The Labour Party said yesterday it did not see a problem with one of its party officials occupying a senior executive position at Malta’s official IT agency, as it yesterday reiterated its call for the government-appointed non-executive chairman to resign.
The PL said it did not see any similarities of data access between the post of chairman Claudio Grech, and AnthonySultana, a senior manager at MITA and the party’s representative on the Electoral Commission.
“Tony Sultana is just an employee at Mita and unlike Claudio Grech, who is the chairman and has to power to access all the information he wants,
“Mr Sultana does not have access to data. I’m not saying that Mr Grech does it but there is this possibility and this is why we are seeing his position as uncomfortable,” Labour spokesman for IT Michael Farrugia said yesterday.
The Labour spokesman was contacted shortly after he issued a statement again calling forMr Grech’s resignation, saying his position was incompatible with that as Nationalist Party strategist.
Reacting to this second call after the one made by Labour Leader Joseph Muscat last Sunday, Mr Grech said he would be requesting the Data Protection Commissioner to investigate the opposition’s allegation. Dr Farrugia said Mr Grech should choose between his job at the Mita and his “frontline” role in the Nationalist Party.
“It is unacceptable that a person is in the counting hall in an election campaign taking care of the Nationalist Party’s data and also heads an agency that has all the personal data of Malta and Gozo,” Dr Muscat had said last week.
Dr Farrugia said that as chairman of Mita, Mr Grech could, directly or indirectly, have access to everyone’s data, including sensitive information because Mita controlled the systems of all ministries and departments.
Dr Farrugia said Mr Grech recently exposed himself as a PN strategist and as the person who had coordinated the party’s electoral data together with general secretary Paul Borg Olivier,who, in an e-mail sent erroneously some time ago had said he wanted to coordinate thecollection of information from public entities for partisan aims.
Mr Grech has denied mixing his duties as chairman/director of Mita with other activities he is involved in.
He denied he had access to information from all government systems, saying this was restricted to those who had a technical need for such information, something he did not. This, he said, was something Dr Farrugia, as Labour’s IT spokesman, should know.
Asked about Mr Sultana’s potentially compromising position as Department Manager of Corporate Shatred Services at Mita, an executive position, and as Labour’s representative on the Electoral Commission, Dr Farrugia continued to insist the cases were different.
“Mr Sultana enjoys the respect of the President, the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition because that is how he was appointed to the Electoral Commission. Mr Grech is a political appointee. Anthony Sultana is just an employee, not a political appointee,” he said.
Mr Sultana used to occupy the post of Senior Projects Manager at Mita before being promoted to his current position. He is also a director on the board of the Labour Party’s television and radio stations and also involved in the Labour Party’s data system.
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