Disgraced former education Perm Sec made CEO of new fish farms agency

Former Education Ministry Permanent Secretary Frank Fabri, who in 2021 resigned in disgrace from his role in the wake of an ethics probe into former Education Minister Justyne Caruana, has been handed the role of CEO at the newly set up Aquatic Resource Malta agency.

Just months following his resignation as Education Permanent Secretary, Fabri was made General Manager at a branch of the Institute of Tourism Studies (ITS), a role specifically created for him.

Fabri had breached ethics and possibly committed criminal acts together with former Minister Caruana. Together, they had approved an illegal contract to employ Caruana’s boyfriend.

A press release announcing Fabri’s appointment on Friday afternoon noted how Aquatic Resources Malta was a new entity which had been established in November 2023. Reportedly, it will be “developing research and innovation projects in fishing and aquaculture” with a budget of more than €10 million.

Fisheries Parliamentary Secretary Alicia Bugeja Said, in charge of the new agency, celebrated Fabri’s appointment. Bugeja Said is no stranger to criticism herself, having taken political campaign donations from the fish farm operators she regulates.

In his former role as a permanent secretary who answers to the prime minister, Fabri was obliged to ensure no public resources were wasted and uphold the principles of transparency and accountability.

Instead, Fabri had covered for Justyne Caruana during an ethics probe which looked into a contrived €15,000 contract given to Caruana’s boyfriend, footballer Daniel Bogdanovic. Fabri had signed off on the contract, paying taxpayer funds for a report that Bogdanovic had not even written himself.

Fabri was also found by the Parliamentary Ombudsman to have acted abusively when, together with MCAST CEO James Calleja, they suspended an employee for more than three years for criticising the college.

Following his appointment as General Manager of the ITS Training Institute, a then-newly created branch of the ITS for re-training people employed for the tourism sector, the ITS hid the particulars of his employment.

When Fabri stepped down as Permanent Secretary in January 2021, the then Principal Permanent Secretary Mario Cutajar had publicly stated that Fabri was under investigation. The police were also asked to look into his actions with former Minister Caruana for possible criminal offences.

However, neither Fabri nor Caruana have been prosecuted since then, with the police failing to press any charges.

                           

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7 Comments
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makjavel
makjavel
1 month ago

As fishy as it comes. The collection of the labour goons continues.

Eagle 1
Eagle 1
1 month ago

Ħaqqu ma jħobbx il-ħut u/jew ma jafx jgħum!

D M Briffa
D M Briffa
1 month ago

The man is perfectly qualified for this role: the government needs to curry favour with him as, being desperately short of support and votes, it has to bring his former boss back into the fold, and the fact that he has absolutely no relevant experience, and can bring absolutely nothing to the table, is immaterial. Make a note: crucify Labour with yet another disgusting waste of your and my precious taxes at the next election.

Wiston Smith
Wiston Smith
1 month ago

Those appointing him might have confused the notions of up to something fishy with actually having expertise related to fish. If he joins forces with Malta’s top exotic birds expert they could open a pet shop as a side hustle. The Labour trifecta fish, birds and cannabis by the half kilo.

Bamboccu
Bamboccu
1 month ago

The word Resource……. reminds me of another government agency – Resource Support chaired by Lawrence the father of disgraced Kon-Rat Mizzi.
An agency where no structure is in place when it comes to scales, positions and wages.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bamboccu
Gillian
Gillian
1 month ago
Reply to  Bamboccu

Dak ghandu esperjenza ghax meta kien head ta skola kien jiehu hsieb fish pond tal iskola

carlos
carlos
1 month ago

ghall-korroti x’imkien insibulhom. isthu

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