Kastilja bir-remote control tal-MEPA

MEPA + gov logo

 

Il-MEPA u Kastilja huma ħaġa waħda,  qalilna l-kelliemi tal-PN Ryan Callus. Dan il-kumment qalu b’referenza għax-xhieda tal-Kap Eżekuttiv tal-MEPA Johann Buttiġieg fil-Parlament [Kumitat dwar l-Ambjent u l-Ippjanar tal-Iżvilupp] dwar l-Università fiż-Żonqor u kif huwa ġie mqabbad iħejji r-rapport dwar kemm kienet addattata jew le l-art fiż-Żonqor għall-ħsieb li kellu l-Gvern.

L-Onorevoli Ryan Callus hu korrett. Li ma qalx Ryan Callus kien li l-Gvern ta’ Joseph Muscat ma bidilx il-liġi (s’issa) imma għamel użu minn dak li sab.

Nistieden lil Ryan Callus biex jgħarbel ftit il-ħidma tal-MEPA tul is-snin. Meta jagħmel dan ikollu idea ħafna iktar ċara tal-ħsara kbira li saret mill-partit tiegħu fil-Gvern meta ħoloq strutturi u għamel ħatriet li kienu jippermettu ndħil kontinwu min-naħa tal-Gvern. Fil-fatt il-Gvern ilu ħafna jindaħal lill-MEPA f’dak kollu li tagħmel! Xi drabi dan kien ovvju iktar minn oħrajn tant li kien hemm żmien li l-MEPA kien qiesha qed titmexxa bir-remote control mill-uffiċċju tal-Ministru jew minn Kastilja. Dan kien possibli prinċipalment għax dawk maħtura biex imexxu ma kienux il-persuni addattati.

Ma nafx jekk Ryan Callus iqiesx dan bħala żball da parti tal-Gvern immexxi mill-PN, inkella sabutaġġ da parti tal-PN fil-mod kif kienu (u għadhom) jaħdmu l-istituzzjonijiet.

Fuq dan il-blog jista’ isib artikli kemm irid dwar is-suġġett biex jekk ikun irid l-Onorevoli Callus jiffriska ftit il-memorja tiegħu u ta’ sħabu.

Fl-aħħar elezzjoni ġenerali, Alternattiva Demokratika ipproponiet miżura li tista’ tnaqqas dan l-indħil billi żżid il-possibilità li jinħatru persuni aħjar minn dawk li nħatru s’issa kemm fuq il-Bord tal-MEPA kif ukoll bħala l-uffiċjali ewlenin tagħha. Dan ikun jista’ isir billi b’liġi tingħata setgħa lill-Parlament [permezz tal-Kumitat dwar l-Ambjent u l-Ippjanar tal-Iżvilupp] biex dan ikun jista’ jgħarbel fil-pubbliku l-ħatriet li jkun ser jagħmel il-Gvern. U jekk ma jaqbilx ikun jista’ jinblokka dawn il-ħatriet.

Jekk irid jista’ jaqra l-proposta tal-2013 hawn.  Għax Alternattiva Demokratika mhux tikkritika biss imma tagħmel (u għamlet) proposti konkreti ukoll.

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L-amnestija tal-MEPA ……….. bis-sulluzzu

MEPA cartoon 2014

cartoon : Malta Today 6 April 2014

 

Il-bieraħ fuq TVam is-CEO tal-MEPA ħabbar ftit informazzjoni li tista’ tibda tlaħħam l-amnestija li l-MEPA qed tippjana.

Qal li l-amnestija mhiex immirata għall-kmamar tal-Armier u ta’ San Tumas. L-anqas ma hemm il-ħsieb, qal, li l-amnestija tkun applikata għall-iżvilupp irregolari li seħħ fuq art tal-Gvern.

Qal ukoll li żvilupp irregolari li seħħ barra miż-żona tal-iżvilupp jista’ jkun ikkunsidrat biss jekk seħħ iktar minn għoxrin sena ilu. Jiġifieri irid ikun seħħ qabel l-1994.

