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Joseph Bugeja nominated Transport Malta chairman

Political tussle over possible CEO appointment

Joseph Bugeja.

Joseph Bugeja.

Transport Minister Ian Borg has nominated Joseph Bugeja to serve as chairman of Transport Malta, succeeding James Piscopo.

The nomination will be examined by the parliamentary Public Appointments Committee. 

Mr Bugeja is well known in the maritime industry, where he served in roles for many years, the Transport Ministry said.

Mr Bugeja was general manager of Sea Malta for seven years and CEO and board member within the Malta Maritime Forum. He will be resigning from every post that he currently holds, so as not to give rise to possible conflicts of interest.

Earlier on Wednesday, Times of Malta also reported that objections had been raised in government circles over the possibility Transport Malta senior manager Mark Sammut could be appointed Transport Malta CEO, as his involvement in private businesses poses possible conflicts of interest. 

“There is a brewing dispute between the OPM and the Transport Ministry over the prospect of Mr Sammut for the CEO post,” the sources said.

“As Castille is pushing Mr Sammut’s name, it seems Transport Minister Ian Borg is not too happy about it,” the sources added.

The roles of Transport Malta chairman and CEO, until this week both held by Mr Piscopo, are expected to be separated and returned to their pre-2013 form.

Mr Sammut, who in 2016 resigned as a director of TM’s board to become one of its top officials full-time without a call, is being touted to be the new CEO.

However, Dr Borg is resisting the idea due to Mr Sammut’s various private interests, which might pose problems for the young minister’s political ambitions.It seems Minister Ian Borg is not too happy about it

Mr Sammut, a close collaborator of former PN minister John Dalli, is a shareholder or director of various private business interests, including Daamena Ltd, MYS Investments Ltd, CY Investments Ltd and Hotel Damiani Ltd.

Until a few years ago, Mr Sammut, originally an IT consultant, was also involved in Mallsystems Ltd, an IT company which offered software products and services to Transport Malta.

While one of his companies maintained its business with the government entity, the shareholding of Mallsystems Ltd was transferred to Mr Sammut’s wife, Carmen.

According to the MFSA’s registry of companies, most of the audits and accounts of Mr Sammut’s private entities are filed by Robert Borg, the GWU’s financial controller and a former board secretary at Transport Malta.

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