Economy Minister Silvio Schembri has once again been economical with the information supplied to Parliament, this time on the amount of taxpayers’ funds he spent on his own publicity in the last election year.
The minister has told Parliament that he does not employ a photographer at the ministry but said in reply to Opposition MP Jerome Caruana Cilia that it had contracted various ‘media services’ related to the publicity of the minister’s activities in 2022, which include photography services, up to a total cost of almost €35,000.
While the amount of money spent by Schembri on his own publicity is extraordinary when compared to that of other ministers, more information published in the Government Gazette paints a different picture than that Schembri showed Parliament.
The list of direct orders awarded by Schembri’s ministry over the first six months of 2022 shows how the media-savvy minister issued at least three different direct orders related to his self-promotion.
Franklin Cachia, a wedding photographer and one of the minister’s canvassers, was awarded a €35,000 direct order to deliver unspecified media services to the ministry.
Cachia has no media experience and served as the Minister’s photographer during his personal campaign, where he formed part of ‘Team Silvio’. Ministers are excluded from using taxpayer funds for their political campaigns.
Gareth Degiorgio, a photographer who has also branched out into television production for ONE TV and PBS, was awarded a separate direct order to provide Schembri with videography services. That direct order cost taxpayers €9,900.
Schembri also awarded a €9,900 photography tender, just under the €10,000 direct order threshold, for Eleven 54 Studio.
This company’s studio is based at the OZO Group offices in Qormi, the minister’s district, and has Fortina Group CEO Edward Zammit Tabona as one of its directors.
Schembri is responsible for the Lands Authority, which has negotiated a new deed with Zammit Tabona for a new sea concession near the Fortina that will turn a popular bathing area into a private yacht marina.
I wonder how much Mr photo opportunity Owen Bonnici aka Noddy spends on his OTT self promotion and his clone Alex Aguis sabila?
kulhadd jithanzer bi flus il-poplu. kompli silv tanzer ghaliex f’mafialand m’hemmx ligijiet ghall-hniezer.
Kumment tajjeb u f waqtu prosit
It might be opportune that these ‘potential’ (in the spirit of innocent until formally proven guilty) abuse of public funds and election financing, are formally reported to the Commissioner for “Standards” in Public Life, the NAO, and the Electoral Commission (where applicable) – as apparently they do not take any initiative on their own.
A need for self-esteem or simply another disguised corruption ? Let me think …
It would be in the public interest knowing who those in the photo , paid by OUR taxes , are and what are the attributes they have that landed them the job they do.
What is the total YEARLY salary these are getting from OUR Taxes.
No BS about personal information. These are PUBLIC SERVANTS PAID BY THE PUBLIC WHO HAS THE RIGHT TO KNOW. ” The Shift ” Readers can get this information, I am sure.
He is all smiles. It’s incredible in whose hands our poor country has been trusted. Don’t know if we have reached the bottom yet.
The incompetence displayed by Silvio Schembri is an affront to the principles of good governance and responsible leadership
Silvio Schembri is the epitome of pure arrogance, contempt and scorn for the public.
Schembri and the like are a classic example of how shallow our present politicians are. They are far more interested in their looks rather than real substance and their valid contribution to the country!