Thousands of ‘private sector’ workers put on government payroll

Aqra dan l-artiklu bil-Malti.

The Shift has established that the government employs over 5,000 contract workers from the private sector in the public administration on top of the 51,000 employees it currently has.

Partial data collected through various parliamentary questions filed by Nationalist Party MP Ivan Castillo shows that in 2023, multiple ministries employed some 5,200 additional individuals through outsourcing private companies, swelling the size of the public sector to over 56,200.

This data is only the tip of the iceberg as some ministries, particularly those that normally generate the highest employment requirements, such as the Health Ministry, have not yet provided the requested data.

According to the information tabled so far, the Ministry for the Elderly, led by Jo Etienne Abela, has some 2,270 additional private sector employees directly on its payroll, followed by Miriam Dalli’s Environment Ministry with another almost 1,000.

As expected, the Gozo Ministry, where most of the jobs on the island are already somehow related to the government, has 291 such employees on its payroll. Interestingly, Gozo Channel has some 150 ‘outsourced’ contract employees on its payroll, more than those directly employed with it.

In addition to some 4,000 ‘private sector’ contract workers, another 1,200 ‘jobless’ persons also work for the government through the Community Workers Scheme. The Shift previously reported that some of these ‘workers’ don’t even turn up for work, and when they do, they spend just a short time at the workplace.

The Community Work Scheme costs taxpayers millions of euros annually, but few are moving on to gainful employment.

Like the government’s contract workers, those on the CWS are also considered part of the ‘private sector’ as their official employer is a foundation owned by the General Workers Union, which was given a multi-million tender to administer this scheme on behalf of the government.

The ‘extra’ 5,200 ‘private sector’ employees are estimated to cost taxpayers an additional €60 million a year in wages and commissions, based on a conservative estimated salary of just €12,000 yearly.

How is the ‘system’ working?

Instead of recruiting the necessary public administration employees through the proper channels, the government also requests additional staff, such as security, clerical, and even managerial employees, through tenders or direct orders.

The private employment agencies, which flourished during the past years, provide the necessary personnel and take a commission for each employee that is ‘found’.

The workers then provide the same job as those recruited for normal channels, but at the end of the month, their salary is issued by their private employer after being reimbursed by the government, including a cut for the outsourcing company.

This main benefit for the government is that, through this system, all established recruitment rules are bypassed, and ministers can put who they want into positions.

Various constituted bodies,  including the Malta Employers Association and the Malta Chamber have long complained about the exaggerated number of employees already on the government’s payroll even though, in many cases, these are not necessary.

During the past decade, the Labour Party employed many unskilled individuals in the administration when the private sector struggled to fill positions, being forced to rely on foreign workers, usually third-country nationals. 

                           

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Fred the Red
Fred the Red
1 month ago

This is hardly surprising. What is surprising is that it has to be The Shift to bring out what is so glaringly obvious to anyone remotely connected to the public sector.

Now that the figures are out, what does the Opposition intend to do about this situation? This amounts to blatant vote buying and to my mind can be challenged in court in what would be a landmark case. Or is the PN too scared of the corrupt segment of the electorate that has sold its soul to Labour?

In its heyday, the PN used to justifiably claim that it was always on the side of what is right and that ‘Is-Sewwa jirbah zgur!’ Under Adrian Delia and Bernard Grech the PN has been hell bent on tying to beat Labour at its own populist game but has failed miserably because populism was never in its DNA nor will it ever be.

The PN ought to be embarking on an onslaught on the pitiful and diabolical situation in the country instead of pussy footing around and proposing new sectors which the Government and most of the electorate clearly have no apetite for. The new sectors can never take off in a climate where corruption permeates all levels of governance. It’s a question of getting priorities right. Everything else is irrelevant as things currently stand.

Gaetano Pace
Gaetano Pace
1 month ago
Reply to  Fred the Red

As a matter of fact I am bebinning to understand how Labour is estimating an 800000 landslide majority at next General Elections. It is so blatant and apparent but not transparent.

Anne R. key
Anne R. key
1 month ago

“ministers can put who they want into positions.”- don’t we know it! Why the UoM even functions I do not know, because in Malta it is most certainly not what you know, but WHO!

Makjavel
Makjavel
1 month ago

That is where part of the €1000 million being borrowed every year is going. Warranty against being hauled to the courts to answer for their misdeeds.

Joseph Tabone Adami
Joseph Tabone Adami
1 month ago

We have a word in Maltese to describe useless weight or expenses of this kind:- SABORRA.

Last edited 1 month ago by Joseph Tabone Adami
Godfrey Leone Ganado
Godfrey Leone Ganado
1 month ago

The result of all this irresponsible creative staistic is:
1. A shift from productive to unproductive employment.
2. A fake increase in employment figures counteracted by a fake decrease in unemployment figures.
3. A fake increase in the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) as wages and salaries are the highest component of GDP.
4. A fake National Debt ratio to GDP as once the GDP increases as a result of the above in point 3, the percentage of the National Debt decreases EVEN IF THE NATIONAL DEBT IS INCREASING IN REAL TERMS. In fact the National Debt has increased from €4.7 billion in 2013 to €10 billion in 2023, and the Minister of Finance Clyde Caruana projects that this will increase to €14 billion in 3 years’ time.
VOTE PL AND DRIVE FAST TO A BANKRUPT ECONOMY where poverty and homelessness become uncontrollable.

Simon Camilleri
Simon Camilleri
1 month ago

It makes me physically sick to have to pay tax to these thieves just so they can give it all to their friends. I feel like I’m being abused. I hope to God I find a job in another country soon.

Etienne Psaila
Etienne Psaila
1 month ago

Who said we aren’t being abused? I was employed with a parastatal entity and had to resign because the amount of politically appointed persons with no idea in the industry paid load of wages didn’t let us work. But instead they dismantled in a couple of months all what we constructed and took us years. They think they invented the wheel again. This whole island sucks

FXG
FXG
1 month ago

Kulhadd jitkellem skond l agenda tieghu jew!!!

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