David Galea of BEAT Ltd, which received well over €1 million in direct orders under a Labour administration, told a parliamentary committee on Wednesday that he was a “good friend” of former Energy and Health Minister Konrad Mizzi and admitted that he had contributed to the Party’s 2013 electoral programme.
“I was one of many and gave Labour my proposals which were included in Labour’s manifesto. He had asked me, and I gave him my thoughts and even some input on the proposal on the gas power plant project,” Galea told MPs.
Pressed to explain how he was given so many direct orders by his ‘friend’ Konrad Mizzi, Galea insisted he was professionally qualified to offer such consultancies.
“I give advice to whoever asks for it,” he said. He said he did not remember how many direct orders he was given.
“Before the election, I also used to give some consultancy to the previous administration, even through direct orders.”
Asked whether these were as frequent as when Konrad Mizzi was in power, Galea said he could not remember. In an advertorial penned by Galea published in Autumn 2017, Galea boasts that BEAT Consulting set up its project management practice in 2013 “primarily in response… [to] the many projects that were being implemented around the island”.
He was facing questions by parliament’s Public Accounts Committee following up on the Auditor General’s report on the controversial Electrogas project. Government MPs insisted on objecting to Opposition MPs’ questions on Galea’s involvement in the campaign that got the Labour Party elected.
Galea insisted he was not a politician. He said he had been approached by his friend Konrad Mizzi and given the brief by Enemalta to act as programme manager for the project.
Galea told MPs that Mizzi had been a friend since 2001. The Shift revealed how BEAT Ltd played a key role in awarding the energy deal to Electrogas. The company’s direct orders included a €6,000 direct order from Enemalta to review the findings of the National Audit Office on corruption in that same deal.
“Following the NAO report, I was asked by Enemalta to review what they said in the context of my original tasks. I was also paid for this through another direct order,” he said.
Apart from leading the Electrogas power station project on behalf of the government, Galea was also selected by Konrad Mizzi to take a leading role in other controversial projects such as the sale of the former ITS land to Silvio Debono and the privatisation of three state hospitals.
Last year, The Shift revealed that Galea and his small consultancy firm were given 35 direct orders in six years of Labour’s administration, worth over €1 million.
He was tasked with providing expertise on a raft of subjects including project management, electricity generation, gas prices, engineering, ticketing systems, hospitals, immigration, films and blockchain, among others.
In 2015, his company BEAT was joined by another shareholder, Philip A Tabone, a businessman involved in importing construction equipment and was never involved in any business consultancy.
His son, Anthony, is Malta’s government representative in Dubai (Consul) and was a very close collaborator of disgraced Chief of Staff Keith Schembri.
David Galea, the CEO of his consultancy firm, also provides his services in the UAE.