Former commissioner earned over €12,000 in performance bonuses

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Former Police Commissioner Lawrence Cutajar may have had a controversial stint at the helm of the police force, but this has not prevented him from earning over €12,000 in performance bonuses – excluding any bonus which may still be awarded for 2019.

The figures were tabled in Parliament by Home Affairs Minister Byron Camilleri in reply to a question by Nationalist MP Beppe Fenech Adami.

Mr Cutajar was appointed Police Commissioner on 1 August 2016 and earned a performance bonus of €2002.95 that year. The bonus amounts to 12% of his salary, set at Scale 2 in the government’s schedule of salary grades, and which amounted to €39,928 in 2016 – translating to €16,636.67 for the five months he served at the helm of the Malta Police Force that year.

Daphne Caruana Galizia’s murder dominated international coverage about Malta in 2017 but had no discernible impact on the bonus earned by Mr Cutajar that year. He earned a bonus of €4,876.08 in 2017, amounting to 12.1% of his salary, which increased to €40,019 in line with government’s salary scales.

His bonus actually went up in 2018, as he was awarded €5,582.52 that year, translating to 13.5% of his salary, set at €41,352 for the year.

The performance bonus for top police officials can be up to 15% of their basic salary, suggesting that Mr Cutajar’s performance was deemed to be more than satisfactory, in spite of the criticism he and the police force received during his term.

But it remains to be seen whether Mr Cutajar’s bonus will be much less for 2019, especially since both Prime Minister Robert Abela and his erstwhile rival for the post, Chris Fearne, insisted that he had to be removed in the wake of the political developments which ultimately led to Prime Minister Joseph Muscat stepping down. Mr Cutajar resigned earlier this month but was nevertheless appointed as a consultant on public safety and logistics by the Home Affairs Ministry on a contract reportedly worth €31,000 a year.