National Heritage Minister Jose Herrera has denied giving out scores of bogus jobs through his ministry via ‘contracts of service’, but has refused to supply documentation proving it.
Lovin Malta is informed that Herrera is one of the worst offenders when it comes to giving out ‘do-nothing’ ministry jobs and bogus contracts of service to constituents and canvassers to help his electoral chances.
“It’s ridiculous. He’s basically giving people from €200 to around €700 per month and telling them he does not expect them to show up for work. And everybody knows about it,” a source told Lovin Malta, indicating that there have been complaints about Herrera’s behaviour.
To verify the information, Lovin Malta filed Freedom of Information requests to all ministries, asking them for a list of people engaged under ‘contracts of service’ including their full name, role and locality of residence, as well as the amount they are being paid.
All ministries refused to answer the questions, claiming the resources required to collate the information would “substantially and unreasonably” divert the ministry resources from their other operations.
The decision is being appealed because such rejections does not fall within the scope of the FOI’s spirit which is to make information as freely available as possible.
Lovin Malta then asked Herrera’s ministry specifically whether he denies giving out such jobs and whether he can provide a comprehensive list of contracts of service together to show that this claim is untrue.
In reply, a spokesperson for the ministry said: “The Ministry denies that contracts of service have been awarded to persons or individuals with the intention of not reporting for work or worse not providing the requested service. The Ministry also denies the alleged notion that any referred contracts have been awarded disproportionately to people from the 1st electoral district.”
Do you know of bogus jobs being handed out to canvassers and constituents? Email [email protected]