Standards Commissioner asked to investigate Silvio Schembri’s misuse of ministry staff

Commissioner for Standards in Public Life Joseph Azzopardi has been asked to investigate Economy Minister Silvio Schembri’s confirmation in parliament that he has deployed members of his ministerial secretariat to work at his personal constituency offices.

The request, filed by independent political candidate Arnold Cassola, comes after a heated parliamentary exchange between the minister and his opposition shadow minister Rebekah Borg, who asked the minister to clarify the ownership and lease agreements pertaining to his constituency office in Luqa.

The Shift has recently reported how Schembri’s constituency offices in Luqa and Siggiewi are within apartment blocks built respectively by construction magnates Paul Attard of GAP Developments and Anton Camilleri of Garnet Investments.

Attard is one of the people behind the contentious Mellieha Heights green lung land grab and Camilleri is behind the similarly contentious St George’s Bay Villa Rosa development.

Refusing to answer Borg’s questions about lease payments, or lack thereof, she pressed on to question the minister whether he was using government salaried employees to staff his constituency offices.

Schembri ended up acknowledging that was indeed the case, arguing that members of ministers’ private secretariats are employees who assist the minister, adding, “I know the opposition does not like the way we are close to the people.”

Schembri appears to be rather conveniently blurring the lines between his ministerial duties to the public and his personal electoral ambitions.

Members of ministers’ private secretariats are paid with taxpayer funds to assist ministers in their duties and such work does not include manning their personal constituency offices.

Cassola said yesterday, “Unfortunately, filthy political behaviour has become the order of the day”.

Citing The Shift’s report on Schembri’s admission before the House that he was using members of the ministry’s secretariat for his constituency offices – where voters typically go to request favours from or make complaints to politicians, usually in return for political support – Cassola said of Schembri: “This is a blatant abuse of his ministerial position.”


Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
2 months ago

Arrogance always comes before the fall, and arrogance always goes hand in hand with stupidity. Prosit Ministru! He might end up like EZL who dared to call PL voters ‘Gahan’. I’ve seen people throwing the Gahan word to each one another in a tit-for-tat manner. Quite curious to say the least.

An Economy Minister who would be worthy the title would rather see to it that Malta gets other sources of investment, away from the Joseph Muscat era’s practices.

The IIP Scheme is set to end in a couple of years. The Steward scandal is set to have some repercusions on the international level, cos they will make sure of it that it has. Malta is losing more and more trust outside the realm of the ‘cosy PL bubble’ due to the way the PL runs the country.

The greylisting of Malta was also mentioned in the rant published by Steward and they will certainly use it to deter foreign investors from going to Malta. The fact that they have called the Maltese govt corrupt was merely topping it all and the way PM Abela defended them in Parliament just proved their point made.

Maybe some day in the not so distant future, even the die-hard Laburisti will have to realise that their ‘Invictus’ former leader of the PL and PM of Malta, has not just ruined the reputation of Malta and the country itself, but also the party along with it. But I wouldn’t be that hopeful at all, cos one shouldn’t underestimate the endurance of the PLers and their fear of a future PN govt, or any other for that matter. Their power of self-illusioning is still giving, just like the PL is giving the CEO jobs to incompetent cronies. They don’t mind that at all, not even the PL legacy of a broken Malta.

2 months ago

I have noticed various examples for what the phrase ‘the PL is close to the people’ means. That goes with the vouchers during the Covid-19 pandemic, the voucher for an ‘extra tax return’ which is for the average citizen and in contrast to that the big salary CEO jobs, sometimes even two at the same time for one person.

I think that when it comes to lurk and bind the people into dependency to the PL, the corruption is so blatant to see that every denial by the PL itself or even just leaving it with no comment, cannot distract from the fact and the results of this party’s doing. No matter whom or what he means, it’s all the same to me and I call it the ‘Joseph Muscat System’. Whether he is officially active in politics or ‘merely’ pulling the strings from behind, it makes not much difference because the ruling PL sticks with these principles and that is what ‘continuity’ is all about.

The more arrogant some of them comes across and acts, the more it shows to me how much that person depends on that system and that person surely must have given up something of him- / herself to get that far.

2 months ago

What is the Minister of Finance Caruana doing about the public funds spending?

Related Stories

Hondoq illegally cleaned with machinery ahead of minister’s environment lecture
A heavy-duty, tracked mechanical shovel normally used for construction
Data leak used to select only Labour-voting public service job applicants
A database holding the massive breach of the details

Our Awards and Media Partners

Award logo Award logo Award logo