The Malta Independent 24 January 2022, Monday

Carmen Ciantar requests Standards Commissioner to investigate €163,000 contract

Saturday, 15 January 2022, 09:46 Last update: about 8 days ago

The chief executive officer of the Foundation for Medical Services, Carmen Ciantar, has requested the Commissioner for Standards to investigate her €163,000 contract after calls for its cancellation by the Nationalist Party.

On Friday, the PN said that it was disappointing that Health Minister Chris Fearne had given a person who is close to him a lucrative contract which was not signed by the Permanent Secretary for Finance.

Ciantar had served as the minister's campaign manager.

“It is clear that the Labour government have made wasting millions in people’s money their daily bread,” deputy leader David Agius said.

The National Audit Office highlighted Ciantar’s contract as “irregular”. 

Answering questions on Thursday, Fearne said Ciantar’s appointment was in line with the entity’s statute and had followed past procedures.

He denied claims that Ciantar serves as his chief of staff, although her name is listed on the minister's official government page as serving in that role.

Following the PN’s press conference, Ciantar said in a Facebook post that she had written to the Standards Commissioner and was ready to cooperate in full so that “the truth will out”. 

"In a press conference, the PN alleged or gave the impression that there has been a breach of ethics in my appointment as CEO of the FMS or during the carriage of duty in that same role,” she said.

“I categorically deny these false and baseless accusations and to that end have written to the Standards Commissioner myself asking him to investigate these allegations. As I fully assisted the office of the Auditor General during the audit carried out on the FMS, I am ready to cooperate fully with the Standards Commissioner so that the truth will out.”  

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