The Nationalist Party has called out Prime Minister Robert Abela for failing to follow up on his own promises following the announcement that the CEO of St Vincent de Paule CEO Josianne Cutajar has kept her job as a private GP.
“PM Abela is unable to follow up on his own commitments and is caught up in his own game of favour with those closest to him, being weak with the strong and strong with the weak,” a PN spokesperson told Lovin Malta.
Last November, Abela declared that heads of public authorities shouldn’t maintain their private jobs, arguing that government CEOs are paid way more than ministers and should be solely focused on their public sector job.
“I will not accept that authority head also has his personal business to deal with when in their position,” the Prime Minister said back then.
However, Lovin Malta recently revealed that Cutajar is still working as a private GP.
“Abela vouched publicly in November last year that he will not allow Government Authority heads to carry out private practice,” the PN spokesperson said.
“And yet, eight months later continuing reports show that San Vincenz CEO continues with her private practice as GP, using also San Vincenz resources to take appointments.”
“Meanwhile the small fish in government authorities and departments have to be careful not to ‘like’ a post on Facebook or to comment on an online article as they will be taken up for disciplinary procedures for impartiality.”
“A Government that is impotent in applying its own Public Administration Act is evidently incapable of ensuring an efficient public service to the benefit of all Maltese citizens.”
Denis Tanti, a former disciplinary advisor at SVDP, first flagged this issue in 2016, arguing that Cutajar’s maintaining of both public and private sector jobs was in breach of the code of ethics in the Public Administration Act.
Back then, ministry permanent secretary Mark Musù argued that Cutajar was allowed to continue working in the private sector as per the provisions of a collective agreement the government had signed with the Medical Association of Malta (MAM).
However, Tanti countered that this agreement only applied to doctors carrying out medical duties in the private and public sectors, not to CEOs of government entities.
Questions sent by Lovin Malta to Robert Abela, Active Ageing Minister Michael Farrugia and Josianne Cutajar remain unanswered.
St Vincent de Paule was embroiled in controversy earlier this year when the National Audit Office found that a €274 million direct order contract handed to James Caterers and the db Group for the construction of residential blocks and a kitchen at the elderly care home was illegal.
Cover photo: Prime Minister Robert Abela (centre) with St Vincent de Paule CEO Josianne Cutajar (left) and Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli (right)
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