Scandal: Minister Ian Borg’s buddy gets extraordinary allowance to boost his income

Daughter, 22, given €7,690 a month at Transport Malta.

 

Minister Ian Borg’s chief canvasser, Jesmond Zammit, is being given an extra €20,000 ‘expertise allowance’ a year, over and above his pay for his advisory role, boosting his annual financial package to over €67,000 a year, The Shift can reveal.

This allowance is reserved only for qualified experts and requires the approval of the prime minister, according to the internal government guidelines. Zammit is taking home pay that is higher than the minister’s official salary.

Scandal is once again rocking Robert Abela’s government following revelations that Zammit’s daughter, 22-year old Adreana Zammit, was also put on a €7,000 a month income through direct orders by Transport Malta as a junior lawyer.

The Shift is reliably informed that Zammit holds no specialised qualifications, putting in serious doubt his eligibility for the extra €20,000 allowance for his ‘expertise’.

Sources at the Transport Ministry told The Shift that Zammit is considered to be Ian Borg’s right-hand man and his chief canvasser. Zammit, from Zebbug, has been close to the Transport Minister for many years, and also played a role in the Minister’s wedding a few years ago.

Ian Borg’s canvassar, Jesmond Zammit, at the Minister’s wedding.

After spending the first Labour legislature as Ian Borg’s chief of staff when Borg was parliamentary secretary, Zammit relinquished his post at the ministry in 2017 only to become an advisor, increasing his income considerably while doing the same job as before.

While Zammit was raking in some €45,000 a year as chief of staff, he boosted his income by an additional €20,000 a year through the ‘expertise allowance’.

The Standards Commissioner, who was yesterday asked to look into the direct orders of Zammit’s daughter and potential abuse of power by Minister Borg is now also expected to investigate her father’s contracts.

The Shift is informed that while, in 2017, Borg gave his friend a three-year contract worth €59,000 a year, Zammit was switched to an annual advisory contract in June 2020, boosting his income to €67,062 a year.

On top of his salary, Zammit receives the €20,000 for his ‘expertise’ plus additional car, mobile and other allowances that increase his income by another €10,000.

According to his latest contract, seen by The Shift, Zammit’s advisory role has no specific subject and only says that the minister’s friend is to act “according to the instructions and directives given to him by the minister”.

Daughter given lucrative contract before getting warrant

Zammit’s daughter, Adreana, obtained her warrant as a lawyer in January 2020.

Despite her lack of experience, Transport Malta, on the specific orders of Minister Borg, gave her a direct order to provide legal advice to the transport regulator at €7,690 a month in in October 2019.

In August 2020, Transport Malta signed a new contract with the 22-year-old for legal consultation, again through a direct order, paid €46,141 every six months.

The contract covers three years, up till May 2023. So far, it is not known how much the daughter of Minister Ian Borg’s friend will be paid in total.

Adreana Zammit considers her father to be the man behind the personal electoral success of Minister Borg.

On the day the general election results were announced in 2017, she congratulated her father publicly “for Ian and Daddy’s” amazing result at the polls. The post has since been removed.

Coach Zammit and Bogdanovic released from arrest

Jesmond Zammit, who is currently coaching Gudja FC, hit the headlines in 2016 when he was coaching Gozitan football team Xewkija Tigers.

Following the arrest of one of his star players at the time, Daniel Bogdanovic, over alleged threats to his former wife, Zammit, at the time Borg’s chief of staff, called Police Assistant Commissioner Carmelo Magri over his player’s arrest.

Soon after, the police released the player, just in time for Zammit to play Bogdanovic during a crucial match.

Bogdanovic is stirred further controversy through his relationship with Education Minister Justyne Caruana who gave him a €5,000 a month contract. The contract was rescinded by the prime minister after being revealed by the media. The issue is being investigated by the Standards Commissioner.

While claims were made that the police acted following political pressure, disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat had defended Zammit’s actions, stating that he had called the police as a coach and not as chief of staff.

Zammit had told an inquiry that it was “his duty” to inquire about his player’s arrest but denied exerting political pressure on the police.

                           
                               
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Alexander
Alexander
19 days ago

Again, what about Transport Chairman and CEO Joseph Bugeja hiring his niece without a public call, first as a Senior Manager to be later promoted to Director.

Tal-misthija !

Alexander
Alexander
19 days ago

Promotions within Transport Malta are galore!!!!

And all are incompetent!

Joseph
Joseph
19 days ago

So, if Zammit is earning more than the minister, how much is the minister ‘actually’ not earning but taking home?

Carmel Callus
Carmel Callus
19 days ago

It’s the corrupt who are giving all this money to the corrupt.

Anthony T Mamo
Anthony T Mamo
19 days ago

Am I stupid or what? Whenever I was given employment I was chosen because I knew my job and I did it well. And got paid for that. Nobody ever offered me additional payments for my expertise

Godfrey Leone Ganado
Godfrey Leone Ganado
19 days ago

The Police should investigate the bank accounts of these beneficiaries, to ascertain whether any part of these payments is being filtered through their accounts, to third parties, not excluding the minister himself and/or members of his family.

Tony borg
Tony borg
19 days ago

No wonder the deficit has gone up to more than 1 billion!!!

Robert
Robert
18 days ago

Total Nepotism. Very high salary for a junior lawyer, even in others EU big cities. That is why I call this Island “Africa coca-cola”. Everything is negotiable and has the taste of Europe, but just the taste

Alexander
Alexander
18 days ago
Reply to  Robert

I advise newly grads to pack up and leave this shit of a country once and for all.

How come on earth with all this corruption at the highest echelons of the labour party the majority of people still vote for them…unbelievable! And to make matters worse, they have the full support of the young. we’re doomed.

Those were the days when an ‘arlogg tal-lira’ was the most scandalous story of the day.

PattiR
PattiR
18 days ago

When is the Maltese taxpayer going to be reimbursed and these shady, corrupt practices fleecing the public to benefit the nepotism and jobs for the boys, hyped salaries and perks be investigated, the money repaid and these sleazy reptiles fired, investigated and incarcerated?

It’s way past time for this corruption to stop, we need to clear out the cockroaches and return to integrity and principles …… perhaps one day but not anytime soon with the players we have at the top of our institutions.

Last edited 18 days ago by PattiR
carlo
carlo
18 days ago
Reply to  PattiR

When the Maltese take to the streets, but I doubt it very much as we are renowned for greediness, omerta and corruption.

Marija
Marija
17 days ago
Reply to  PattiR

The institutions incarcerated a person who was asking for a mere €15 on the roads. Thousands and millions of euros go beyond normality and these suckers will remain roaming freely targeting the next million…they are all in this together!!

carlo
carlo
18 days ago

Kollha experts tl-KORRUZZJONI, allura jixirqihom le?

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