Kurt Farrugia, who served as the Prime Minister’s spokesman until two months ago, has been awarded one of the most lucrative financial packages ever given to a public official, The Sunday Times of Malta can reveal.
Recruited as Malta Enterprise CEO, without a public call and on the direct instructions of the Office of the Prime Minister, Mr Farrugia will see his starting take-home financial package triple overnight, with a starting basic salary of €105,000, increasing by a further €26,000 when including performance bonuses and disturbance allowances.
This means that during his first year at Malta Enterprise, Mr Farrugia will receive more than twice the financial remuneration currently received by Joseph Muscat, his former direct boss.
According to his Malta Enterprise contract, obtained by Times of Malta through a Freedom of Information request, the financial package awarded to Mr Farrugia will continue to swell significantly during its nine-year term, as approved by the public agency’s board of directors.
The contract stipulates that Mr Farrugia, a former journalist before joining Dr Muscat’s team in 2008, will see his basic salary increase by €5,000 every year, excluding the cost of living adjustment.
He is also to receive an additional €5,000 a year “as disturbance allowance due to frequent overseas travel” and a 20 per cent performance bonus, calculated on his cumulative basic salary every year.
This means that in case Mr Farrugia is retained as Malta Enterprise boss for the entire nine-year duration of his whole contract he will end up with a financial package of at least €179,000 a year.
As CEO of the agency tasked with attracting foreign direct investment to Malta, Mr Farrugia’s contract includes a number of other perks to be financed through public coffers.
These include an annual subscription into a lucrative personal insurance policy so that Mr Farrugia’s heirs become entitled to a €450,000 payment in “the event of death of the employee while in the service of Malta Enterprise”.
Mr Farrugia will also be given an international health policy for his immediate family, costing around €4,000 a year; a fully-paid leased car with fuel and all other ancillary expenses paid by Malta Enterprise.
In a tweet after leaving OPM, Mr Farrugia said he will keep serving his country selflessly.
Mr Farrugia is not the first Prime Minister’s spokesman to end up at Malta Enterprise.
Alan Camilleri, spokesman to Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi was also appointed to head Malta Enterprise in 2008 as its Executive Chairman with a salary of €70,000.
He had left the OPM three years earlier, during which he headed the National Euro Changeover Committee and had spearheaded Malta’s transition from the lira to the euro.
Mr Farrugia’s financial package
|Basic salary*||Performance bonus||Disturbance allowance||Annual total|
*Excludes cost of living adjustment/ bonuses
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