The Permanent Secretary of the Culture Ministry, Joyce Dimech, has refused to address questions over severe breaches of an employment contract by one of her subordinates, Arts Council Executive Chairman Albert Marshall.
The 75-year-old Arts Council chairman is party to five other contracts with cultural taxpayer-funded organisations, contrary to the provisions of the contract she signed with him on behalf of the government.
When asked whether she was monitoring Marshall’s activities or taking action, Dimech remained tight-lipped.
Dimech, a Gozitan who has held the permanent secretary position for several years, was the government signatory of Marshall’s latest full-time employment contract as Chair of the Arts Council, seen by The Shift.
As the administrative Head of the Culture Ministry, she is also duty-bound to act in case of contractual breaches or violations. But for some reason, Marshall has been allowed to retain all positions.
According to the latest employment contract given to Marshall in January 2022, to serve as Executive Chair of the Arts Council for another three years, he is bound to dedicate his full time to the Arts Council. He cannot do any other work, either voluntarily or against payment.
The contract states explicitly that “the employee may not during the term of his employment accept to do any other work or service for any third party, whether against remuneration or voluntarily, in particular for the employer’s associates, clients, suppliers and any other part or parties with whom the employer has a direct or indirect interest, without the prior consent of the chairman” – Marshall himself.
The Shift has revealed how, apart from his position at the Arts Council, Marshall has entered into paid service and consultancy contracts with other government cultural organisations, including Teatru Manoel, Valletta Cultural Agency, as vice-chairman of Public Broadcasting Services, and committees related to the Malta Film Commission.
Estimates by The Shift suggest he is currently pocketing close to €100,000 from government coffers for these roles.
Marshall did not reply to requests for comment.
Joyce Dimech has been given the (temporary) responsibility for the Home Affairs Ministry while retaining her current position at the Ministry for National Heritage.