 2016:

  1. the delegation of powers made by the Instrument dated 20th February 1970, the Instruments dated 6th October 1999 and 11th January 2005, the Instrument dated 18th January 2000, the Instrument dated 4th April 2009, the Instrument dated 26th June 2012, in respect of the engagement of ‘Adult Educators’, the Instrument dated 26th June 2012, in respect of the engagement of ‘On Call Supply Kindergarten Assistants’, and the Instrument dated 3rd May 2013, should be revoked;
  2. the Instrument of Delegation superseding that of the 28th May 2013, should apply concurrently with this Instrument and may be exercised by the Commission in situations where the current Instrument cannot, for any reason, be applied;
  3. the Instrument of Delegation dated 25th January 1966, should be saved and should remain in force;
  4. the power to make appointments to public offices under article 110 of the Constitution, other than headship positions, should be delegated to Permanent Secretaries, provided that such appointments are made following a competitive selection process and on the basis of a valid order of merit;
  5. the power to postpone appointments to which paragraph 4 refers should also be delegated to Permanent Secretaries;
  6. the power to extend fixed-term appointments or renew such appointments for subsequent terms should be delegated to Permanent Secretaries, provided that any appointments so extended or renewed were initially made on the basis of a competitive selection process;
  7. for the purpose of this Instrument of Delegation, a competitive selection process may take place either following a call for applications or from among candidates referred by the Employment and Training Corporation, subject to such eligibility requirements as may apply, and according to any applicable general and special directives issued as specified in paragraph 10;
  8. the power to fill a position by lateral appointment without the need for a competitive selection process, as provided for in article 25 of the Public Administration Act (Cap. 497), should be delegated to Permanent Secretaries;
  9. for the purpose of this Instrument of Delegation, “Permanent Secretaries” includes the Principal Permanent Secretary;
  10. the powers delegated by this Instrument should be exercised subject to the provisions of the PSC Appointments Regulations, any provisions of any other law that may apply, and any directives and guidelines issued by the Commission or by the Principal Permanent Secretary with the approval of the Commission;
  11. the powers delegated by this Instrument may otherwise be exercised without reference to the Commission; and
  12. the above-mentioned delegation of powers should be subject to the proviso that the Commission reserves the right to make, at any time, a recommendation to the Prime Minister that this Instrument of Delegation be withdrawn or amended and that, upon such a recommendation being made and until the Prime Minister acts upon such a recommendation, the powers delegated by this Instrument shall be suspended.

Instrument dated 16th September, 2015 – the Prime Minister, as recommended by the Public Service Commission and in exercise of the powers conferred by Article 110 of the Constitution, directed that as from that day:

  1. the Instrument of Delegation dated 28th May 2013 should be revoked;
  2. power to make appointments to public offices under article 110 of the Constitution, other than headship positions, be delegated to the Commission;
  3. the appointments to which the preceding paragraph refers should include:
    1. appointments following a call for applications;
    2. both indefinite appointments and appointments of a definite duration;
    3. promotions following the attainment of a number of years of satisfactory service or the attainment of a particular qualification, where such promotions are provided for in an agreement governing a particular career stream in the Public Service, or in the call for applications under which the public officers in question have been appointed;
    4. the renewal of definite appointments, where such renewal is warranted;
    5. changes in the employment status of public officers from one on a definite basis to one on an indefinite basis, in accordance with the provisions of the law or of an agreement which is approved by the Public Service Commission;
    6. the upgrading of the indefinite status of public officers following the attainment of a number of years’ satisfactory service or the attainment of a particular qualification, when such upgrading is provided for a priori in the call for applications under which the public officers in question have been appointed;
    7. the assimilation of public officers from one grade to another grade in terms of the provisions of an agreement governing a particular career stream in the Public Service;
    8. changes to the nomenclature or designation of public officers, where such nomenclature or designation derives from an appointment under article 110 of the Constitution;
  4. power to postpone appointments in the offices to which paragraph 2 refers, for more than twelve weeks from the effective date thereof, should be delegated to the Commission; while power to delay appointments for a lesser period should continue to be exercisable by Heads of Department;
  5. power to withhold the progression of public officers in the offices to which paragraph 2 refers, to a higher salary scale within the same grade or position, where justified on account of poor performance, misconduct or other reasons, should be delegated to the Commission;
  6. power to withhold salary increments of public officers in the offices to which paragraph 2 refers, where justified on account of poor performance, misconduct or other reasons, should be delegated to the Commission;
  7. power to withhold promotion to a higher grade or position, on the basis of a number of years’ satisfactory service, in the offices to which paragraph 2 refers, where justified on account of poor performance, misconduct or other reasons, should be delegated to the Commission;
  8. the Commission should be empowered to exercise its powers under this Instrument without the requirement to submit recommendations thereon as is permitted by article 110 (2) (b) of the Constitution;
  9. the Commission shall exercise its powers under this Instrument subject to the following conditions:-
    1. subject to any arrangements made by the Commission under regulation 4 of the PSC Regulations, or any like provision of any regulations which may supersede the said Regulations, the decision of the Commission to make or postpone an appointment or to withhold a public officer’s progression, salary increment or promotion to a higher grade or position, as aforementioned, as recorded in the minutes of the Commission, shall constitute the authority for the said action;
    2. the said appointment, postponement, or withholding of progression, salary increment or promotion shall take effect as from the date on which it is communicated by the Executive Secretary, or an officer authorized to act on his behalf, to the Permanent Secretary of the relevant ministry, unless the Commission specifies a different date in its decision;
    3. on being informed of the Commission’s decision to make or postpone an appointment or to withhold a public officer’s progression, salary increment or promotion, the Permanent Secretary shall take action forthwith to effect that decision, unless he or the Principal Permanent Secretary submits a request for reconsideration in accordance with paragraph (iv) hereunder;
    4. within one calendar month from the date on which he is informed of the Commission’s decision to make or postpone an appointment or to withhold a public officer’s progression, salary increment or promotion, the Permanent Secretary of the relevant ministry, or the Principal Permanent Secretary, may request the Commission to reconsider its decision; and in such a case the Commission’s decision shall not be effective unless it is confirmed by the Commission, and the effective date shall be the date when the Permanent Secretary is informed that the decision has been so confirmed, unless the decision as confirmed specifies a different date;
    5. the Principal Permanent Secretary may act under the preceding paragraph with respect to any action taken by the Commission under this Instrument of Delegation, and he shall in addition assume the functions of Permanent Secretary under this Instrument with respect to appointments to general service grades and other offices which are filled through calls for applications issued under his authority; the postponement of such appointments; the withholding of the progression, salary increments or promotion after a number of years of satisfactory service of public officers in general service grades and other offices as aforesaid;
    6. the Commission may at any time recommend to the Prime Minister that this Instrument of Delegation be withdrawn, and this Instrument shall be suspended upon such a recommendation being made, until the Prime Minister acts thereon;
    7. this Instrument shall also be suspended if the Prime Minister so directs and if such decision is communicated to the Commission, whereupon the Commission shall consider whether or not to recommend the withdrawal of this Instrument, but the Instrument shall remain suspended until such time as it is withdrawn, subject to paragraph (viii) below;
    8. the Instrument shall resume effect if the Commission retracts its recommendation for the withdrawal of the Instrument, or if the Prime Minister rescinds his direction for its suspension, or both, as applicable;