Wara li fil-bidu ta’ Frar kienet ippubblikata l-ewwel storja fis-Sunday Times, din hi it-tieni darba li qed toħroġ biċċa informazzjoni dwar din l-amnestija. Fis-Sunday Times is-CEO tal-MEPA kien tkellem fuq affarijiet oħra li setgħu jkunu is-suġġett tal-amnestija tal-MEPA. Dakinnhar kien għamel emfasi fuq xi ftit pulzieri differenza fil-qisien tal-btieħi bħala raġuni ewlenija għall-amnestija li qed tinħema. Raġuni li ma tagħmilx sens għax il-liġijiet u policies eżistenti diġa jipprovdu għall-kazijiet ta’ ftit pulzieri differenza.

Din x’serjetà hi li l-informazzjoni toħroġ bis-sulluzzu?

Mhux aħjar jinħareġ dokument għal-konsultazzjoni pubblika fejn il-MEPA mhux biss tinforma eżatt x’qed tipproponi, imma tagħti wkoll il-raġunijiet li wassluha għall-proposti tagħha. Ikun tajjeb ukoll li l-MEPA tispjega ftit l-impatti ambjentali ta’ dak li ser tipproponi. Meta l-affarijiet isiru bis-serjetà hekk isiru.

Għax s’issa, id-dibattitu pubbliku ma kienx ibbażat fuq proposti ċari imma biss fuq biċċiet żgħar ta’ informazzjoni u ħafna spekulazzjoni. Dan it-tip ta’ dibattitu ma jagħmel il-ġid lil ħadd. L-anqas lill-MEPA.

 

 

Ħatriet politiċi fis-settur pubbliku (Positions of trust)

Ombudsplan 2015

Fl-Ombudsplan għall-2015 l-Ombudsman jirrimarka li l-ħatriet diretti fis-settur pubbliku [dawk li nirreferu għalihom bħala ħatriet politiċi] jistgħu jwasslu għal-nuqqas ta’ trasparenza.

Kull persuna impjegata fis-servizz pubbliku għandha tkun persuna ta’ fiduċja. L-Ombudsman fil-fatt jgħid li s-servizz pubbliku għandu jkun apolitiku u dan għax għandu jkun lejali lejn kull amminjistrazzjoni. Is-servizz pubbliku għandu jkun il-ħolqa bejn l-amministrazzjonijiet differenti u l-istrument li permezz tiegħu l-politika tal-Gvern tal-ġurnata tkun imwettqa, mhux biss b’lejalta’ lejn il-vot popolari imma fuq kollox b’ġustizzja u ekwita. Għax l-amministrazzjoni pubblika, ġdida jew qadima, hi hemm għal kulħadd. Mhiex hemm biss għal dawk li ivvutaw għaliha.

Minn mudell ta’ servizz pubbliku fuq stil Anglu-Sassonu fejn għandek servizz pubbliku permanenti mexjin lejn mudell Amerikan fejn numru kbir ta’ persuni jinbidlu mal-bidla fil-Gvern. Meta dan ma jsirx b’regoli ċari u trasparenti joħloq inġustizzji u nuqqas ta’ trasparenza.

Il-każ tal-bdil tas-Segretarji Permanenti kważi kollha mal-bidla fil-Gvern hu wieħed mill-eżempji li lkoll nafu bih. Ma ġratx biss taħt l-amministrazzjoni ta’ Joseph Muscat. Anke fi żmien Lawrence Gonzi kellna każijiet fejn il-Gvern ried jaħtar persuni li ried hu f’posizzjonijiet li qieshom bħala li huma ta’ fiduċja. Niftakru l-ħatra ta’ Direttur għall-Ħarsien tal-Ambjent u ta’ Chief Executive tal-MEPA li qabel l-2013 kienu nħatru direttament mill-MEPA bl-approvazzjoni tal-Ministru għall-Ambjent u dan mingħajr sejħa għal applikazzjonijiet.  Il-Gvern ta’ dakinnhar ma kienx qabel  mar-rapporti tal-Perit Joe Falzon (Uffiċjal tal-Verifika tal-MEPA) li kien qal b’mod ċar li dawn it-tip ta’ ħatriet ma kienux korretti.

