Wasteserv paying €2 million a month for outsourced workforce, including One TV journalist

CEO refuses to divulge contract of Miriam Dalli’s canvasser


The government’s waste management agency – Wasteserv – is paying a private contractor some €2 million a month to hire much of its workforce, some of them low-paid third-country nationals and a Labour Party TV employee, The Shift is informed.

Since its inception over a decade ago, Wasteserv, unlike other government organisations, does not directly hire its employees. Instead, it has an agreement with Qormi-based Ozo Group to provide up to 700 staff.

The latest three-year tender was awarded to the company, which Mario Muscat and members of the Zammit Tabona family own. The company is obliged to supply some 700 personnel to the public waste management agency.

Asked by The Shift for a copy of the latest contract, Wasteserv turned down the request, citing “commercial sensitivity”.

However, it said that during the first ten months of the current contract, the Ozo Group was paid a total of €18.5 million, or between €1.8 to €2 million per month.

As with such human resource agencies, the fees paid by the client are split between paying the worker and a commission that the company keeps.

Circumventing the rules?

One individual employed via Ozo Group to work at Wasteserv is Pearl Agius. Once a reporter at Labour Party TV station One, she was put on the Wasteserv payroll as a lawyer before even obtaining her warrant to practice.

The CEO of the government agency, Richard Bilocca, refused to publish her contract when asked by means of a Freedom of Information request.

He justified the refusal by stating that Wasteserv does not employ or pay Agius, as Ozo Group has recruited her. Therefore, he said he does not have a copy of her contract.

Pearl Agius and Miriam Dalli during a Labour Party activity

Sources with information on the matter told The Shift that it was Minister Miriam Dalli’s Energy Ministry who, through Wasteserv, pushed Bilocca to ask the private contractor to put the lawyer and Labour Party journalist on the payroll.

Aguis is supposed to work at her Wasteserv office, although she is reportedly often found at the One TV newsroom instead.

During the past years, a growing number of small HR companies have appeared, supplying mainly third-country nationals to larger companies for employment while taking a cut.

The government has encouraged this trend, which has based the country’s economic strategy on population growth rather than added value and quality, a point addressed by the Chamber of Commerce this week.

While the island is already feeling the repercussions of this, Finance Minister Clyde Caruana warned that the island will need a population of some 800,000 to sustain this economic model.


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Pony Express
Pony Express
4 months ago

1.8 miljun fix xahar fuq 700 ruh jew ahjar €2500 fix xahar kull haddiem. Iffortunati ikolli nghid……

4 months ago
Reply to  Pony Express

MIN JITHANZER L’AKTAR. Aqta elf paga fuq kull ras. L’ohrajn fejn marru jew x’sar minnhom. Grazzi gahan tal vot.

Chris Vella
Chris Vella
4 months ago

The maths don’t add up…1.85M per month over 700 people works out at 2,642 per person. Most of these people are third country nationals on less than 1k / month. Also, do we know who’s behind OZO? Who is pocketing this huge margin?

Adam Torregiani
Adam Torregiani
4 months ago
Reply to  Chris Vella

The Zammit Tabonas of course. Paying TCN’s €4.50 an hour and outsourcing them to their client at 9 euros per hour. Human trafficking a la grande ‼️

4 months ago

There was a fuss about a few thousand Euro pocketed by many little fish. Will there be a bigger one about the millions being pocketed by these big sharks!

Gaetano Pace
Gaetano Pace
4 months ago

Iċċekkja li waħda jekk il GWU hix waħda minn dawn l aġenziji liċenzjata biex timporta l ħaddiem a tisfruutahom please. Kemm qed tirċievi flus Mill Gvern għal dan il għan ?

Last edited 4 months ago by Gaetano Pace

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