The companies owned by Ludwig Dimech, the contractor linked to the building collapse that claimed the life of Miriam Pace, 54, on 2 March 2020, has been awarded over €1 million in direct orders and contracts, according to documents tabled in parliament.
In response to a parliamentary question by Opposition MP David Thake who requested a list of direct orders, contracts and consultancies dished out by Infrastructure Malta, it was revealed that the two companies associated with Dimech – LK Ltd and Dimbros Ltd – received over €1 million after Pace’s tragic death, an analysis by The Shift shows.
Dimech is the sole shareholder in LK Ltd. A direct order worth €125,000 was awarded to the company by Infrastructure Malta last April for “resurfacing asphalt works and new potable water at unnamed road off Triq L-Imdawra No 3” in St Paul’s Bay.
Dimech is facing criminal proceedings related to the death of Pace, wife and mother of two, who was crushed beneath the rubble of her home that collapsed due to construction work nearby handled by LK Ltd. In court, it was revealed the contractor had been involved in several construction site accidents stretching back to 2002.
Only days after Pace’s death, the contractor was involved in a road collapse at Pender Gardens, St Julian’s.
He also owns Dimbros Ltd, with family members residing at the same address, awarded over €1 million in contracts for resurfacing works of roads in different localities.
|Infrastructure Malta||Dimbros Ltd||19/10/2020||€||442,113.88||Triq il-Ballut,Wardija|
|Infrastructure Malta||Dimbros Ltd.||06/01/2020||€||137,236.19||Asphalting Works at Triq tal-Hlas, Qormi|
|Infrastructure Malta||Dimbros Ltd.||09/03/2020||€||149,041.46||Resurfacing Asphalt Works and Potable Water at Triq tal-Markiz, Nigret (Rabat)|
|Infrastructure Malta||Dimbros Ltd.||14/04/2020||€||149,712.37||Resurfacing Concrete Works and Potable Water at Triq Benghajsa, Birzebbuga.|
|Infrastructure Malta||Dimbros Ltd.||20/07/2020||€||158,239.00||Resurfacing Asphalt Works at p/o Triq il-Lewza, Siggiewi|
Lovin Malta had reported that he had already been awarded a number of government contracts linked to road works worth over €2 million.
National Contractors Registry ‘set up in 2019’ still missing
Media reports still refer to a National Contractors Registry “set up in 2019”. In reality, this registry, promised after Miriam Pace’s death to regulate the sector, does not exist.
The government agreed to a “voluntary” registry set up by the Malta Developer’s Association, which charged an “administration fee” to each contractor registering. This registry has been taken down after the Ombudsman declared that the then-Building Regulations Office (now Building and Construction Agency) broke the law when it made the developers’ lobby responsible for compiling the list.
The Shift spent hours trying to reach the right person at the BCA to understand how an individual concerned about any development occurring in the vicinity could check information about a contractor.
Most of the staff were helpful, even if calls were transferred from one individual to another. Eventually, one of the individuals tasked with addressing these questions actually called back to check what was needed.
He did not know he was speaking to The Shift because we wanted to understand what citizens would face when attempting to enquire about a contractor if they had a concern.
“Le hi, the registry does not exist because the Ombudsman had stopped us,” he said, referring to the decision that stopped the MDA and said the BCA should be the agency to handle it. “There was a list but it wasn’t official. We are not registering contractors.”
He then explained that a legal notice needs to be implemented that would include criteria such as the types of contractors according to needs.
So Ludwig Dimech remains free to operate despite an ongoing criminal case and continues to receive direct orders and contracts paid by taxpayers.
“Until the court rules on the case, if he is found guilty, there is nothing stopping that,” a developer told The Shift.
Featured photo credit: Newsbook.