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.
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.