L-Ombudsman jemfasizza li l-ħatriet f’ position of trust (ħatriet politiċi) għandhom ikunu minimi. Wieħed jifhem li kemm is-Segretarjati Privati fil-Ministeri kif ukoll uħud mill-persuni meħtieġa biex ifasslu policies għandhom ikunu persuni ta’ fiduċja. In-numru tagħhom iżda għandu jkun ċar, limitat u regolat b’mod li kulħadd ikun jaf fejn hu.

Ma dan jiena nżid nirreferi għall-ħatriet ta’ Bordijiet u Awtoritajiet. Dawn il-ħatriet għadhom jibdew isiru wara skrutinju pubbliku [public hearing] minn Kumitat Parlamentari. Dan hu punt li temfasizza Alternattva Demorkatika fil-Manifest Elettorali għall-elezzjoni ġenerali tal-2013. Huwa neċessarju li jkun assigurat li jkun hemm iżjed persuni kompetenti li jinħatru fil-Bordijiet u l-Awtoritajiet. Skrutinju pubbliku tal-persuni nominati jista’ jkun mod kif dan ikun assigurat.

 

Il-ħatriet politiċi fl-amministrazzjoni pubblika ma jistgħux ikunu eliminati. Imma nistgħu bħala pajjiż nassiguraw li l-mertu jkollu rwol ferm iktar importanti milli għandu sal-lum fil-ħatriet pubbliċi.

Sabutaġġ fil-MEPA?

Gonzi.Walker.Demarco.MEPA.reform

Skond ir-rapport ta’ Ann Fenech, Austin Walker il-magħżul ta’ Lawrence Gonzi biex imexxi l-MEPA b’salarju ta’ kważi €100,000 fil-kariga doppja ta’ Chairman u CEO, kien qed jittollera s-sabutaġġ fil-MEPA.

F’paġna 5 tar-rapport tat-telfa taħt it-titlu Burokrazija żejda u sabutaġġi jingħad li “Madankollu kien hemm uffiċjali li bl-iskuża tal-burokrazija jew saħansitra bħala att ta’ sabutaġġ għamluha diffiċli ħafna biex dawn jinqdew. Fuq quddiem nett kien hemm l-Awtorità ta’ Malta dwar l-Ambjent u l-Ippjanar – il-MEPA – li saret “nightmare” mhux biss għall-kuntratturi iżda wkoll għall-familji.

Fiż-żmien li Austin Walker kien Chairman tal-MEPA (2008-2013) il-MEPA mxiet aħjar mill-ħames snin ta’ qabel, avolja xorta kien hemm diversi deċiżjonijiet li ma kienux aċċettabbli. Imma b’Austin Walker bħala Chairman naħseb li l-indħil tal-Gvern fl-operat tal-MEPA ma kienx sfaċċat bħalma kien fil-ħames snin ta’ qabel. Kien indħil iktar fin, magħmul b’iktar sengħa. Imma fi kwalunkwe ħin il-ħidma u d-deċiżjonijiet tal-MEPA kienu sinkronizzati mal-linja politika tal-Gvern. Altru milli sabutaġġ!

Imma hi tad-daħk li r-rapport ta’ Ann Fenech jgħid li fil-MEPA kien hemm is-sabutaġġ! Biex tgħid dan il-kliem jew ma jkollokx idea ta’ x’inti tgħid, inkella b’mod sfaċċat trid tgħaddi ż-żmien bin-nies!

Il-MEPA falliet mhux għax ma ħarġitx il-permessi iżda għax ħarġet wisq minnhom! Mhux għax ma “qdietx” iżda għax qdiet lil min ma kellux dritt li jinqeda!

