Repubblika condemns appointment of former OPM official to planning appeals board

Repubblika says the appointment of lawyer Ramona Attard, a former official in the Office of the Prime Minister, to the environmental and planning review tribunal is the mark of a ‘soviet’ system that awards government loyalists

Ramona Attard has been appointed a member of the tribunal that deals with planning appeal cases (Photo: Facebook/Ramona Attard)
Ramona Attard has been appointed a member of the tribunal that deals with planning appeal cases (Photo: Facebook/Ramona Attard)

Repubblika has condemned the appointment of a former official in the Office of the Prime Minister to the tribunal that decides on planning appeals.

The rule of law NGO said it was “disgusted” with the government’s decision to appoint lawyer Ramona Attard to quasi-juridical body.

Attard was until recently an official at the OPM and a long-standing Labour Party activist.

She was appointed a member of the Environment and Planning Review Tribunal, a quasi-judicial body that deals with appeals from decisions made by the Planning Authority.

Repubblika said Attard’s only credentials for the post were her loyalty to the party in government.

“The damage to the Maltese quality of life that Ramona Attard can inflict in her new role, simply to appease her party, is big, and the victims will be the environment and those who have to live here,” Repubblika said.

Repubblika said loyalists to former prime minister Joseph Muscat, who had to step down because of corruption and his office’s interference in the Daphne Caruana Galizia murder investigations, were being rewarded with public posts.

“Ramona Attard’s appointment reduces this tribunal into another money-making body for the Labour Party,” Repubblika said.

It said these appointments of government sympathisers and loyalists to key positions within the country’s administration resembled “a soviet system”.

The NGO said the reported wrongdoing of Malta Film Commission chief Johann Grech was symptomatic of people who were appointed to their roles simply because they were PL sympathisers.

“This goes counter to the commitment taken by Robert Abela’s government to prioritise good governance. Instead we have soviet governance that awards loyalists and institutionalised corruption,” the NGO said.

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