A former reporter on Labour’s ONE TV, Anthony David Gatt, has been given a top job at Malta Enterprise and quickly climbed the ranks to chief officer within a few years.
In addition, his long-time girlfriend, Nadia Pace, who was appointed to the government agency’s board of directors between 2015 and 2016, is now serving as a consultant to her boyfriend’s employer, receiving regular direct orders.
Gatt, who had no experience in foreign direct investment when he left ONE TV soon after Labour was elected to power in 2013, spent a short time at a small private firm organising government-sponsored events until he was recruited at Malta Enterprise as Head of department.
Soon after, Kurt Farrugia, the spokesman of disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat was catapulted to the post of CEO at Malta Enterprise and put on a €180,000 remuneration package. Gatt soon moved to his office as his assistant.
An internal call was then issued by Malta Enterprise for the post of chief officer to head the communication office of the government agency. Gatt was selected for the post.
Speaking to The Shift, Gatt insisted that all was above board as he was recruited through a public call. He said his promotion only happened “after a full selection process, which included an external interviewing board”.
Asked whether he played any role in recruiting his girlfriend, Nadia Pace, as a consultant at his workplace through direct orders, Gatt did not reply. Instead, he referred The Shift to the agency’s communications office, which he is also heading.
Completely ignoring the connection and potential gross conflict of interest in the fact that Pace and Gatt are partners, Antoinette Cefai, a manager in Gatt’s office, said that her appointment as an external consultant “is public and duly documented in the Government Gazette”.
No call was made for the consultancy Pace is giving to Malta Enterprise. She was handpicked by a direct order costing of €26,000 a year. Her direct order was signed by Kurt Farrugia, who used to work with Gatt at ONE TV.
According to Malta Enterprise, Gatt’s girlfriend is tasked “with working on various projects within the organisation, from investment promotion in the UK to other countries to coordinating work on Brexit as well as working on various strategic projects and corporate development”.
Apart from Kurt Farrugia, the agency had also employed the former PN propagandist turned Labour Karl Stagno Navarra. And Farrugia’s deputy at ONE TV and later at Castille, Nigel Vella, was also given a permanent job at Malta Enterprise.
The Shift had revealed that without even spending a day at his desk at Malta Enterprise, Vella was immediately given long leave by Farrugia so he could join the home affairs minister as his consultant, with better pay and perks than those offered at Malta Enterprise.
Yet, if there is a change of minister or government, Vella can return to his job at Malta Enterprise.