Ian Borg spending tens of thousands on personal photographer

Foreign Affairs Minister Ian Borg is spending tens of thousands of euros to employ a personal photographer full-time while touring the globe.

Through an unprecedented contract, seen by The Shift, Ian Borg employed Ray Attard – a personal friend and a former photographer with newspapers l-Orizzont and Malta Today.

Signed in May, just a few weeks after Borg was relegated to the foreign ministry and away from the tender-rich transport ministry, Attard’s contract stipulates that he must work a 30-hour a week with Minister Borg and get paid €25 an hour or a minimum of €3,200 a month.

Attard is not required to be at the ministry all the time as he “shall send a signed attendance sheet or a signed detailed record of work performed endorsed by top management” together with his monthly invoice.

A copy of the first invoice sent by Attard for his services in May shows that despite signing the contract on 18 May, he still charged the ministry for the whole month without giving any details of his services.

Ray Attard

Just a few weeks after the signing of his contract by Christopher Cutajar, the foreign ministry’s permanent secretary, Attard was on a plane accompanying the minister, first to Brasilia for meetings with representatives of the Brazilian government and then to New York, where he participated in the uncontested election of Malta to the United Nation’s Security Council.

Pictures of Ian Borg taken by his personal photographer were prominently published by the mainstream newspapers and posted on Borg’s personal social media pages promoting the young Dingli politician.

Sources at the foreign ministry confirmed that the ministry had never had any similar contract in its history. “The ministry, as all other government entities, always uses the services provided by the Department of Information when it needs to take images or videos. There is no work for a full-time photographer in any ministry, and that is why the DOI exists.”

The Shift is informed that no other minister, not even the prime minister or his office, employs the services of a photographer on a full-time basis.

Asked for a list of members of the minister’s delegation to Brazil and the US last June, the foreign ministry said that the minister was only accompanied by his photographer, while other members joined later. The ministry said it was still compiling the costs forked out by taxpayers for this latest trip.

Before being handed the latest contract by Ian Borg, Attard spent years working at Malta’s Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels on a full-time basis.

While a job was ‘created’ for him when Malta held the EU Presidency during the first half of 2017, his contract was suddenly turned into a much longer assignment, with Attard spending years as a full-time photographer in Brussels, funded by taxpayers.

Earlier this week, Finance Minister Clyde Caruana asked ministers to reduce costs by at least €200 million this year to try to control the country’s debt.

                           
                               
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carlos
19 hours ago

Kemm jiflah jissaporti din il-korruzzjoni kollha l- poplu Malti? Meta se tiddecidi l-oppozizzjoni tnizzel in-nies fit-toroq- meta l-hallelin u l- korrotti jaharbu minn Malta ? Qum poplu mir-raqda, qieghdin ninsterqu u nibqghu ma nghamlu xejn. Oppozizzjoni huwa d-dmir u dover taghkhom li ma thallux lil dan il-gvern korrott jirrombla minn fuq kulhadd.

Philip Gatt
Philip Gatt
18 hours ago

Hawn Familjij Maltin li ghandhom bzonn li flus bhal dawn jintefqu fuqhom specjalment minhabba lgholi tal hajja.

Bamboccu
Bamboccu
18 hours ago

Kemm jafu jiffangaw bil flusna qed nghid.
La l poplu jrid hekk sewwa jaghmlu.

KLAUS
KLAUS
18 hours ago

Dear Shift team, once again a good work.

It is sad what you can afford to do in government.
Ian Borg is the right person to present this kind of “government” abroad. Unbelievable.

What can you expect from ROBBER Abela and his shameful government:
Every day new ways of serving themselves and dripping reaches into the Maltese treasure chest

Joseph Tabone Adami
Joseph Tabone Adami
18 hours ago

What has the last paragraph of the write-up got to do with the requirements of Malta’s Foreign Affairs ministry, one may ask?

Minister Caruana’s sights were trained elsewhere, of course – hardly on the extra 38.400 Euros required each year to provide mementos of the Foreign Ministry’s activities all over the globe, weren’t they!

D M Briffa
D M Briffa
16 hours ago

I would guess that Clyde Caruana must be tearing his thinning hair out. The only government minister to use his own car for work. The extravagance, the excess, the gross wastage, and the in-your-face theft of taxpayers’ money, must keep him awake at night. Surely he knows he’s fighting a losing battle? How long will he last?

Carmen
Carmen
14 hours ago
Reply to  D M Briffa

Yes indeed, he is using his own car but he is getting paid an extra allowance for the car anyway. And perhaps some of them get it even both, the car and the allowance. That’s how it works, and believe me he is not tearing his thinning hair out neither. Kieku rrezenja diga imma ma jaqbillux Ghax Qed ipappiha tajjeb ukoll.

KLAUS
KLAUS
38 minutes ago
Reply to  Carmen

A few weeks before the election, Clyde Caruana declared that the finances looked very good.
Shortly afterwards, everything was completely different.

I therefore do not think very much of Clyde Capuana.

Francis Said
Francis Said
13 hours ago
Reply to  D M Briffa

He will last. I had a good opinion of the Minister when he was co-opted. He spoke without being political in an extreme way.
Unfortunately things change, he has as yet not taken the bull by whatever part. He has not condoned the massive misuse of funds and the Air Malta employees debacle is disgraceful.

farfarl'hemm
farfarl'hemm
15 hours ago

If I’m not mistaken when George Vella was Foreign Minister, it was more important for the photographer, than the career diplomat, to accompany him abroad. Oh, and the lackeys too.

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