Tista taqra dan l-artiklu bil-Malti.
Josianne Cutajar, the recently appointed CEO of the Occupational Health and Safety Authority (OHSA) has been given a special engagement contract, allowing her to be on the state payroll while also working as a doctor in her private clinic.
Her new contract, obtained by The Shift through a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, also defies a directive issued by Prime Minister Robert Abela. The directive states that government agency CEOs cannot continue working privately.
Although Cutajar’s new appointment is completely distinct from the medical profession, the new CEO was given a so-called ‘Principal General Practitioner in Contract B+6’, reserved exclusively for medical doctors employed within the national health service.
Signed by OHSA Chairman David Xuereb, who, apart from many different government appointments, also offers his services as a private consultant, Cutajar’s contract allows her to keep her primary job as a doctor on the national health service even in the eventuality that she is sacked from the OHSA for incompetence or wrongdoing.
This means that despite being the CEO of an agency that has nothing to do with the health profession, Cutajar was kept on the books of the national health system to safeguard her previous job.
Her new contract also allows her to continue to privately see clients and charge them, in a clear conflict with her new role as her private patients could include clients of OHSA, including businesspeople and contractors who fall under the surveillance of the same authority.
Sources close to OHSA described the conditions given to Cutajar as “scandalous” as her new position has absolutely nothing to do with the medical profession. It is not understood why as CEO of the regulatory authority of employment health and safety rules, Cutajar was given a contract related to the employment of doctors with the national health service.
“Apart from the fact that Cutajar has no knowledge or expertise in Health and Safety, as she is registered by the Medical Association of Malta (MAM) as a General Practitioner, she was clearly given a contract amassing as much as possible all the available allowances reserved for doctors working in the public service,” the sources said.
“As this was not enough and in clear defiance of the prime minister’s publicly announced directive, Cutajar was also given an exception, allowing her to do exactly the contrary of Castille’s instructions”.
While the collective agreement between MAM – the association of Maltese doctors – and the government is a state secret, as it was never published, experts told The Shift that the contract and package given to Cutajar could surpass €100,000 a year.
Apart from a basic wage as a doctor, she was given the highest amount of extra duty payments possible under the doctor’s collective agreement. Also, an allowanced reserved for on-site hospital training, including tutoring on post graduates was also inserted into her contract even though she will not be present on a hospital medical ward.
Cutajar, the former CEO of another government entity, St Vincent De Paul’s (SVDP) elderly care home, was handpicked for the job by Public Works Minister Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi.
During her time at the SVDP, Cutajar also continued to work at her clinic in St Paul’s Bay where many needing assistance at SVDP used to see her privately.
On Cutajar’s watch, several scandalous tenders and direct orders, costing tens of millions of euro, were dished out, including Malta’s largest-ever direct order of over €300 million in connection with an extension of the elderly care home facility.
Still, despite her performance, Cutajar was selected to head a sensitive agency, currently under pressure to regulate the construction industry.