The Occupational Health and Safety Authority (OHSA) is still “seeking legal advice” on serious allegations brought to its attention months ago involving one of its officials authorised to decide on whether offenders are prosecuted.
The Authority was informed by means of a letter, also sent to The Shift, that its official was doubling as a private legal advisor, including on health and safety rules. The OHSA was sent pictures of his office in Siggiewi where a plaque he placed has “Dr” before his name, even though he is not a lawyer.
The law is clear that no individual is permitted to provide legal services without a lawyer’s warrant issued by the President of Malta. The Chamber of Advocates was also notified.
The Shift followed up on the claims and pressed the OHSA for answers after months in which no action was seen to be taken.
The CEO of the OHSA, Mark Gauci, acknowledged that the complaint had been received and said the Authority was still trying to establish the facts.
“We have passed all this information to the police, but I will come back to you with a more definite reply,” Gauci told The Shift.
After several reminders, Gauci only said that “the OHSA is seeking legal advice on the matter”.
The Shift is informed that the officer mentioned in these claims is a former police officer recruited by the OHSA years ago. Since the OHSA was never well resourced by the government, the officer in question is one of the very few officials who decide on whether alleged offenders are prosecuted in court or not.
Minister Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi is responsible for the Authority.