2022 Public Service Week PR exercise costs surged to €426,000

The last public relations exercise conducted by former civil service head Mario Cutajar marking his ‘retirement’ went wildly over budget and the government has already been seen to have splashed out €426,000 in direct orders for what was a three-day event.

Although Prime Minister Robert Abela had said that the 2022 Public Service Week activity had cost €300,000 without divulging any further details, the latest list of direct orders published in the Government Gazette shows that taxpayers have spent much more on what many consider to have been an unnecessary extravagance.

The list also shows that the usual suppliers – who are concurrently involved in all the logistics for every Labour Party mass activity – took most of the public funds allocated.

The never-ending list of direct orders for the 2022 public service PR exercise includes a staggering €77,000 in media advertisements, which were distributed on behalf of the government by a private PR agency, Communique Ltd.

Other significant direct orders include €28,000 for the Corinthia’s convention centre in Ta’ Qali; €21,000 for sound systems through Labour’s mass meeting provider Beasteam Audio; €46,000 for Nexos for lighting; €65,000 for Raymond Vella Ltd for the provision of LED screens; €52,000 for catering from Corinthia and €37,000 for printing for AF Printworks Ltd, the same company that has  provided billboard material for the Labour Party’s electoral campaign.

Mario Cutajar also had a band for his departure ‘party’ and spent more than €12,000 on a direct order for a send-ff concert given by the Ghaqda Nazzjonali Kazini tal-Baned.

The rental of video services for the occasion has meanwhile set taxpayers back another €62,000 and a company called Mad About Video was the beneficiary.

Cutajar’s successor, Tony Sultana, has repeated the extravagance this year.

The Prime Minister has so far said again that the activity cost €300,000, which was paid mostly through direct orders.

It is not yet known whether the final price tag will require an upward revision as the bills are still coming in.

Upon his retirement as the head of the civil service, Cutajar was placed on the government payroll once again, this time as Heritage Malta chairman, with the related salary being added to his retirement pension, which is calculated on the civil service’s highest scale.

Notify of

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
D. Borg
D. Borg
2 months ago

A corrupt government & politicians/persons of “trust”, blatantly stealing taxpayer funds, to at best finance the corrupt political party/cosa nostra.
Does the otherwise overzealous FIAU deem that we should file a Suspicious Transaction Report, about such transactions channelled through the Treasury Department, under the nose of Clyde Caruana and now also in the full knowledge of the Auditor General?

saviour mamo
saviour mamo
2 months ago

We live in a country where corruption is condoned and even blessed.

Francis Said
Francis Said
2 months ago

What a waste of public funds. The most worrying factor is the constant use of direct orders as opposed to issuing of tenders.
The fact that repeatedly PL leaning contractors are chosen is pure unadulterated fraud.
Chamber of Commerce stand up to be counted.

Paul Pullicino
Paul Pullicino
2 months ago

And we have a PM with a socialist heart, a heart which says, “don’t worry about the cost, your grandchildren will deal with it.”

Related Stories

Data Commissioner orders government to publish EuroPride costs
Parliamentary Secretary Rebecca Buttigieg has been issued an enforcement
Film Commission studies contradict themselves as filmmakers lament ‘lack of transparency’
Big differences in the reported findings of two unpublished

Our Awards and Media Partners

Award logo Award logo Award logo