Freedom of Information
Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit
(FIAU, also referred to as “the unit”)
Description of the Unit’s Structure
The Board of Governors is responsible for the policy to be adopted by the Unit, which is to be executed and pursued by the Director, and to ensure that the Director carries out this policy accordingly. The Board is also responsible for advising the Minister for Finance on any matters and issues relevant to the prevention, detection, analysis, investigation, prosecution and punishment of money laundering and funding of terrorism (ML/FT) offences.
The Director is responsible for carrying out the operations and functions of the FIAU and for executing the policies established by the Board. The Director is
assisted by permanent staff organised in various sections/departments, which are:
1. the Financial Analysis section, which is composed of financial analysts who are responsible for the receipt and analysis of Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) and the dissemination of analytical reports and other financial intelligence to the Police and other competent authorities;
2. the Compliance section, which is responsible for monitoring compliance by subject persons with the relevant legislative anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) provisions, under the PMLA, the PMLFTR and the FIAU Implementing Procedures;
3. the Legal and International Relations section, which advises the Unit, assists subject persons through the provision of training and guidance on legal matters, and manages the Unit’s international affairs;
4. the Corporate Services section, whose staff members are responsible for the Unit’s administrative and accounting matters;
5. the IT and Information Security section, whose staff members manage the
Unit’s IT set-up; and
6. the Policy and Quality Assurance section, which is responsible for carrying out reviews and audits on the operations of the Unit’s various sections, as well as ensuring that working methodologies, policies and procedures are adhered to.
Description of the Unit’s functions and responsibilities
The FIAU is Malta’s financial intelligence unit (FIU), the entity designated to fulfil the responsibilities of an FIU as set out in Directive (EU) 2015/849 and the FATF Recommendations. The responsibilities of the FIAU aimed at combating ML/FT emanate from article 16 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and include:
i. the receipt and analysis of STRs, carrying out financial analysis and dissemination of analytical reports to the police, as well as other financial intelligence to other competent authorities;
ii. monitoring of compliance by subject persons with AML/CFT obligations;
iii. international co-operation with counterpart FIUs, supervisory authorities and law enforcement authorities on ML/FT related matters; and
iv. other ancillary functions.
General description of the categories of documents the Unit holds (including exempt documents)
This is a generic list of categories of documents held by the various sections of the FIAU, including sensitive and exempt documents:
1. The Corporate Services section of the FIAU holds files and data in relation to its employees or contractual obligations;
2. The Financial Analysis section, in reviewing STRs and preparing analytical reports, handles and stores confidential financial intelligence and documents;
3. The Compliance section is in possession of documents and information sourced from subject persons in the preparation of or to carry out compliance assessments and other documents related to the enforcement of breaches of AML/CFT obligations;
4. In providing legal advice to other sections of the Unit, the Legal section would be in possession of documents pertaining to these sections, subject to certain confidentiality restrictions. The Legal section is also in possession of draft legislation and draft guidance documents as well as reports issued by other agencies and regulatory bodies on legislative initiatives;
5. The IT and Information Security section holds documents related to the Unit’s IT and security processes; and
6. The Policy and Quality Assurance section holds documents pertaining to the Unit’s various sections, subject to certain confidentiality restrictions.
The following includes a condensed, non-exhaustive list of the documents held by the Unit:
• Supervisory and IT files;
• Enforcement files;
• ML/FT analysis and case files;
• Risk Assessment Database;
• Policies and procedures pertaining to subject persons;
• Customer files pertaining to subject persons;
• Subject persons query log;
• Human Resources (HR) and employee related files;
• Public Procurement Suppliers’ files, contracts and agreements;
• Tenders and Tender-related documents;
• Banking matters;
• Finance and Audit files;
• Suppliers’ Invoices files;
• Budgets/Forecast Management Accounts files;
• Operations Receipts file and payment log for the Compliance and Supervisory Platform for Assessing Risk (“CASPAR”);
• FOI requests/Parliamentary Questions;
• Statistics and statistical data;
• Questionnaire/survey responses;
• Annual reports;
• Assessment reports;
• Other reports;
• Notices on penalties;
• Data Protection requests and templates; and
• Project files.
Owing to the nature of the documents held by the FIAU, the Unit deals with requests made by the public for information it holds on a case-by-case basis. A description of all manuals and similar types of documents contains policies, principles, rules or guidelines in accordance to which decisions or recommendations are made on members of the public (including bodies corporate and employees of the public authority in their personal capacity).
The following includes a condensed list of the manuals and other related documents held by the Unit:
• Internal Operations Procedures Policies and Manuals;
• Risk Assessment, supervisory and enforcement procedures;
• Internal committee rules of procedures;
• Financial Analysis procedures;
• International Standards, EU legislation, national legislation and guidance documents or procedures on AML/CFT matters; and
• Memoranda of Understanding.
Statement of the information that needs to be available to members of the public who wish to obtain access to official documents from the public authority. This statement shall include particulars of the officer or officers to whom requests for such access should be sent
The Freedom of Information Officer (FOIO) of the FIAU is Dr Alexander Mangion.
E-mail: [email protected]
Details of Internal Complaints Procedure
An applicant whose request for information is refused, or who is otherwise not satisfied with the information provided, its format or the extension of the deadline for the submission of the notification indicating whether a request would be met or not, may submit a complaint to the FIAU by e-mail to the following e-mail address [email protected] or by mail to the following address: Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit, 65C Tower Street Birkirkara BKR 4012 Malta.
The complaint should be addressed to the FIAU’s FOI Officer, Dr Alexander Mangion, who will bring the complaint to the attention of the officer responsible. The officer responsible will reply to the applicant within 10 working days from the receipt of the complaint. The applicant will also be informed that he/she may appeal the decision or otherwise address a complaint to the Information and Data Protection Commissioner in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (Cap. 496 of the Laws of Malta).
The officer responsible will inform the applicant of the decision taken on his/her complaint and, in the event of confirmation of a decision not to release the pertinent information, will explain the reasons why. Whenever the applicant’s complaint is related to the format of the information provided or to an extension of the deadline for the submission of the notification indicating whether a request would be met or not by the Department, and the original
decision is upheld, the applicant will be given an explanation as to why his/her complaint cannot be positively addressed.
An applicant may also make use of the Internal Complaints Procedure to report failure to meet deadlines or to send notifications. In those cases where the request for information can be met, but has not been met within the deadlines specified by the Act, the officer responsible will waive any applicable fees for the submission of information.
September 15 to July 15 – Monday to Friday, 8 am-5 pm
July 16 to September 14 – Monday to Friday, 8 am-1.30 pm.
Forms are available on the website www.foi.gov.mt.
Fees may be paid by cheque.
Public Authority Contact Details
Address: 65C Tower Street Birkirkara BKR 4012 Malta.
MFIN FOI website: https://mfin.gov.mt/en/The-Ministry/foi/Pages/Freedom-ofInformation.aspx.