Prime Minister silent on three jobs for ‘trusted’ officer totalling some €90,000 a year

Prime Minister Robert Abela and his chief spokesman Matthew Carbone are refusing to explain how Nigel Vella, a person of trust appointed in the Prime Minister’s secretariat, is also serving as a policy consultant at the Gozo Ministry and potentially drawing two different salaries paid by taxpayers.

Apart from the two separate government jobs, Vella was also appointed to serve as a director on the Malta Digital Innovation Authority – another government entity. From this position, Vella is also drawing a director’s honoraria, pushing further his annual income funded by taxpayers to a potential €90,000 a year.

Attempts by The Shift to be given an explanation on how Vella, until 2017 the Labour Party’s spokesman, is listed as having three full time government jobs, proved unsuccessful as the Prime Minister’s Office ignored questions despite repeated reminders.

Even Vella, who according to one of his job descriptions, serves as the Deputy Head of Government Communications at the OPM, did not offer an explanation to The Shift’s questions.

Listing his consultants in parliament, Gozo Minister Clint Camilleri said Vella is serving as his policy consultant on strategy and communications. For this job, normally carried on a full time basis, Vella is paid according to the government’s salary scale 3, which stands at €40,183 a year, excluding perks.

At the same time, Vella was appointed by Prime Minister Robert Abela as his Deputy Head of Communications on a full time basis. His salary scale at the OPM is not known, although this would normally be in the higher scales of the government salary structure, carrying a basic pay of more than €35,000.

The post at the OPM given to Vella is not listed in the manual issued by Principal Permanent Secretary Mario Cutajar listing members of the Prime Minister’s secretariat and which positions are to be filled.

According to the manual, the Prime Minister is entitled to have a Head of Government Communications on salary scale 3. The post is filled by former Labour reporter Matthew Carbone. No Deputy Head position is listed – Vella’s post.

Vella, was originally put on the government’s payroll by disgraced former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat as part of his private secretariat. He is also considered to be very close to former Chief of Staff Keith Schembri, currently under police investigation.

Recently, Vella hit the headlines after he was repeatedly admonished by the board of the public inquiry looking into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. He was warned, “We’re troubled by your lack of credibility”.

Despite being present when journalists were locked in the Prime Minister’s Office by Labour thugs in December 2019, Vella said he could not remember anything.

“Why are you paid if you gave no input? How is it possible that you were between four walls, and you heard nothing?” the Head of the public inquiry board Michael Mallia asked.

                           
                               
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mick
mick
2 months ago

Omerta classic, you won’t get any responses to your questions ever. This is his reward as he knows where all the bodies are buried in the Castille and they don’t want them exposed

Last edited 2 months ago by mick
Isle of the corrupt
Isle of the corrupt
2 months ago
Reply to  mick

A typical bottom feeder

Julian Borg
Julian Borg
2 months ago

Criminal to the core – at the core – hallas Gahan!

Doris Zammit
2 months ago

Ma nistax nifhem kif ikollhom job full time imbagħad jagħmel konsulenza ma’ xi ħadd ieħor? Xhin jagħmlu dan ix-xogħol fil-ħin tal-fulltime?

Evelyn Vellla Clark
Evelyn Vellla Clark
2 months ago
Reply to  Doris Zammit

Ghax il-gurnata taghhom hi twila 72 (24×3)siegha ghallura jista jkollhom 3 full time jobs mux hekk???????

carlo
carlo
2 months ago

PIGS AT THE TROUGH. Thanszru kemm tifilhu.Il-haddiem li qieghed jigi misruq biex intom tistaghnew tinsewx ittuh xi loqma. SHAME

Jools Seizure
Jools Seizure
2 months ago

The surveys indicate that Labour is still very much ahead although it is equally clear that their peak is now but a distant memory. They bask in the comfort that as long as they keep dishing out peanuts, their fanatical supporters will remain loyal. In the medium term things are not looking good however. Up to a couple of years ago, an economy that contracts, even marginally, three quarters in succession was considered to be in recession. Imagine what we should call an economy where numerous sectors have registered anything between 75% to 90% reduction in activity. The time will come when there won’t be anything left to dish out. That will be the point when the fanatical support will be tested. True, Covid is not something Labour brought about but just like Gonzi paid the ultimate political price for high oil prices, so too will Abela for the economic catastrophe caused by Covid. It will be at that point when people will start asking how come they are scraping the bottom of the barrel while people like Vella live the high life at the taxpayer’s expense. Unfortunately, Malta has a particular type of democracy; one where people prefer to persuade themselves that “we will hit the ground running” and are only persuaded to see the situation for what it really is when they hit the ground with a splat, just like Wile E. Coyote.

carlo
carlo
2 months ago
Reply to  Jools Seizure

the economic catastrophe caused by Covid – I DISAGREE with this statement The economic catastrophe will be brought by this CORRUPT Government who has shamed us all and which was previously led by the most corrupt pm in Europe and now by his puppet robert who’s following the steps of his previous master for whom he served as consultant; so rb = jm= corruption.

KD Far
KD Far
2 months ago
Reply to  Jools Seizure

Jien nilghab il-flus li l-PL irid jikser record iehor fl-elezzjoni li gejja. Ma tistax tqabblu ma’ Gonzi ghax dak iz-zmien il-poplu ma setax ikampa. Illum storja ohra u l-poplu sar ghandu lira.

In-nies jigu jitmellhu mill-koruzzjoni jekk huma jkollom lira fil-but. Timlix rasek li l-PL ha jitlef xi hafna voti. Il-PN ghadu mdahhan u mhux fdat. Ghalkemm jonqos sena ohra.

viv
viv
2 months ago

The cat has got the PM’s tongue again. Consider me old-fashioned, but public servants need to be constantly reminded of their status.
And I once more raise my glass to QUALITY JOURNALISM.
May God bless you all and keep you safe at THE SHIFT.

Henry s Pace
Henry s Pace
2 months ago

‘ How is it possible that you were between four walls, and you heard nothing?” the Head of the public inquiry board Michael Mallia ‘
The short memory failed this man

carlo
carlo
2 months ago
Reply to  Henry s Pace

kollha qieghdin fil-postijiet zbaljati peress li jbatu bid-dimensia jew gideb u qerq.

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