Policy officer with no experience in policy given promotion before being seconded to Marigold Foundation

Aqra dan l-artiklu bil-Malti.

The former personal assistant of ex-transport minister Joe Mizzi has been seconded to work as an executive secretary to Michelle Muscat’s Marigold Foundation with a state salary of €35,000 a year, plus benefits.

Mariella Agius Vassallo was working at the Energy and Water Agency (EWA) and was promoted to the position of policy officer by the office of CEO Manuel Sapiano.

Sources at EWA told The Shift that Agius Vassallo was handed the promotion despite having no qualifications in policy. They added she was rarely present at the agency offices despite taking home some €3,000 a month for the role.

Last week, The Shift also reported that the government has also appointed Agius Vassallo as a member of the board of directors of Transport Malta.

The Shift then contacted Sapiano to ask about her role. He admitted she was not currently present as she was seconded on the instruction of the Office of the Prime Minister to work in an organisation under the remit of the foundation owned by the wife of disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat – an organisation Michelle Muscat grabbed from Bank of Valletta for only €100 after tens of thousands of euro were spent by the government-controlled bank to set it up.

Sapiano said that since September 2022, Agius Vassallo “was released on paid leave on grounds of public policy to work with The National Alliance for Rare Diseases Support Malta”.

The Shift asked how this happened so soon after her promotion to work in policy in his office and whether she was still receiving the various allowances and benefits included with her position, but Sapiano did not answer.

According to her contract, seen by The Shift following a Freedom of Information request, Agius Vassallo is entitled to some €10,000 in allowances on top of her basic salary at EWA.

However, these allowances are strictly tied to her job description and responsibilities at the EWA and are not transferrable to her new position at an NGO.

Sources told The Shift that Agius Vassallo had worked with Michelle long before she joined the government agency.

“Here at the EWA, we discovered that we also have a phantom job official,” an executive at EWA told The Shift, comparing it to the recent revelations involving Melvin Theuma and Rosianne Cutajar.

Several other staff working for the Foundation are seconded from public services, including her driver.

According to the website of The National Alliance for Rare Diseases Support, it also has a representative in New York, William Buttigieg, the husband of  Michelle Buttigieg, a business partner in Muscat’s former jewellery private business, Buttardi.

In 2014, soon after Joseph Muscat became prime minister, Michelle Buttigieg, a Gozitan emigrant living in New York, was appointed as the Malta Tourism Authority’s representative in the US city and put on a €5,000 a month salary. She is still on the MTA’s books.

According to its latest available audited accounts, in 2021, Muscat’s Marigold Foundation, which gets almost all funding from the government and Bank of Valletta, spent nearly half on events and advertising.

The accounts show that of the €146,379 received in donations, 47% or €68,956 was spent on “campaigns, events and other operating expenses”.

At the end of 2021, Muscat’s Foundation held a balance of €742,255. According to law, audited accounts need to be presented annually.

                           

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13 Comments
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Mick
Mick
2 months ago

Another ridiculous Mafia scam paid for by the public, the Muscat leeches and ALL their associates, properties, vehicles need to be returned to the state. They have no rights in this matter, so why are we paying for it?

Joseph
Joseph
2 months ago

Lill Malta dawn in-nies jeqirduha bl’egoizmu sfrenat u l-mard tal-mohh fil-politika partigjana. Mhux vera dawn in-nies ikunu studjaw livell gholi, li kieku dawn it-talin ma jaslux jaghmlu dan it-tip korruzjoni minghajr misthija ta’xejn aktar u aktar meta qedin nghumu f’ pajjiz zghir li nafu lill xulxin qisna bejta nahal f’kaxxa wahda.

Bamboccu
Bamboccu
2 months ago

Frott IL MERITOKRAZIJA

saviour mamo
saviour mamo
2 months ago

The government is burdening the taxpayer with an an exaggerated number of contracts for persons of trust. Most. Most of these contracts are phantom jobs like that of Melvin Theuma and Rosianne Cutajar.

Joseph Tabone Adami
Joseph Tabone Adami
2 months ago

And the top prize for ability to create sinecures goes to……….

wenzu
wenzu
2 months ago

Policy officer with no experience— PERFECT qualifications, where the MLP and it’s cronies, are concerned.

Godfrey Leone Ganado
Godfrey Leone Ganado
2 months ago

It is about time that the MFSA classifies all government agencies as Public Interest Entities (PIE) and that all directors appointed on the Boards are made subject to the same rigorous due diligence and qualifications required for directors of regulated entities. The joint and several liability should also be appropriated to such directors.

teddy cilia
teddy cilia
2 months ago

Isn’t nice to steal the needy while claiming to work in their favour?

Wish
Wish
2 months ago

Consult the psmc for how many public officers can be assigned with voluntary organizations.

NGT
NGT
2 months ago

Just another normal day in Malta

makjavel
makjavel
2 months ago

What does Marigold Foundation do for the nation? Anybody knows? Parade Handbags and earns advertisement or what for whom ?

Johnny
Johnny
2 months ago

Tista ma taqbilx maghna imma xorta tahdem maghna !!! Ezatt sur MUSCAT !!

It was better if you said – “As long as you favour us we will find you an extra source of income”

Unbelievable PIGGING OUT !!!

No wonder our students are not being bothered to get good grades. They join Labour and they have a guaranteed job.

Gee Mike
Gee Mike
2 months ago

Hopefully we do not elect anyone with reconciliation in mind except of the monetary kind, which will make them pay all the money back.
EFA’s reconciliation did not teach them a lesson, it told them that they can rape and pillage again and again.

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