Schembri put campaign videographer on public payroll just before the election

Just a few weeks before the last electoral campaign, Economy Minister Silvio Schembri put his personal campaign videographer on the ministry’s payroll, by direct order, for the “provision of media coverage”.

In a move that set taxpayers back some €35,000, Schembri employed his canvasser and campaign team member Franklin Cachia, a wedding videographer from Birżebbuġa with little experience in mainstream media, to provide him with ’media coverage’ just before his election campaign began.

The Shift is informed that Cachia handled the minister’s photography and video campaign requirements and also formed part of the campaign’s ‘Team Silvio’ while on the public payroll.

According to a new list of direct orders published in the Government Gazette, Cachia was given his contract on 22 January, which coincided with the inception of ‘Team Silvio’s’ work.

Franklin Cachia

Schembri’s campaign also featured large free parties in his electoral districts and a free election campaign dinner held at the MFCC in Ta’ Qali, owned by the Corinthia group, which had dealings with Schembri as part of the bargain it got on the former Ħal Ferħ complex.

The Shift has already reported how invoices pertaining to most of Schembri’s expensive events were not given to the Electoral Commission.

The Economy Ministry’s list of direct orders, which covers only the first six months of the year, includes other regular beneficiaries of Labour’s direct order benevolence.

Fortina Group CEO Edward Zammit Tabona is now also a director of a new media company called Eleven54 Studio. Based at the OZO Group’s headquarters, the company received a direct order of €9,900 – just below the €10,000 threshold that would trigger a competitive tender – for unspecified “photography services”.

The OZO Group, which belongs to Zammit Tabonas and Mario Muscat, is the majority shareholder of Eleven54 Studio, which handles all the Fortina Group’s marketing requirements,

Meanwhile, G Media, owned by Gareth Degiorgio, a canvasser of Prime Minister Robert Abela, the recipient of various direct orders and state-funded programmes on PBS, was also awarded a €9,900 direct order from Schembri for “videography services”.

Between January and June 2021, Schembri handed out government contracts to Aron Mifsud Bonnici (€9,600) for legal services and Gordon Cordina’s E-Cubed (5,900).

Anita Giordimaina, who until a few months ago was the Housing Authority’s board secretary, had a €9,000 direct order for ‘legal services’ at the Joint Office. TV presenter Clare Agius was also given a €10,000 direct order by the Commerce Department for ‘advertising’.

                           
                           
                               
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Out of Curiosity
Out of Curiosity
1 month ago

What a shame of a Government this is. Never a dull moment, with Direct Contracts given to parasites whose names feature everywhere you go, like Aaron Mifsud Bonnici and Anita Giordmaina for example.

Greed
Greed
1 month ago

The labour trough must be some size and probably can be seen from the moon?

viv
viv
1 month ago

That can only be described as ‘furious mafia activity’.

Albert Rossi
Albert Rossi
1 month ago

I struggle to find the most appropriate word to describe this Government’s relentless Greed, Sleaze, Corruption and Impunity.

Toni Borg
Toni Borg
1 month ago
Reply to  Albert Rossi

PIGS!

Bamboccu
Bamboccu
1 month ago

HNIEZER 🐷🐷🐷 u HMIEG

J.s
J.s
30 days ago

Tax payers money down the drain.

Nigel Baker
Nigel Baker
30 days ago

I despair for the future of Malta. There seems to be no end to the rampant pillaging of public funds.

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