Finance Minister Edward Scicluna confirmed that the Finance Ministry is currently under investigation for the misuse of public funds earlier today.
In response to questions posed by Lovin Malta about said funds, Scicluna said, “There’s an investigation – my secretary went to the courts to deposit his information.”
When the Finance Minister was asked to comment about the Kaxxaturi petition asking ministers to give back the taxpayer money they used for their personal Facebook pages, he brushed it off saying “I answered about Facebook. I answered about the Facebook issue.”
Scicluna has insisted he did nothing wrong. However, the Standards Commissioner himself noticed discrepancies on Scicluna’s Facebook page.
“The distinction between the official and personal spheres is still more unclear in this example, which concerns a video in which Minister Edward Scicluna appears to be speaking in his official capacity as Minister for Finance.”
“The video is professionally produced, with introductory and concluding sequences using motion graphics, and it appears to have been shot in the Minister’s office. It is one of a series of videos entitled “Fil-Fehma Tiegħi” (In My Opinion), all of which feature Minister Scicluna and follow the same format,” Hyzler wrote.
Hyzler also said that Scicluna’s defence is incorrect.
“The Minister’s reply is incorrect in so far as it suggests that the video was uploaded to his ministry’s official website and shared from there to YouTube and Facebook. On the contrary, the ministry in effect shared through its official website a video published on Minister Scicluna’s personal YouTube channel. This, together with the fact that the video was produced using public funds, represents the complete erasure of the distinction between official and private spheres,” Hyzler said in his report.
As of this morning, the online petition has amassed over 2,000 signatures and and almost €5,000 has been donated for the Kaxxaturi episode tackling the Facebook scandal to be boosted on Facebook.
This follows the release of a report by Standards Commissioner George Hyzler which found “widespread misuse of public resources” by ministers and parliamentary secretaries.
The report was triggered by a complaint filed by Lovin Malta after it became clear that ministers were using public funds and resources to boost their own Facebook pages instead of setting up official ministry pages.