Labour pollster given 28 direct orders in four years

Marmara is also in business with Wasteserv chairman on €0.5 million tender

 

Labour pollster Vince Marmara has been given 28 direct orders during the last four years by multiple government entities, in addition to the €4,251 monthly retainer he has received from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) for the past seven years.

Research conducted by The Shift found that Marmara is involved in a range of private ventures, including a company with Wasteserv Chairman Frank Bezzina that was awarded a half a million euro tender by the Office of the Prime Minister in 2020.

He also sits on the board of the National Statistics Office.

Described by pro-Labour media as a ‘survey guru’, Marmara has not replied to questions from The Shift about who is funding his political polls, and whether he is being paid by it-Torca, the General Workers Union weekly, or by the Labour Party for his regular surveys.

€1.2 million from public coffers

Marmara has already been paid more than €370,000 for the provision of unspecified ‘research and consultancy’ services through his ongoing direct order at the MGA.

Further research by The Shift uncovered another 28 direct orders that saw the pollster rake in more than €366,000 in taxpayers’ funds for services he rendered to government entities between 2017 and 2021.

Direct orders awarded to Vince Marmara

A full-time senior lecturer at the University of Malta specializing in statistics, Marmara’s lucratively paid assignments for the government covered a range of unrelated topics, from motor sports to transport and foreign affairs policy.

Transport Minister Ian Borg was the largest supplier of direct orders. In addition to commissioning Marmara directly through his Ministry, Borg gave the University lecturer direct orders through both Transport Malta and Infrastructure Malta.

The Shift is informed that several Labour politicians, mostly cabinet members, make regular use of Marmara’s services to conduct popularity surveys in their electoral districts. It is not known who pays for these services.

The Housing Authority has also been a regular client, issuing frequent direct orders for unspecified research.

Not to be outdone by government ministries, the University of Malta issued Marmara a direct order of €35,000 to conduct a survey on national safety. The UOM already employs him as a full-time lecturer at the Faculty of Economics, where he would normally be expected to dedicate his full time to his students.

Frank Bezzina, UOM Pro-rector and Wasteserv chair, and business partner of Vince Marmara

One of Marmara’s business partners has also found time for extracurricular employment. His partner in a company called Powerful Knowledge, formed in 2017, is Frank Bezzina, the former Dean of the Faculty of Economics who moved to Pro-Rector for International Development and Quality Assurance in 2021.

Bezzina was also appointed Chairman of WasteServ Malta Ltd in February 2020, and sits on the Board of Governors of the Central Bank of Malta through a separate political appointment.

Marmara’s business ventures

Marmara began his business career as a shareholder of BDC Management, a company he owned together with the General Workers Union and David Borg, a former personal assistant of disgraced Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

While occupying the role of director at Labour think tank ‘Fondazzjoni Ideat’, Marmara formed ‘Powerful Knowledge’ together with Bezzina, his university dean, and won a €453,600 EU-funded OPM tender for ‘mystery shopping’ of government services. All three separate lots of this large tender were given to Marmara’s company.

Bezzina is also a shareholder in another company in which Marmara has invested. Green Future Ventures, established in 2019, provides services related to the greening of the island, including through waste and energy-related projects.

Marmara’s fellow shareholders in Green Future Ventures are Omar Caruana and George Spiteri of Cava Developments, and Joseph Schembri who owns Electrofix, a renewable energy supplier.

Marmara registered two other companies in 2019, which are also receiving direct orders from the government.

Segalytics Ltd, of which Marmara is the sole owner, is a research company that counts among its clients the MFSA, the University of Malta, Infrastructure Malta, the Ministry for Family Affairs, the Malta Tourism Authority and the Planning Authority.

Marmara also became a 50% shareholder in Smart Infrastructure Limited in 2019. The other half is owned by Liam Ferriggi from Zabbar, director of Infinite Fusion Technology Limited.

Shortly after it was established, Smart Infrastructure Limited was given a €23,000 direct order by Infrastructure Malta to install electricity poles in Tal-Balal Road, San Gwann.

Featured image: Marmara and Transport Minister Ian Borg celebrating New Year’s Eve 2017.

 

                           
                               
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Gahan
Gahan
2 months ago

I think you left out the iced buns given to his spouse and the full time driver to take kids to school and back … not sure about the car.

Christian
Christian
2 months ago

Powered Knowledge, a partnership between Frank Bezzina and Vincent Marmara, never filed its audited accounts according to the Malta Business Registry website.

Daniel
Daniel
2 months ago

Liam Ferriggi happens to also be involved in a 12.5 million euro contract awarded to a company to carry out some works on 4 tunnels.

He was also awarded a 1 million euro by direct order for work on a new IT network at Corradino Prisons (Infinite Fusion Technologies Ltd). This was awarded by Carmelo Abela.

makjavel
makjavel
2 months ago

Well , the counting up to €10,000 million is almost there.
I bet this went into the GDP . It is the same as prostitution , invisible but there unlike prostitution , until it gets legalised ,

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