€30,000 earmarked for children’s books slashed to refurbish Norma Saliba’s office

Aqra dan l-artiklu bil-Malti

Some €30,000 of public funds earmarked to buy children’s books for government libraries before the end of the year will now be used to refurbish Norma Saliba’s new office at Chateau de la Ville in Valletta.

Saliba, who resigned as head of news at the state broadcaster following disputes with politically-backed CEO Mark Sammut, was given a freshly created role as the executive head of the National Centre for the Maltese Language by Culture Minister Owen Bonnici.

Instead of facilitating improved literacy among Maltese children, The Shift discovered that the money would now be used for new tiles and furniture in Saliba’s new working quarters, following a decision from Bonnici’s ministry.

Furthermore, another €30,000 will be taken from the Cottonera Foundation’s government funding allocation to create a working budget for Saliba in her new role, following a decision by Permanent Secretary Joyce Dimech on the direct instructions of Bonnici.

Asked by The Shift to state why funds intended for libraries are being used for Saliba’s office refurbishment and whether these will somehow be compensated to the libraries department next year, Dimech did not respond.

Dimech is already entangled in a number of scandals at Bonnici’s ministry. She also declined to give details about the budget line available for Saliba after the rushed decision to create a new position for her following her fallout with PBS Executive Chairman Mark Sammut.

Sources at the culture ministry told The Shift that following Bonnici’s decision to handpick Saliba and create a post for her, Dimech has quickly accommodated the former PBS head of news, providing her with all she requested.

“Unlike what normally happens to similar requests by many of the ministry’s staff, Joyce Dimech rushed to ‘obey her master’s’ instructions and find a new office for Saliba at a building in Archbishop Street, currently housing the culture directorate,” the source said.

“Since Saliba did not like the tiles in the old Palazzo, Dimech took funds from other entities, so Saliba’s wishes to change the tiles and furniture are seen to.”

So far, Saliba is rarely present at her office despite her €73,000 financial package.

Controversy erupted last July when Bonnici suddenly enacted a legal notice to create a new public sector role for Saliba to operate as the executive arm of the Council for the Maltese Language.

The minister did not consult the Council and imposed Saliba despite the fact that she has no specific qualifications or experience in the Maltese language.

Rejecting her appointment, the Council asked the minister to reverse Saliba’s appointment or face legal action. So far, despite a formal judicial protest, it is not yet known whether the Council has launched its court case.

In the meantime, a member of the Council told The Shift that there is no contact between them and Saliba.

                           

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Gahan Malti
Gahan Malti
4 months ago

Did the former superintendent contemplate the alteration of titles and the impending renovation planned for this purported office? This contemplation arises as the former superintendent for cultural heritage remains in employment and maintains a “desk space” at Chateau de la Ville, working in the capacity of a consultant with the Ministry of Culture, subject to maintaining confidentiality until reaching a retirement age

Francis Said
Francis Said
4 months ago

Is it possible that the Finance Department cannot find €30,000 from some other useless government department to purchase books for schools’ libraries.
Also, if this Saliba useless appointment in the Council for the Maltese language, her office in this old Palazzo, unless in a serious state of deterioration, should never be replaced.

Anne R. Key
Anne R. Key
4 months ago

The new lejber election cry is now:
“NITHANZRU, NITHANZRU, NITHANZRU ILKOLL FLIMKIEN”

makjavel
makjavel
4 months ago

Where is the Minister of Education? Sweeping the floors of Norma Saliba’s office?
Most probably these would books in Maltese not written by her favourite author at Mile End?

KLAUS
KLAUS
4 months ago

So embarrassing for this so-named government.
PL can only stand for POOR LIAR!

wenzu
wenzu
4 months ago

Naturally, MLP looking after it’s own leeches, as per normal.

Joey Falzon
Joey Falzon
4 months ago

ghax issa ser tghallem il-Malti NORMA!!!!! M’hemmx bzonn kotba!!!!

Lawrence Mifsud
Lawrence Mifsud
4 months ago
Reply to  Joey Falzon

X’imhatra li se tghallem il-Malti lil kull barrani li hawn!

Mario Zammit
Mario Zammit
4 months ago

Shameful!

Mark Debono
Mark Debono
4 months ago

OB didn’t hand pick her he was ordered to find somewhere for her so he would get the flak which he is always happy to do to keep a job in government hence why he has lasted so long albeit in multiple jobs he failed in?

wenzu
wenzu
4 months ago

I can fore see that this member of the trough is going to be very popular at her new office!

Joseph Tabone Adami
Joseph Tabone Adami
4 months ago

Books? Who needs silly books, when we have to provide posh offices for newly-appointed Executives?

C. Fenech
4 months ago

Lies and more lies

Wish
Wish
4 months ago

Yes Minister!

Frederick Frendo
Frederick Frendo
4 months ago

What a shame. Our only hope is a change at the polls.

Patricia
Patricia
4 months ago

Leaving aside the scandal of misappropriation of funds earmarked for education, which is unpardonable in any circumstances, I would have condoned the upgrading of the plumbing if necessary, but the squandering of money (coming from whatever source) merely to change the aesthetics is outrageous.

Out of Curiosity
Out of Curiosity
4 months ago

Dawn mhux se jiefqu. Il-fatt li jsir ħafna għajjat u xejn li jista’ jweġġa, jafu tajjeb li jistgħu jibqaw jirromblaw minn fuq kulħadd, inkluż in-nies taċ-ċivil. Sfortunatament din Joyce Dimech hija waħda minn dawk li ġiet maħkuma minn dawn il-kriminali. She is too weak.

Gahan Malti
Gahan Malti
4 months ago

Did Carmel Tonna approve the direct order as well, or are all refurbishment works for the office under 5000 euros to avoid direct orders and approved by the staff under Joyce in an attempt to avoid any negative implications on them, thus keeping Joyce free from any blame?

Gene Scembri
Gene Scembri
4 months ago

With 30,000 euros its ass should sit comfortably.

Gene Scembri
Gene Scembri
4 months ago

Norm, whenever interviwed should be grilled on maltese literacy.

Austin Sammut
Austin Sammut
4 months ago

Why should she have a new office? Can’t she work from an existing one? What will she be doing anyway?

Lawrence Mifsud
Lawrence Mifsud
4 months ago
Reply to  Austin Sammut

Translating La Divina Commedia into Malti.

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