In the latest case of misuse of public funds by government officials, Identity Malta CEO and former AFM Deputy Commander Mark Mallia has spent thousands of euros in self-promotion, joining at least another 12 officials promoting themselves on the MaltaCEOs website this year alone.
Mallia and Jesmond Bonello, the managing director of Content House Group, declined to answer questions on the amount the government agency forked out for the CEO’s promotional articles, citing commercial sensitivity.
Yet publicly accessible advertising rates offered by MaltaCEOs carry a price tag of €1,500 on sponsored articles, such as interviews and event reviews, which includes social media promotion.
Mallia has appeared in at least three articles by MaltaCEOs.
The Commissioner for Standards in Public Life and the ministerial code of ethics, which applies to publicly appointed government officials, expressly define self-promotion through state-funded advertising as a breach of ethics.
Mallia was appointed CEO of Identity Malta in January 2022.
Following the 2013 general elections, Mallia and three other army officials, including Jeffrey Curmi, who was later appointed Brigadier, were given four consecutive and accelerated promotions in less than six months – a process the Ombudsman then condemned.
Mallia is not the only one using public funds for self-promotion. This year alone, 12 other government officials have been featured in MaltaCEOs articles, from announcing their appointment as directors or CEOs within the extended public sector to interviews touting their achievements and experience.
The government officials featured in MaltaCEOs articles include:
- Malta Enterprise CEO Kurt Farrugia,
- Project Green CEO Steve Ellul,
- Malta Financial Services CEO Kenneth Farrugia,
- Malta Tourism Authority CEO Carlo Micallef,
- Malta Communications Authority CEO Jesmond Bugeja,
- ARMS CEO Joseph Attard,
- Malta Stock Exchange Executive Chairman Joseph Portelli,
- Housing Authority CEO Matthew Zerafa,
- Social Housing Minister Roderick Galdes,
- INDIS Malta CEO Keith Fenech,
- MFSA CEO Christopher Buttigieg.
Answering further questions from The Shift, Bonello said MaltaCEOs deals “with companies/organisations/bodies, not individuals”, noting that advertising for the public sector only covers 10 to 15% of MaltaCEOs’ revenue.
Public officials are finding increasingly innovative ways of pushing themselves forward apart from traditional advertising. Last Tuesday, The Shift reported how Environment Minister Miriam Dalli and Project Green CEO Steve Ellul commissioned singer Ira Losco to promote public spaces forming part of Project Green. As part of the deal, Dalli, as well as Ellul, who has his eyes on the MEP elections, were promoted.
Independent politician Arnold Cassola has reported the ‘abuse’ to the standards commissioner since politicians and government officials are forbidden from using public money to their advantage.
For him is better to make his agency to work a bit. On 18.4.2023. I submited my application for work permit. Renewal. Till now status is still submited. On the phone to get them is impossible. I went there and got answer that now they need 10 weeks to check. My god, 10 weeks for just date to be changed.
I moved house and had to prove that inhad been here for 6 months prior to moving … I moved in February and am still waiting for my updated residence card. Might have it by June ..
Another self serving party lackey.
We expect that when the tables turn , these are all made to face justice.
A BREACH OF ETHICS. A FASCIST GOVERNMENT DOESN’T HAVE ETHICS. TAXPAYERS MONEY IS THEIR TO BE SPENT, AS IF THEY ARE SPENDING THEIR OWN MONEY AND OUR COUNTRY IS SINKING FAST IN NATIONAL DEBT!!!💯👎👎👎
Dangerous and inevitably heading towards autocracy. Or for the inquisitive – dictatorship. Actually, we’re almost there.
“Please sir, can I have some more………?
Huwa veru li Matthew Zerafa CEO tal Housing huwa t tifel tal kugina tal Ministru Roderick Galdes?
Tiehu xejn bi kbir! Mark Mallia mhux habib kbir Tal Prim Ministru, kien ADC ta missieru l President G Abela u tawh rigal ta’ salarju l fuq minn 100000. Kien habib ta Joseph u Michelle u Tal klikja Laburista uvghamluh Deputy qabel balla ufficjali b’esperjenza u seniority aktar minnu. X’ma jilhaqx u imbaghad jigi xi GAHAN bil-minimum wage u jcapcap ghax tawh xi cheque ta 100 euro!
Jesmond Bonello’s Content House also enjoys thousands of euro in direct orders from FIAU. Taxpayers funds are being used by FIAU to tarnish the reputation of licensed entities, even before appeals are heard in courts. Rather than reporting the hidden agendas at FIAU, Jesmond Bonello reports their mantra.
Pigs at the through.
Anyone noticed that there are no females in this list, definitely jobs for the boys …
No more votes !