Foundation for Medical Services CEO Carmen Ciantar has been issued an enforcement notice by the Data Protection Commissioner ordering her to make her new contract, which she was given by Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne after the last elections, available.
The enforcement order was deemed necessary after the FMS failed to meet its commitment made several weeks ago to make her contract available to The Shift.
Despite several reminders, Ciantar, who was put in the position by Fearne as a person of trust without a public call, resisted the order.
The FMS was also ordered to send copies of all contracts related to the engagements of Mater Dei CEO Celia Falzon and its Head of Pharmacy, Stephen Falzon. As in Ciantar’s case, the FMS has also so far failed to make their contracts available, and an enforcement notice was issued for them to be published as well.
According to public declarations made by Prime Minister Robert Abela last January, Ciantar’s scandalous contract, which saw his deputy Prime Minister’s chief canvasser receiving some €13,500 a month, was to be revised downwards after last March’s election.
Dubbed as “irregular” by the National Audit Office, Abela had blamed the contract on his predecessor, disgraced Prime Minster Joseph Muscat, and his Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne.
“I did not go into detail but saw what the NAO said, and I have the Deputy Prime Minister’s word that Ciantar’s contract will be reviewed once it expires,” Abela had told the press at the time.
As with all those employed by the government on a position of trust basis, Ciantar’s “irregular” five-year contract came to a sudden end with the last general elections. According to the law, a new contract was to be entered into after the election with the promised downward revisions dictated by the Prime Minister.
But while Ciantar was re-engaged by Fearne as the FMS CEO after the elections, she is now refusing to reveal her new contract.
Sources at the Health Ministry told The Shift that while relations between Ciantar and Fearne are not as strong as they had been in the past, since she is considered by Fearne’s team as the main reason behind his failure to have defeated Abela in the 2020 Labour Party leadership race, Ciantar still commands an influence over her boss.
The same sources said that since Fearne may now be on his way out in a possible kick upstairs to Brussels to the European Commission, Ciantar is said to be busy cultivating a new alliance with Minister Jo Etienne Abela, who has been earmarked to fill Fearne’s shoes at the health ministry.
It is unclear whether Fearne paid heed to Abela’s orders and downward revised Ciantar’s contract. Carmen Ciantar has been given until the end of the month to make her new contract available.