The Government is looking towards the establishment of a formal framework that would increase cooperation between independent institutions like the National Audit Office and the rest of the administration, Finance Minister Edward Scicluna said.

Speaking at a management seminar hosted by the National Audit Office yesterday, Prof Scicluna said the Government would support and heed the advice and recommendations of independent offices such as the Auditor-General's Office. 

He said the government was working on the setting up of an Independent Fiscal Council, which would be crucial to ensure that Malta remains on track regarding achieving a balanced budget.

It was also looking towards the acceleration of the merger between the Inland Revenue Department, the VAT Department, and the Customs Department to speed up the consolidation of their respective revenue-generation functions.

Prof. Scicluna noted that to be in a position to preach fiscal morality, Government itself had to set an example by ensuring that its own fiscal approach was not unjust.

It was with this in mind, he said, that the Government had announced several initiatives related to the collection of VAT.

At the same time, Prof. Scicluna said, the Government is determined to ensure that it does not detract from existing deterrents aimed at reducing tax evasion or even late payments.

Prof. Scicluna also welcomed the reconfirmation of Anthony Mifsud to the position of Auditor General, noting with satisfaction that he enjoyed the confidence and support of both sides of the House.

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