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Updated: MITA chairman to ask Data Protection Commissioner to investigate allegation

Mr Grech, left, with Technology Minister Austin Gatt.

Mr Grech, left, with Technology Minister Austin Gatt.

MITA chairman Claudio Grech said that on Monday, he shall be officially requesting the Data Protection Commissioner to investigate an allegation that his position was dangerous to individual freedoms on data protection.

His announcement came a few hours after PL spokesman Michael Farrugia called for Mr Grech’s resignation from chairman of the Malta Information Technology Agency saying his position was incompatible with that of Nationalist Party strategist.

Dr Farrugia was echoing a call for Mr Grech’s resignation by Labour leader Joseph Muscat last Sunday, who 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 said in a political meeting at the Għaxaq Labour Party club.

Dr Farrugia said today that as chairman of MITA, Mr Grech could, directly or indirectly, have access to everyone's data, including that which is sensitive. This was because MITA controlled the systems of all ministries and departments.

He was also in a position to directly employ people at different levels.

Dr Farrugia said that a few weeks ago, Mr Grech exposed himself as PN strategist and as the person who had coordinated the PN's electoral data together with general secretary Paul Borg Olivier, who, in an e-mail sent erroneously sometime ago had said he wanted to coordinate the collection of information from public entities for partisan aims.

Whatever Mr Grech did after office hours was his business but his positions at MITA and in the PN structures were incompatible so he should resign, Dr Farrugia insisted.

But Mr Grech has denied mixing his duties as chairman/director of MITA with other activities he is involved in.

He reiterated that he never allowed his duties at MITA to interfere in his other activities.

He said he always carried out his public duties in the interests of the nation, and the results were evident.

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.

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