Joseph Attard, the government-appointed CEO of ARMS Ltd, has not started disciplinary proceedings against his Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Marisa Ciappara, despite her apparent breach of company policy and her employment contract by running a private side business.
The Shift previously revealed how Ciappara, one of ARMS’s top officials since 2018, has been running a side property management business, JPM Administrators, with her cousin. The company is not registered and does not appear to pay tax, and Ciappara has been dealing with company business during her office hours at ARMS.
In addition, The Shift has been made aware that Ciappara has been communicating with her private clients via her official ARMS address.
The Shift asked ARMS CEO Joseph Attard if he had given written authorisation to Ciappara to take on the secondary role and whether the company’s board, including Chairperson Nadia Pace, had issued any authorisation.
In the case that she did not have authorisation, he was also asked whether any action had been taken and if she would be facing any disciplinary measures.
Attard did not answer any of the questions by the time of publication.
Previously, The Shift asked Ciappara whether her side business was a conflict of interest with her ARMS position and why JPM Administrators was not registered as a company. Ciappara replied that they were “private matters.”
When pressed whether her employer was aware of her position in a private company and whether she was given permission to hold the second role, Ciappara hung up the phone.
According to her employment contract as CFO, obtained by The Shift through an FOI request, Ciappara is not allowed to conduct any “conflicting” private business.
Her contract states she cannot, without “prior written permission,” hold any material interest in any person, firm, or company that “has substantial dealings” with ARMS.
Also, her contract states that using company assets, such as IT infrastructure and the internet, “is limited to work-related duties” and that Ciappara “should not compromise in any way the interests of the Employer”.
According to Ciappara’s contract, such breaches could lead to her dismissal.
Ciappara is set to take home €85,000 in 2023 from her senior position at the government agency.
ARMS officials told The Shift that a property management business is generally in direct contact with utility service payment companies, such as theirs, ensuring that all payments are regularly paid and updated.
They said that through her job at ARMS, Ciappara has direct access to the utility bills of every household and business on the island and also has the final say on whether a defaulting account holder should have their services suspended.
Apart from her full-time job as ARMS CFO and her business interests in JPM Administrators, Marisa Ciappara also serves as the Treasurer of the Labour Party and is a board member of all Labour’s commercial entities.
She is also the director of the Grand Harbour Regeneration Corporation Plc and the board secretary of Petromal Holdings Company Ltd – two wholly owned government companies from which she also receives remuneration.