Transport Minister Ian Borg has dished out another €1 million in direct orders during the first six months of the year.
Several well-connected firms and individuals shared the latest proceeds with the complicity of the finance ministry, which approves the direct orders.
Jason Micallef – chairman of Labour’s media company, already put on the public payroll as chairman of the Valletta Cultural Agency – was paid an additional €2,000 a month for “consultancy services at the Ta’ Qali National Park”.
Dot Media & Consultancy Services, owned by a former Net TV staff member turned Labour, Marouska Pisani Bugeja, was given €6,000 for booking some TV adverts for the minister.
Ozo Malta – a cleaning and human resources firm in which the Fortina’s Zammit Tabonas have a significant shareholding – received four new direct orders for fumigation services at Minster Borg’s offices during the first six months of this year, amounting to almost €25,000.
The list of 34 new direct orders by the Transport Ministry also includes thousands in payments to Darren Marmara, a former Labour mayor of Fgura for unspecified ‘consultancy services’.
Alpine Rent a Car, owned by MHRA President Tony Zahra, was paid another €10,000 for cars used by the ministry.
Another ‘consultancy’ report on the future of Malta’s aviation industry cost taxpayers €70,000. The beneficiary and author of the report is MB Economics Ltd, fully owned by Mark Bamber.
After spending some 20 years working at KPMG, Bamber joined Brian Tonna and Karl Cini as a partner at Nexia BT. He left soon after the dodgy firm collapsed due to alleged involvement in high profile money laundering cases involving various Labour MPs.
Bamber no longer lists his partnership at Nexia BT on his public profile, rebranding himself as an ‘independent economist and management consultant’.
Last month, The Shift reported how Infrastructure Malta, which also falls under the responsibility of Minister Borg, forked out another €10.5 million in direct orders in the first six months of the year, in addition to the agency’s direct purchasing bill of almost €14 million in 2020.