FOI request reveals Adreana Zammit’s pay almost tripled in only 8 months

A second contract signed between Transport Malta and Adreana Zammit shows the daughter of Minister Ian Borg’s canvasser got an astronomical pay rise within only eight months for her services as a junior lawyer, according to information received from a Freedom of Information request.

The contract signed in June 2020 shows that her remuneration increased from €15 per hour to €40 per hour while her responsibilities remained the same.

The only changes made from her first contract signed the previous June was a change in her title, from junior lawyer to legal consultant, and reduced working hours – from 40 hours per week to 35 hours per week.

The new contract meant the remuneration given to the 22-year old inexperienced lawyer went from €31,200 to almost €73,000 a year. This contrasts sharply with the €22,633 a year a junior legal officer employed with the government can expect to receive. It is in fact even higher than what lawyers who have worked with Transport Malta for decades receive.

The two consecutive contracts were given to Zammit through a direct order, without any form of competition and with conditions tailor made for the daughter of the Minister’s right hand man.

Same contracts, different remuneration

The first two-year contract of service with Zammit was signed on 1 October 2019, engaging her as a junior lawyer at a rate of €15 per hour for a 40-hour week.

The contract stipulated that Zammit would only work on assignments given to her directly by the Authority’s chairman, Joseph Bugeja. She was permitted flexible working hours so she could still work privately for other entities and clients, including those in the transport sector.

Yet in June 2020 this contract was scrapped and replaced by another engaging her as ‘legal consultant’ and increasing her rate to €40 per hour for a 35-hour week. The rest of her contract, including her duties, remained unchanged.

According to her contract, Zammit was to give advice to the Transport Authority chairman on a wide range of legal issues, from complaints to the Ombudsman to industrial relations disputes and drafting of complex contracts, which would normally be tackled by experienced lawyers.

It seems Transport Malta did not rely solely on her ‘expertise’ – the Authority’s list of direct orders shows that the services of various lawyers were used at the same time that cost taxpayers additional tens of thousands of euro.

Ian Borg and his canvasser

Transport Minister Ian Borg defended the contract given to his canvasser’s daughter when details about it were first reported.

Instead of assuming responsibility, he declared that he had nothing to do with Zammit’s contract and shifted the blame onto the Transport Malta chairman, which he claimed had acted independently from his ministry.

Prime Minister Robert Abela ordered the cancellation of the contract as Borg announced Zammit had decided to resign as she did not want to get involved in political bickering.

Her father, Jesmond Zammit, who is also a football coach, stopped acting as the minister’s private secretary soon after the 2017 general elections – only to keep doing the same job for a higher salary.

Borg gave his chief canvasser a contract of an advisor and topped it up with a €20,000 ‘expertise allowance’, which according to government rules is an exception to be sanctioned directly by the prime minister. As a result, Zammit’s financial package increased to over €67,000.

                           
                               
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D M Briffa
D M Briffa
1 month ago

Could someone please explain why this isn’t fraud and why the lawyer shouldn’t lose her warrant?

Albert Beliard
Albert Beliard
1 month ago
Reply to  D M Briffa

In Malta, it’s not what you know – but who you know.

Fraud is considered a bonus or a benefit in this lawless country.

M.Galea
M.Galea
1 month ago
Reply to  D M Briffa

Yes it is fraud! Misuse of public money! Ian Borg resign and her warrant should be taken yes!!

Joe Camilleri
1 month ago
Reply to  M.Galea

Where lawyers and judiciary are involved fraud does not apply! Same with those lawyers involved in the Gozitan land scandal happening at the expense of many families! But given these people call themselves ‘lawyers’ and back their actions by a warrant (which mind you, they have sworn to abide by moral ethics in practising it) – they are exempt from actions against them.

Winston Smith
Winston Smith
1 month ago
Reply to  D M Briffa

Because technically it is legalised corruption, approved, rubber stamped, with deep red ink white collar crime.

KD Far
KD Far
1 month ago
Reply to  D M Briffa

The lawyer is not at fault. Who wouldn’t accept a higher salary. The responsables are the ones that gave this payrise and approved it!

viv
viv
1 month ago

A MODEST PROPOSAL TOWARDS THE MINISTER OF TOURISM

I propose putting all ministers, cronies, lackeys, bent coppers/judges etc. in a big outdoors enclosure (with office equipment) to be viewed for a suitable entry price by the public, to witness corruption/nepotism in a natural habitat in real time. This could be a first, and a real crowd-puller.

mick
mick
1 month ago
Reply to  viv

We don’t have a big enough enclosure!

viv
viv
1 month ago
Reply to  mick

A few Captain Morgan boats will take care of that.

Winston Smith
Winston Smith
1 month ago

Put simply, misappropriation of government funds is stealing and those who allow it are a special type of corrupt scum. I hate to think about the sad reality that while these thieves are fattening their pockets, parents with kids who have cancers or rare diseases need to desperately beg Community Chest Fund or NGO’s such as Puttinu Cares for help? Just weeks ago an individual with a rare disease resorted to pleading on the media because there simply wasn’t any funds for her life saving medicine!
Personally, I am infuriated and fed up to the point that I am willing to do anything to stop this madness. We are being robbed and we are expected to accept our fates with a smile while the institutions that should stop this thievery are enabling it.

J.Gauci
J.Gauci
1 month ago
Reply to  Winston Smith

I fully agree with you Winston, the sad thing is most of the electorate relish and enjoy condoning such astronomical salary rises to the selected few and they are happy with their low wages. Incredible maltese electorate!

carlo
carlo
1 month ago

kif ma jisthu jigbru l-paga? corrupt practices by corrupt ministers. Shame on you.
u l-povru haddiem bil-paga minima u b’xi centezmu l’huwn u l’hinn biex jisirqulu l-vot.
Iftah mohhok haddiem u tallix il-korruzzjoni trrenja.

Carmel Ellul
Carmel Ellul
1 month ago

The big question is” Who will Bell the Cat?” It took those courageous ladies standing in front of Kastilja to pull down Muscat.

Evelyn Grech
Evelyn Grech
1 month ago

This woman has truly no shame! Stealing is ok for these corrupt lot, thanks to Joseph who ingrained into the minds of the masses that everything is excusable and that the end justifies whatever the means to acquire it. Joseph opened the gates of the abyss and there is no way of closing them now with Robert’s kontinwita!

Paul Bonello
Paul Bonello
28 days ago

Min jisraq bl-ixkora u min jisraq bl-iskola: tal ewwel imorru l habs; tat tieni jiehdu promotion

Albert Mamo
Albert Mamo
23 days ago

Ian Borg is a good minister to know. He is so kind to his right hand canvasser and daughter, dishing out thousands of € as long as its taxpayers money and not his.

He reminds me of Lorry Sant in the old Mintoff era. Did exactly the same thing!!!👎👎👎

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