The Labour Party in Government has appointed Mr James Piscopo, until a few days ago Chief Executive Officer of the Labour Party, as the new Chief Executive Officer of Transport Malta. He replaces Dr Stanley Portelli who in his turn was also handpicked for the post of CEO of Transport Malta by former Transport Minister Austin Gatt.
There is no general rule which determines the manner in which Chief Executives of public corporations are appointed. Some were handpicked, others were selected on the basis of a selection process. In most cases there is the overriding rule in specific legislation that the final decision has to be confirmed by the Minister in office.
At the end of the day it is a matter of policy. Will merit rule the day or will top posts be filled on the basis of the political criterion of being considered as a position of trust?
The PN in government used both methods. During the electoral campaign which ended a few days ago Labour emphasized that it will act on the basis of merit.
It seems that we are back to where we started. Labour is now following in the footsteps of Austin Gatt.