The sister of new Education Minister Clifton Grima, Charlene Grima, has been paid a total of at least €25,000 in taxpayer money since April 2020 for providing secretarial services to the private residential leases board as well as legal advice to the bureau of air accident investigation.
Grima, who’s been working as a lawyer since 2014, was given a total of €20,000 for her secretarial services to the private residential leases board within the housing authority, known formally as the adjudication panel. The panel decides on small claim disputes relating to the Private Residential Leases Act.
Grima was also appointed as registrar for the same panel, a position that was awarded to her in April of last year and one which she is set to occupy until 2025. Moreover, barely over a month later, she was selected for the position of co-chair of the national cyber security steering committee.
Her appointment to the cyber security committee, which commenced on 1 July of last year and will go on until 2023, entails Grima will be in a position to oversee Malta’s efforts to combat cybercrime and increase the public’s awareness and education on the subject.
The committee appointment was given to Grima by current tourism minister Clayton Bartolo when he was previously serving as parliamentary secretary for financial services and digital economy. The two separate contracts for secretarial services that amounted to €20,000 were issued through minister for social accommodation Roderick Galdes.
The education minister’s sister was also paid €5,040 to provide assistance in the updating of local legislation on behalf of the bureau of air accident investigation. It is not known whether Grima has any relevant expertise in the property, cybersecurity or aviation sectors.
Last week, The Shift published a separate article detailing how one of the education minister’s main canvassers was identified as Rainer Scerri, a well-known Labour activist who was suspended from his role as an official for a waterpolo club for ten matches and fined €900 following a death threat made against an Aquatic Sports Association official.
TVM, which had briefly covered Scerri’s suspension as a news item, had taken it down following what sources had described as direct intervention from the office of the prime minister.