Information relating to the Freedom of Information Act (Cap. 496), Article 17(1)

 
The Freedom of Information Act (Cap. 496) gives the general public the right to request documents or information from Public Authorities. The Act also lists exemptions from this right as well as placing a number of obligations on Public Authorities. In fulfilling its statutory obligations, the Armed Forces of Malta (the Authority) is providing the following information which can be used as guidance to better inform the general public about its work and functions.
Mission, Functions and Structure
The Armed Forces of Malta is a Joint Service Force of small Brigade size.  A description of the Armed Forces of Malta's mission, functions and organisation structure are on the links shown below:
         Mission
         Key Functions
         Organisation/Structure
General description of main categories of documents held
The Armed Forces of Malta holds documents (including exempt documents) falling under the following main categories:
         NATO-restricted Documents.
         EU-restricted Documents.
         Policy documents, reports and related working documents on themes that fall within the functions of the AFM.
         Documents related to court cases and other litigation involving the AFM/ AFM personnel.
         Reports, Inter Office Memoranda and other documents drawn up and intended for AFM internal use.
         Correspondence entered into between outside entities and the AFM (and vice versa) in relation to security matters.
         Personal files of all AFM personnel (Serving and retired).
         Traffic accidents.
         Contracts, agreements, invoices, financial documents and other similar documentation pertaining or related to the AFM's day to day administrative and management.
         Disciplinary proceedings.
         Letters & minutes of meetings.
         Ombudsman recommendations.
         Protocols with Govt and NGOs.
         Finance Contracts/ tenders.
         AFM equipment manuals and operational instructions.
         Extra duty payments.
         Board Proceedings submitted by:
o   Trade Testing Boards.
o   Boards of Inquiry prescribed by Commander AFM or Commanding Officer.
o   Boards of Survey.
o   Selection Boards.
o   Audit Boards Canteens and Messes.
o   Audit Boards Quartermaster.
o   Evaluation/adjudication Committees (tenders).
o   Policy evaluation Boards.
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Specific orders instructions or directives related to operations or tasks at hand:
o   Operation Orders.
o   General Orders.
o   Internal Part 1 Orders.
Agreements:
o   Memorandum of Understanding.
o   Contract of/for Service.
o   Forms of Undertaking.
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Description of all manuals and similar types of documents which contain policies, principles, rules or guidelines in accordance with which decisions or recommendations are made in respect of members of the public (including bodies corporate and employees of the public authority in their personal capacity).
Manuals and standard documents:
         The Armed Forces of Malta Soldier's Career Handbook.
         Officers' Career Handbook.
         Army Forms and standard documents.
         Defence Writing handbook.
         Armed Forces Act 1970 and subsidiary legislation.
         AFM and Regimental Standing Orders.
         Standing Operational Procedures.
         Trade Regulations.
 Note: Some of the information listed above is exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (cap.496).  Documents that pertain to national security cannot be made public
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Requesting Information
A request for document/information form must be completed to ask for information from the Armed Forces of Malta.  Hard copy forms may be personally collected from the Armed Forces of Malta premises on request from the AFM FOI officer or can be downloaded from here
Completed requests for information or documents held by the Armed Forces of Malta are to be sent by email or in writing to:
AFM FOI Officer,
HEADQUARTERS
ARMED FORCES OF MALTA
LUQA BARRACKS
VLT2000
Tel : ( 356) 22494022
Email : afm.foi@gov.mt or/and adminbranch.afm@gov.mt
 
Office Hours:
Winter Time:             1 October - 15 June                      7:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Summer Time:          16 June - 30 September                7:00 a.m. - 1.30 p.m.
When requests are brought by hand these are to be presented to the Admin clerks at Headquarters Armed Forces of Malta.  Emails received during the weekend will be replied on the next working day.
Note: It is important that before requesting information held by the Armed Forces of Malta under the Freedom of Information Act, a prior check be carried out to see if the required information is already published on the Armed Forces of Malta website.
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Fees
The Armed Forces of Malta shall charge fees for access or documentation under the provisions of the FOI Act and in accordance with the Legal Notice 158 of 2010 - fees charged by Public authorities for access to documents regulations:
FIRST SCHEDULE - (Regulation 3)
Requests requiring less than two man-hours of processing
€ 5
Requests requiring at least two man-hours of processing but less than three hours
€ 10
Requests requiring at least three man-hours of processing but less than four hours
€ 15
Requests requiring at least four man-hours of processing
€ 20
 
SECOND SCHEDULE - (Regulation 4) - Additional fees
Photocopies and Faxes
€00.12 per page
Digital Media
Cost price of the digital medium used (e.g. disc)
 
THIRD SCHEDULE - (Regulation 4) - Additional fees
Inspection of up to 1 hour
€ 5
Inspection of up to 2hours
€ 10
Inspection of up to 3 hours
€ 15
Inspection exceeding 3 hours
€ 20
In the event of multiple inspection sessions, the Armed Forces Of Malta shall set the fee by counting the hours the applicant spent inspecting the document
 
Effecting payment
Following a request for information, the applicant will be duly informed of the fees that the AFM intend to charge.  Applicants can effect payment of fees in respect of documents/information requested, by cheque or cash.
Cash payments should be effected at the AFM Finance Section during office hours and cheques made payable to Commander Armed Forces of Malta.