Delegation of Powers - Disciplinary Procedure in the Public Service

The following is a list of Instruments of Delegation, regarding disciplinary authority:

Instrument dated 25th March 1966 – the Prime Minister, acting on the recommendation of the Public Service Commission, delegated to the Commissioner of Police certain powers of disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in any office on the Malta Police Force.

Instrument dated 17th December 1996 – the Prime Minister, acting on the recommendation of the Public Service Commission, delegated to the Director, Correctional Services, certain powers of disciplinary control over persons holding or acting in any of the Correctional Services grades other than that of Director, Correctional Services.

Instrument dated 21st December 1997 – the Prime Minister, acting on the recommendation of the Public Service Commission, delegated certain powers in respect of public officers detailed to do duties with the Public Transport Authority, and the Water Services Corporation to the Chairman of the Authority and to the Chief Executive of the Corporation, respectively.

Instrument dated 12th March 1998 – the Prime Minister, acting on the recommendation of the Public Service Commission, delegated certain powers in respect of public officers detailed to do duties with the Planning Authority were delegated to the Chief Executive of the Planning Authority.

Instrument dated 1st November 1999 – the Prime Minister, acting on the recommendation of the Public Service Commission, delegated power to exercise disciplinary control in accordance with the Public Service Commission (Disciplinary Procedure) Regulations 1999, to the public officers and other authorities listed in the Schedule to the said Instrument, and to the extent indicated therein. The Schedule included the Attorney General, Permanent Secretaries, the Auditor General, Directors General, Heads of Department and Directors (holding appointment as Directors under a Performance Agreement), Chairperson, Public Transport Authority, Chief Executive, Water Services Corporation, Director of Planning, Planning Authority, Commanding Officer, Armed Forces of Malta and Officers in a supervisory capacity (in respect of Regulation 18 only).

Instrument dated 21st December 2004 – the Prime Minister, acting on the recommendation of the Public Service Commission, delegated to the Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Malta power to exercise disciplinary control in accordance with the Public Service Commission (Disciplinary Procedure) Regulations, 1999, over public officers detailed to perform duties with Heritage Malta.

Instrument dated 18th June 2014 – the Prime Minister, acting on the recommendation of the Public Service Commission, declared that the aforementioned Instruments of Delegation should be replaced by this Instrument, and that power to exercise disciplinary control over public officers, in accordance with the provisions of the Disciplinary Procedure in the Public Service Commission Regulations (S.L. Const. 03), should be exercisable without reference to the Commission and other authorities listed in the Schedule to this Instrument, to the extent indicated therein. The Schedule included the Principal Permanent Secretary, the Secretary to the Cabinet, Permanent Secretaries, the Commissioner of Police, Directors General, Directors and other public officers in salary scale 4 or higher, Director of Correctional Services, Director responsible for Local Councils, the Attorney General, the Auditor General, Commanding Officer, Armed Forces of Malta, Chief Executive Officers of public entities and public agencies, Commanders of Detention Centres, Human Resource Manager, Environmental Landscapes Consortium Limited, and Officers in a supervisory capacity (with respect only to regulation 18 of S.L. Const. 03).

Instrument dated 2nd February 2015 – the Prime Minister, in exercise of the powers conferred by article 110 of the Constitution, directed that the powers delegated on 18th June 2014, should be extended to other authorities listed in the Schedule to this Instrument, to the extent indicated therein and in accordance with the provisions of the Disciplinary Procedure in the Public Service Commission Regulations.The Schedule referred to the Head (Operations) Detention Centres, Chief Operations Officer, Karen Grech Rehabilitation Hospital, Chief Operations Officer, Mount Carmel Hospital and Chief Operations Officer, Sir Paul Boffa Hospital.