The MEPA Chairman & private practice

Vince-Cassar

The Malta Independent  focuses on the fact that the newly appointed MEPA Chairman is a part-timer and that he is allowed to carry out private work as an Architect & Civil Engineer.

The Malta  Independent is correct in pointing out that this is asking for trouble.  But, I hasten to add that this is just theoretical in the case of the newly appointed MEPA Chairman Vince Cassar.

In all fairness one should add the following relevant information on Vince Cassar. He is past retirement age having served in the public service for over 30 years primarily in the Works Department in various positions up to the post of Director General and lately as Permanent Secretary in the Transport Ministry until 2008. He was in fact the Permanent Secretary attached to Jesmond Mugliette’s Ministry.

As far as I am aware Vince Cassar has no history of private practice during the past 30 years.  He may have been a director since retirement of a limited liability company. But I am not sure of that.  Knowing Vince Cassar I have no doubt that if this is the case he would withdraw immediately if there is the least possibility of a potential conflict of interest.

In view of the above I am of the opinion that Vince Cassar has been unfairly criticised.

One final point: is the role of MEPA Chairman a full-time post?  The answer depends on whether MEPA has a Chief Executive Officer.  If in the affirmative, that is if MEPA has a CEO it is reasonable to expect that a part-time MEPA Chairman could do the job adequately. With a CEO in place the role of MEPA Chairman is to Chair Board meetings and not to run the organisation. With the MEPA Chairman not being involved in the daily running of the organisation he would be more in a position to hold MEPA’s officers to account. That is the MEPA Board’s function and can only be carried out adequately if the MEPA Chairman is not a full timer.

A position of trust

auberge_de_castille_fullsize

Government has just announced that it has appointed 14 Permanent Secretaries. Three of the appointees have already served under the previous administration. The others are new to the post.

Within twenty four hours from Labour’s election to office, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced the appointment of a designate Head of the Civil Service. In line with Lawrence Gonzi’s appointments the said designate Head of the Civil Service was also appointed simultaneously as Principle Permanent Secretary at the Office of the Prime Minister and Secretary to the Cabinet.

Within hours rumours announced that all Permanent Secretaries had been requested to submit their resignations which, it was stated, were necessary and in line with normal practice in a democratic society.

It  was not however stated that the real issue with the post of Permanent Secretary is that it is a position of trust. All those appointed were so appointed because the previous administration considered that they could be trusted. Knowing some if not most of the appointees I can say that the trust demonstrated by the previous administration in the appointment of its Permanent Secretaries was most probably based on a cocktail of considerations.  Their administrative abilities undoubtedly featured prominently on the list. There were undoubtedly other issues. Given the sensitivity of the posts I have no doubt that political loyalty was given some weight in the appointments made. In some cases more than others.

The posts of Permanent Secretaries are not the only posts which the Gonzi administration considered as positions of trust.  I remember clearly the reports drawn up by former MEPA Audit Officer on the appointment of the Director for Environment Protection at MEPA and MEPA’s  CEO without issuing a call for applications. The MEPA Audit Officer had then argued that there was no need to consider such posts as positions of trust meriting direct appointment. Subjecting them to a public competition through an open call for applications would have been fair and proper.

A number of public corporations and authorities have appointed their senior management, primarily CEOs, through either an open call or else through a direct appointment. In view of the fact that the Public Administration Act has not been brought into force there is no enforceable rule to ensure a clear demarcation line as to which posts in the wider civil service are to be deemed as positions of trust and which not.

It is logical for persons appointed to positions of trust to make way when those who appointed them are no longer in authority. But then in a micro-state as Malta, where each and every one of us is known to one and all, it is in my view essential that the positions in the wider civil service which are deemed to be “positions of trust” are to be the minimum possible number.  It does not make sense to have a large number of such posts.

Unfortunately this matter has never been discussed. What is government’s position on the matter?

It is about time that all the cards are on the table.