The Malta Fiscal Advisory Council (MFAC) was established by the Minister for Finance with effect from 1 January 2015 in terms of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2014, Cap 534.
The main purpose of the MFAC is to review and assess the extent to which the fiscal and economic policy objectives proposed by the Maltese Government are being achieved and thus contribute to more transparency and clarity about the aims and effectiveness of economic policy in Malta. The MFAC is independent in the performance of its functions.
Mandate of the MFAC
In terms of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, the MFAC shall:
- monitor, and at least once annually provide an assessment of, whether any Government obligation regarding the budgetary rule or a Commission warning, is being complied with.
- endorse, as it considers appropriate, the macroeconomic and fiscal forecasts prepared by the Ministry for Finance and provide an assessment of the official forecasts.
- analyse and assess whether the Government’s fiscal strategy is compliant with the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, and issue an opinion and any appropriate recommendations in this respect.
- in relation to each Medium Term Fiscal Policy Statement, Fiscal Policy Strategy, National Medium Term Fiscal Plan, Stability Programme, Annual Draft Budget and Annual Budget, provide an assessment of whether the fiscal stance is, in the opinion of the Fiscal Council, conducive to prudent economic and budgetary management, including by reference to the provisions of the Stability and Growth Pact.
- assess the Government’s budgetary performance against the fiscal targets and policies specified in the fiscal strategy and its compliance with the provisions of the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
- analyse and issue an opinion and any recommendations pursuant to the Government’s publication of the half-yearly and the annual report on the execution of the budget.
- provide information and advice to the Government and the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives concerning any legislative proposals on the maintenance of fiscal discipline and the transparency of the fiscal and the budgetary policies and processes.
- provide a copy of any such assessment, opinion or recommendation to the Minister for Finance as soon as practicable and publish it within 10 days.
Accountability of the MFAC
MFAC shall as soon as practicable after the end of each year prepare an annual report of its activities and provide a copy to the Minister for Finance who shall present it to the House of Representatives.
MFAC shall present a copy of its audited annual accounts to the Minister for Finance by end-March of each year and the Minister shall present such accounts to the House of Representatives by end-April of each year.
The MFAC Chairman shall, whenever requested in writing by the Chairperson of the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives, be required to give evidence to that Committee.