The Malta Independent 19 April 2024, Friday
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OHSA Chairman David Xuereb to resign following Sofia inquiry recommendations

Wednesday, 28 February 2024, 19:16 Last update: about 3 months ago

The chairman of the Occupational Health and Safety Authority David Xuereb said Wednesday that he is preparing to resign, following the publishing of the recommendations made in the public inquiry into the death of Jean Paul Sofia, which singled out state entity officials.

The resignation was confirmed in Parliament by Justice Minister Jonathan Attard.

Xuereb was described as being “completely detached” from daily realities of the OHSA by the inquiry board.

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His plans for resignation also follows the Prime Minister’s statement where he gave an ultimatum to unnamed CEOs and chairpersons to “shoulder responsibility” over the Sofia inquiry, and expected them to resign by 4.30pm on Wednesday.

Xuereb, who is an architect by profession, has been the OHSA chairman since 2021, while also being the chairman of the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development and on the board of the Building and Construction Authority.

The inquiry board said that it will not hold back with regards to Xuereb as Chairman of the OHSA. It said that under Xuereb’s leadership, the OHSA continued to operate with the same old methodology of years ago, and remained lacking in new projects to make it more relevant and operational in today’s world.

The inquiry board believed Xuereb should consider his position, and that during the inquiry’s investigation, the board noted that the Chairman of a public authority and the CEO of the same public authority, (referring to Mark Gauci) had contradicted each other with conflicting statements, which have not benefited the authority.

In comments to Times of Malta, Xuereb said that his non-executive role was that of “working to transform and uplift OHSA to where it should be.  I respect the authors and am duty bound to respect the recommendations of said report irrespective of my opinion."

He clarified that this meant he would be drafting his resignation letter.

Outside Parliament speaking to journalists, Economy Minister Silvio Schembri indicated that he has received resignations, and would provide more details in Parliament. During the parliamentary sitting, however, no announcement of resignations were made.

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