The government is tasking architect Vince Cassar with a new role as Chairman of the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA).
Cassar is the former Planning Authority chairman who approved thousands of development permits since the Labour party was swept to power in 2013.
Cassar, a former permanent secretary under a Nationalist Party administration, retired in 2008. Yet as soon as Labour was elected to govern in 2013, he found his way back into the country’s administration, with disgraced former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat appointing him as the chairman of the Planning Authority (PA).
He held the position until he was recently replaced by former Privatisation Unit head Manuel Camilleri.
The move to shift Cassar to ERA is being interpreted as an appreciation by the government of Cassar’s service to the Labour Party over the last decade in which developers in Malta funding the Party in government got a return on their investment.
The ERA is the regulatory agency responsible for the natural environment in Malta. Placing Cassar at its helm following his track record at the PA has called the move into question.
By way of a formal notice to Parliament’s Public Appointments Committee, Environment Minister Miriam Dalli asked MPs to approve the appointment of the 76-year-old architect as head of the environmental watchdog.
Although Cassar’s nomination still needs to be approved before he takes office, the procedure is a mere formality, given that the government holds the committee’s majority.
During his time as PA chairman, Cassar was given another retainer as a consultant at the government’s school building agency, the Foundation for Tomorrow’s Schools, also at the centre of several corruption scandals.
At the time, former education minister Evarist Bartolo had shielded Cassar from criticism, saying he had full confidence in Cassar’s integrity.
As an FTS consultant, Cassar received an additional €20,000 a year on top of his PA salary and a state pension commensurate to his former position as a permanent secretary.
Cassar will replace Prof Victor Axiak, whose stewardship of the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA) has been harshly criticised by environment NGOs.
So we can now safely predict that in its next “public consultation,” the ERA will be asking for the public’s view on the question of “who has more lives: a cat, or Perit Vincent Cassar?”
Whilst having respect for the elderly, what about new faces, with experience, qualifications and top ethical standards being given the opportunity to serve with honour the needs of our Country?
Top Ethical Standards? Show them and get fired. Just done by Minister Stefan Zrinzo Azzopard who is court for the fact. Top Criminal Standards would put the person on the short list. The same done by the Minister of Education, Clifton Grima , to the ITS teachers who refused to obey orders that would expose their students to harm.
Unfortunately you are spot on with what is happening in Malta. We as private citizens must fight in our possible ways to ensure that this corruption is not and never will be tolerated.
Most of the private citizens were bought with “bullu beef, oranges, wine, doing nothing jobs,paid by us, permits in ODZ lands and other illegal means. The honest citizen pays for all this corruption, and until the muvument korrott is in power more corruption will follow.
Cassar ha intik parir ta Habib .IL BNIEDEM DARBA JGHIX. TA ETA TA 76 SENA immissek tibda tgawdi ftit il hajja ta pensjoant passigata ma Habib, partner mas sinjura. Etc etc. Jew inkella ixtri kelb zghir tal but (pocket dog) curkett tal lira sigarru u mur fil pjazza tar rahal u oqghod issindika Lin NIES li ikunu ghaddejjin u halli l inkwiet tax xoghol ghal HADD iehor. Meta tista doqq I’d diska tal mikbi ENZO GUSMAN “FIL PJAZZA TAR RAHAL.