Tista taqra dan l-artiklu bil-Malti.
Some €617,000 of taxpayer funds are being handed out by the Office of the Prime Minister to members of 31 different boards under its remit, but civil servants told The Shift that these boards have minor functions and could easily be incorporated into the work of existing departments.
Civil service sources also explained that those on the boards of these entities are individuals already in senior government positions or those who are considered loyal to the Labour Party in government. They added these individuals use the honorarium to top up their annual financial packages while their board ‘duties’ are incorporated into their daily workload.
Even the top civil servant, Principal Permanent Secretary Tony Sultana, is taking advantage of the situation.
Apart from being the highest-paid civil servant, even though he has fewer responsibilities than his predecessors since he was stripped of the cabinet secretary post by Robert Abela, Sultana is still cashing in an extra €15,000 a year as chairman of the government’s IT agency MITA.
Joyce Cassar, another permanent secretary at the OPM, is getting an extra €5,000 a year for chairing the so-called ‘revolving door policy governing board’, while her colleagues, also permanent secretaries, Kevin Mahoney, Johann Galea and Mark Musu, also get extra funds for sitting on OPM boards.
The former president of the General Workers Union, Jimmy Pearsall, long-retired and well into his 70s, was also put on multiple boards.
He is receiving €5,638 as a member of a Human Resources planning board, another €5,287 as a member of the educator’s board at the Institute for the Public Service, and another €11,000 to be one of the chairpersons of the Industrial Tribunal, which has a judicial role.
In 2022, Pearsall was relieved from his duties as chairman of the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development and was given these OPM board roles instead.
Other significant appointments, approved by Robert Abela, include disgraced former Malta Financial Services Authority chief Joseph Cuschieri, still acting as a member of the board of Malta Strategic Partnership Projects Ltd, better known as Projects Malta, and the current CEO of Enemalta Jonathan Cardona, who is chairing the National Development and Social Fund for an extra €10,000 a year.
His colleague executive director at Enemalta, Monica Farrugia, also sits with Cardona on the NSDF board and is paid an extra €7,500 annually.
Former Nationalist Party international secretary Roselyn Borg Knight was appointed Chair the Employment Relations Board for €3,500 a year after leaving the opposition party.