The Water Services Corporation (WSC) managed to rack up €72,000 in credit card bills in two and a half years, with most expenses incurred by the office of the CEO, according to information submitted in parliament.
The highest expenditure, combining adverts, restaurants bills, travelling and other expenses was in 2019 and incurred by the office of the CEO, at the time occupied by Richard Bilocca.
In that year alone, the office of the CEO alone spent a staggering €22,335.
The document tabled by Energy Minister Michael Farrugia shows that the Corporation spent just over €11,000 of taxpayers’ money on restaurant bills over a period of two and a half years.
Most of the restaurant expenses were incurred in 2019 with a total bill adding up to more than €6,000, almost three times the amount spent in 2018.
Vecchia Napoli, Carmen Restaurant, Ta’ Victor and La Vela were among the top management’s favourite places to eat, according to the information tabled in parliament in response to a question by Opposition MP David Thake.
The information also shows that the entity spent a significant amount of money on adverts, especially online. Between June 2017 and December 2019, WSC spent close to €9,000 in adverts. Most of these adverts were carried on social media with almost €3,000 spent on Facebook and around another €5,000 spent on Twitter.
Why a monopoly needs to spend so much on advertising remains unclear.
The credit card expenses tabled in parliament include costs related to Planning Authority fees, phone bills, transport and accommodation abroad.
Expenses related to trips abroad amount to around €4,500 including taxi services and hotels for the period. Again, the highest costs were incurred in 2019.
Bilocca (pictured next to Minister Joe Mizzi) was the CEO for the WSC between October 2017 and March 2020. He then became CEO of Wasteserv.
Now the WSC is led by CEO Ivan Falzon, who previously served as CEO of Mater Dei Hospital.