The Malta Independent 7 June 2023, Wednesday
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Cassola seeks standards probe into minister’s use of private secretariat in constituency office

Tuesday, 21 March 2023, 11:28 Last update: about 4 months ago

Independent candidate Arnold Cassola has requested a standards investigation into what he termed as Economy Minister Silvio Schembri’s misuse of members of his private secretariat in his Luqa constituency office.

“This is a blatant abuse of his ministerial position”, he said.

This after Schembri admitted in parliament that he was deploying members of his private secretariat to his Luqa constituency office.

In the process of trying and getting an answer, Lands shadow minister Rebekah was ridiculed by Schembri in parliament as she “was new and didn’t know parliamentary rules”.

However, Borg stood her ground and said that Schembri was misquoting parliamentary standing order 26, adding that “since using public employees for his personal constituency office falls under public affairs, can the minister say whether he is using government-paid employees to man his constituency office.”

“Like every other minister, you have officials that work with you in your secretariat. They’re there to help you in your work, and part of your work means being close to the people,” Schembri said.

“I know the Nationalist Party doesn’t like how close we are to the people, but this is how we keep people on our side,” he added.

Members of a ministerial secretariat are on the government’s payroll and are paid their salary from public funds.

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