The Maltese Ministry of Home Affairs says that it stands by its decision to put the country’s new Police Commissioner, Angelo Gafà (pictured) on probation for a year, saying it is in line with Public Service guidelines.
The condition placed on the appointment has drawn criticism from the Opposition and even some within the Government, including Labour Member of the European Parliament and former Prime Minister, Alfred Sant.
Mr Sant called for the condition to be scrapped, saying it made no sense.
He said the probationary period was unnecessary and incongruous.
“It’s not like you’re appointing some middle-level marketing executive,” Mr Sant said.
However, the Ministry doubled down on its decision, saying the proviso and other parameters of the appointment were in line with Public Service guidelines.
“A probationary period is applicable across the board within the public and private sector,” a spokesperson said.
“If the Government were to sack the Commissioner within the first year it would have to justify its action, whereas Mr Gafà would not be bound to give an explanation should he decide to leave during this period,” they said.
Media organisations reviewing the country’s Police Act said they had found no mention of a probationary period for a newly-appointed Commissioner.
Opposition Members said the provision made the Commissioner “the Government’s puppet-on-a-string” as he had no security of tenure.
Valetta, 30 June 2020