‘Tainted’ tender for EU-funded cancer machine published as value more than doubled

A public procurement exercise to acquire an EU-funded machine worth millions for the oncology department at Mater Dei has been set in motion again after The Shift had revealed concerns it was a tainted process that seemed to favour a preferred bidder.

After denying The Shift’s report, the process had been stalled. Now, the call for the same equipment – Magnetic Resource Linear Accelerator (MR Linac) – is more than double the original estimate.

This week, the government published the latest tender document (paused during the elections period when The Shift revealed concerns about a tainted process) indicating that the estimated cost has now been revised from €10 to €24 million.

PIC Original specifications in first procurement exercise.

According to the Preliminary Market Consultation – the first stage of this procurement exercise published last November – the new machine had to be installed in an already built bunker beneath the Sir Anthony Mamo Oncology Centre (SAMOC). Yet, the new tender calls for the building of a completely new bunker to host the equipment.

While the bunker originally earmarked for the new equipment will now remain empty, the government has opted for the construction of a new bunker, raising the costs for the taxpayer exponentially and unnecessarily.

The latest call shows this was clearly the course the government was following when The Shift first reported on the tender, despite the government’s denials.

PIC Changes in specifications of second procurement exercise.

The government received three proposals in response to the original call. But one did not fit the dimensions of the existing bunker set to host it. Now, the specifications of the tender have been redrawn so a new bunker is built.

Internal documents seen by The Shift show that one of the health officials involved had warned his colleagues about EU scrutiny expected over this tender and that specifications should not lead to some preferred supplier. Following the first procurement exercise, three proposals were made from Suratek, Charles de Giorgio Ltd and Technoline.

At the time of the decision to change the specifications, the FMS had already requested the drawing up of designs for a new bunker, in view of their planned changes. The Shift has seen these designs and published a copy.

At the time, both the FMS and the Health Ministry were headed by Carmen Ciantar, Minister Fearne’s political appointee and chief canvasser put on a staggering €163,000 irregular contract revealed by The Shift.


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Francis Said
Francis Said
2 years ago

Is it possible that such cockups repeat and we never learn from past mistakes? A project estimated to cost €10 million is now estimated to cost €24 million. A bunker is built that now at most can be used as a garage. The proverbial cart before the horse syndrome.
Malta just cannot afford these increase in costs, unless new technology has come to light.

Gee Mike
Gee Mike
2 years ago
Reply to  Francis Said

Hallina halli naqalaw lira habib!
Ishek ser thallas int!

2 years ago

The same is happening is for the 2nd interconnector .
There is nothing to design , this was all done during the first cable interconnector , with the switchgear on both sides already made to take TWO cables. So somebody will be paid a nice 6% of the cost as design charges for a design that is already ready.

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