A job writing a report for the EU-funded Youth Guarantee Implementation Plan, necessary as part of Malta’s obligations to Brussels, was divided in two, with half awarded to Stephanie Fabri and the other half to a company co-owned by her husband, Jean-Paul Fabri.
The task was divided into Phase 1 and Phase 2, each with a value of €9,500. They were approved by Finance Minister Clyde Caruana and awarded on 6 June to Stephanie and Seed Business Advisory Ltd, according to data published in the Government Gazette.
According to the Malta Business Registry, Seed Business Advisory was registered in 2021 and is co-owned by Jean-Paul, also known as JP Fabri.
The Shift asked the Finance Ministry whether the division of the contract between Stephanie and a company co-owned by her husband was a coincidence, but they did not reply.
A source with internal knowledge of JobsPlus told The Shift that the contract was for a regular reporting exercise and that one person usually carries out such work.
According to public procurement rules, contracts exceeding the €10,000 value should be assigned through a competitive tender. By dividing the two, each with a value just under the threshold, the contracts could be awarded by direct order.
The Fabris, who both studied economics, used to form part of former Nationalist Party prime minister Lawrence Gonzi’s private secretariat. As per standard procedures, since they were employed in a position of trust, their contract was not renewed following a change in administration in 2013.
In recent years, Stephanie Fabri was recruited as a full-time lecturer at the University of Malta. She received various appointments from the government, particularly through Finance Minister Clyde Caruana and agencies under his remit.
These include sitting on the boards of the Malta Stock Exchange, the Malta Fiscal Policy Council, and the Environment and Resources Authority.
Stephanie Fabri is regularly invited to appear on the state broadcaster PBS to give her opinion on economic developments and various initiatives the Finance Ministry took, including the annual budget.
Her husband’s small consultancy firm also receives direct orders from government agencies such as the Building and Construction Agency and the Ministry for Agriculture.