PM’s office squanders €1 million in public funds to promote Labour propaganda

The Office of the Prime Minister last year squandered more than 1 million of taxpayers’ funds on political propaganda, boosting the Labour Government’s ‘achievements’ such as the budget and supposed ‘progress’ in the public service.

While widening the democratic deficit with the opposition, by using public funds to boost its party political agenda just before the election, the funds from state coffers also served to prop up some of the Labour Party suppliers and OPM familiars just a few months before the start of the electoral campaign.

According to the latest data published in the Government Gazette, the Finance and Administration directorate at the Office of the Prime Minister issued just two tenders for all its procurement needs in a 12-month period, while the rest of the services it needed were issued through 40 different direct orders, valued at over 1 million.

Most of the beneficiaries of these direct orders, mainly to provide advertising and marketing material for the government, were either companies who usually work for Labour’s electoral machine for ‘free’ or friends and relatives of Labour Party officials.

In one glaring example, the OPM splashed out some 200,000 of tax money to boost the budget presented by Finance Minister Clyde Caruana. This is over and above the hundreds of thousands of euros already spent on the same thing by the Finance Ministry.

The companies included Ikona Artworks Ltd (70,000) – owned by two former Labour functionaries who have been receiving the bulk of OPM advertising work since 2013; Moving Ads Ltd (13,000) – owned by Daniel Abela, former Minister Louis Grech’s nephew, tasked to put budget ads on buses; Webee Ltd – Labour’s social media manager, awarded a 45,000 deal to promote the budget on social media platforms; and Sharp Shoot Media – owned by Justin Farrugia, brother of Kurt Farrugia, former spokesman of disgraced former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. 

Mario Cutajar, who stepped down as Principal Permanent Secretary a few weeks ago, after his contract was not extended beyond retirement, also used  taxpayers’ funds to boost his image.

Taking full advantage of the so-called Public Service Week, in which the government carries out a propaganda exercise to show the achievements of the public service, Cutajar spent some 80,000 with a company called Motionblur, which was given a direct order to provide a ‘media campaign’ for the event.

Another filming company, Tribe, co-owned by Sam Dalli, brother of former ONE TV boss (now PBS) Charles Dalli, was paid 15,000 to film 12 videos for Mario Cutajar, while iCan Ltd, owned by Keith Chetcuti, was paid 36,000 to provide exhibition boards and monitors.

The endless list of OPM direct orders also includes a 31,000 contract to former One TV cameraman and Robert Abela’s leadership campaign photographer Gareth Degiorgio; a 30,000 contract to former Labour MP Luciano Busuttil for ‘legal services’; and a further 17,000 contract to a relatively unknown economist, Kirsten Cutajar Miller, who is regularly interviewed on TVM every time the government announces some positive financial measure.

Cutajar Miller worked for many years at Nexia BT, the company involved in various scandals related to the Muscat-Mizzi-Schembri triumvirate.

 

                           
                               
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Francis Said
Francis Said
4 hours ago

I cannot understand this blatant waste of taxpayers’ funds. Is it legal?
Particularly when PBS and One are practically one and the same. Also the fact that the direct orders were issued to pro Labour individuals or companies.
The 1,000,000 euros would have been better spent by helping people with social problems and live a decent life.

Last edited 4 hours ago by Francis Said
carlo
carlo
1 hour ago
Reply to  Francis Said

FATF are you fully aware of these scandals?

carlo
carlo
1 hour ago

Laughing at people’s ignorance for accepting the daily scandals and daylight robbery by the mafia gang running this rock.

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