The Malta Independent 23 September 2018, Sunday

AFM bandsman goes to court after being denied position he ranked first for

Wednesday, 12 September 2018, 17:57 Last update: about 10 days ago

A member of the Armed Forces of Malta who was successfully chosen for a substantially ranked position within the army band, and who was set to be sent abroad for training, only to be informed at the last minute that he would in fact not be given the post, has filed a judicial protest.

In the protest filed against the Commander of the Armed Forces of Malta, Lance Bombardier Brendan Borg – who has also been active with the AFM’s band for some time – described how he, along with other applicants, had applied for the post of Assistant Trumpet Major with the army band, after a call for applications which closed on 23 March 2018.

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The call was open for existing band personnel, and the person selected for the role would be sent abroad to undertake a special course.

All applicants for the post had to undertake a medical fitness test, a theoretical exam and a “band control test”, all of which took place according to schedule in April.

The protestant successfully went through the whole process, and ended up being ranked first on the selection sheet of candidates.

He was later informed that he would have to follow a course in the United Kingdom, at the Army School of Ceremonial Drums and Bugle Wing ITC Catterick, at the Vimy Barracks, between 25 June to 6 July. All expenses would be covered by the AFM.

Borg was given the required electronic tickets with the Ryanair flights booked by the AFM, and was set to leave Malta on 24 June. He was also given the needed per diem allowance by bank transfer.

However, just as Borg had everything ready for his trip and course, his superiors telephoned him on 18 June – a week before he was meant to travel to the UK –and ordered him not to leave for the course, without any explanation except that the Commander of the AFM had decided that he (Borg) should not be sent for the training.

The protestant, feeling disappointed that he wouldn’t be attending the course after having placed first according to the criteria and AFM board selection process required for the post in question, filed a formal complaint, according to army protocol, the following day.

The complaint, Borg claims, was ignored, however, and he subsequently filed a second complaint on 27 August. This lead to him finally being given a meeting with the Commander, scheduled for 9 October.

The fact that a date which is some considerable distance in the future was given to him was not a coincidence, Borg maintains.

This is in light of the fact that on 23 August a second call for applications for the post of Assistant Trumpet Manager was issued, with the selection for this due to take place on 26 September. The board appointed to carry out the selection consists of the same president as the board which had carried out the process for the first call, and of one of the members of the previous board who had decided that Borg had ranked first out of all the other applicants.

In his judicial protest, filed by lawyer Michael Tanti-Dougall, Borg is requesting that the AFM Commander reconsider his (Borg’s) successful selection for the post of Assistant Trumpet Major. He also advised the Commander that he would be holding him responsible for any damages suffered, or which could be suffered, by the protestant

 

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