Energy Minister Miriam Dalli, who gave former disgraced MFSA CEO Joseph Cuschieri a new government job as Project Green CEO last week, has also given his daughter Katrina a €13,000 pay rise in her role as her consultant.
The Shift requested a copy of Katrina’s contract through a Freedom of Information Request. It shows that Dalli, a friend of Cuschieri, promoted his daughter two grades within the civil service just one year after she took the role, moving from grade 1 to grade 3, usually reserved for long-serving public servants.
The 24-year-old granddaughter of President George Vella was hired as a consultant by Dalli just a week after she returned from her studies abroad with no relevant work experience.
One year later and she is now on the same footing as an ambassador, the deputy police commissioner, and the secretary to the Maltese presidency.
Dalli has also designated Katrina as a director of Clearflow Plus, a government company, boosting her income further.
In an addendum to her original contract, seen by The Shift, Dalli instructed that Katrina be moved to the third grade while keeping the same responsibilities. The contract does not provide details on what exactly she should be consulting or advising on.
Besides an annual salary increase of €8,500, Katrina was also given a car allowance, equivalent to €4,659 excluding her mobile phone allowance, bringing her total package to €50,000 a year.
Before entering politics, while working at Labour TV One, Dalli was given a job by Cuschieri at Vodafone, now Epic.
Last week, Dalli appointed Cuschieri as the CEO of Project Green despite a history of scandals at the Malta Gaming Authority and Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) on his watch. He was forced to resign in 2020.
Prime Minister Robert Abela justified the appointment by saying it gave Cuschieri a second chance following his exit from the MFSA.
It had emerged that together with another close official at the MFSA, Edwina Licari, Cuschieri travelled to Las Vegas on a trip financed by Yorgen Fenech, a businessman involved in gaming and financial services and which Cuschieri and Licari were supposed to be supervising.
Fenech is currently in prison, awaiting trial for masterminding the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia.
An inquiry found Cuschieri guilty of a breach of ethics during his time at the MFSA, but this did not prevent Dalli from appointing him to another government role with a big budget.
Just a few weeks ago, Cuschieri appeared at a Dalli event to launch a chatbot project subsidised by the government to the tune of €3 million.
Both Dalli and Cuschieri refused to give details on the former MFSA boss’s role in the subsidised project, with the latter saying his involvement was private.