Il-Ministeru tal-Energija ordna awdittjar intern wara li sar jaf b’kaz ta’ abbuz
timesofmalta.com 8, 2013,
The Home Affairs Minister has ordered an immediate investigation after he found several guards absent when he made a surprise visit to the prison yesterday evening. Minister Manuel Mallia turned up unannounced at the prison in Corradino at and found that four guards who were supposed to be at work were actually at home, even though their shift was meant to end at He also found that the punch clock was often not used. The minister was told that this was a situation which had been going on for a long time, and had it been during a weekday, he would have found as many as seven or eight officers missing. He was also told that some officers left for home at instead of The ministry said this was a case of serious abuse since national security was involved and the officers were not paid by taxpayers to stay at home. The minister demanded an explanation from the Director of Prisons, who said he did not know of this abuse. An investigation was launched by the Permanent Secretary and all those who had abused would have to pay for their actions, the ministry said. The attendance book had been seized as part of the investigation.
Parliamentary Secretary Owen Bonnici took a leaf out of his minister’s book and paid a surprise visit to a court department – finding more employees absent from work, this time among a group of chauffeurs assigned to the judiciary. It was a frantic run ahead to knock on the department’s doors and announce the minister’s presence. Dr Bonnici paid a visit to the department housing a group of five ‘reserve’ drivers who are meant to step in for official chauffeurs assigned to the 40-plus members of the judiciary when they are on leave or sick. Sources at the law courts said the young parliamentary secretary walked into the office on Wednesday morning to find the small office contained only the head of department. It turned out that on average, only two to three relief chauffeurs were needed per day. The ones who did not have any work to do have got into the habit of signing in on attendance records in the morning and then leaving for the rest of the day. A secretariat spokesman confirmed the incident, adding that the matter was now being probed by the permanent secretary, the civil servant in charge of the portfolio. Dr Bonnici had been alerted to the issue via e-mail and decided to look into the issue personally, before turning it to the permanent secretary, the spokesman said. The visit followed a similar initiative by Manuel Mallia, the minister with overall responsibility for Dr Bonnici’s portfolio, when he turned up unannounced at Corradino prison and found eight prison warders missing from their posts. An investigation has since been ordered and the prison director Abraham Zammit resigned. But this was not the only visit by the Home Affairs Minister, even if perhaps it was the most eventful, The Times has learnt. A ministry source said during another visit to the ID Cards section at Evans Buildings,
Officials from the examinations department within the ministry of education will be arraigned in court in the coming days, charged with fraud. Education Minister Evarist Bartolo made this announcement this morning during a news conference. The case involves an examination for the post of executive officers within the public service, which was held last January at the height of the election campaign. In total 799 candidates sat for the exam, of whom only 128 failed. Mr Bartolo refused to give further details except that at least one candidate, who coincidentally is an employees of the examinations department, was given an additional 26 marks, in a ‘rounding up exercise’. The real consequences of this alleged irregularity are much serious due the fact that many other candidates had been penalised and had 19 marks deducted as it was felt that “there were too many passes”. The results were ready by 15 February, but two days later an order was given to deduct 5 marks to reduce the number of passes. However this measure failed to eliminate the desired number, and subsequently a decision was taken to deduct an additional 14 marks.
Finance Minister Edward Scicluna today announced a new unit that will target tax dodgers through a joint effort between Inland Revenue, the VAT Department and Customs. Prof. Scicluna likened the role of the new Joint Enforcement Taskforce to that of