Metro promo: Ian Borg split €420,000 bill from TEC into 20 direct orders to avoid issuing tender

Tista’ taqra dan l-artiklu bil-Malti hawn.

An investigation by The Shift has uncovered a serious breach of procurement rules and blatant abuse of taxpayer’s funds by Transport Malta when Ian Borg was transport minister.

This portal revealed in May that Transport Malta had issued 20 separate direct orders in November to The Events Company (TEC) – the company used by Labour for its mass events – to organise the launch of its embryonic Metro proposal.

The Shift has now established that the total costs of the 20 direct orders, amounting to over 420,000, were calculated according to one single quote submitted by TEC in August 2021 (shown below).

The Shift has also discovered that while the 15-day event, including a launch by Prime Minister Robert Abela and then Transport Minister Ian Borg, was held during the first two weeks of October 2021, actual approval of the procurement requirements by the Finance Ministry was only obtained a month later (8 November), after the event had already taken place.

In a blatant breach of procurement rules, Transport Malta broke down the bill sent by TEC into 20 different direct orders, raising suspicions that it was done deliberately to avoid having to explain why it did not issue a tender prior to the event, according to standard, obligatory procurement rules.

The Shift has also reported that during Ian Borg’s personal electoral campaign in March, he made extensive use of the same company to organise his events, which happened to cost him much less than the hundreds of thousands of euros charged to Transport Malta just a few weeks earlier for the same type of services.

According to the three-page quote sent to Transport Malta for the event and obtained through a Freedom of Information request by The Shift, TEC charged the transport regulator much higher fees for its services than is normally charged by competitors.

 



For example, apart from a staggering
40,000 for a marquee tent, TEC’s Charles Magro charged Transport Malta tens of thousands of euros in additional costs for the tent’s decorations, including 50,000 to hire LED screens, 15,000 for wood flooring, 24,000 for draping, 22,000 for air conditioning (though the event was held in October) and 33,000 to light the tent’s perimeter.

For the launch of the activity itself, which lasted less than an hour and was attended by the prime minister, TEC Ltd charged taxpayers almost 70,000 including a 3,000 bill for the services of a videographer, 800 for a floor manager, and almost 800 for a ‘luxury toilet’ for Minister Ian Borg’s guests.

Through various parliamentary questions by PN MP Toni Bezzina, who has been pressing for replies about this activity, it was also discovered that apart from TEC Ltd, other commercial entities close to Labour also benefitted.

Other bills paid by Transport Malta for the same event included €4,750 to iCreate Ltd (another company owned by Magro) for printing, €300 to PBS board director, TV presenter and Water Services spokesman Pablo Micallef for compering the launch event, €2,320 to Busy Bee for refreshments, €15,390 to PR agency Pure Concepts and €18,557 to iLab for picture frames.

Independent election candidate Arnold Cassola has asked the Standards Commissioner to investigate Ian Borg’s expenditure.

In a separate request, the Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation has asked the National Audit Office to investigate the €420,000 in direct orders.

                           
                               
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M.Galea
M.Galea
1 month ago

Ian Borg should made to resign! He is another corrupt! But people think he is the king of the roads and get things done. If this nation is a normal one he and Silvio Schembri were not elected!

Noel Ciantar
Noel Ciantar
1 month ago
Reply to  M.Galea

Getting things done?

He did not even fix It-Triq tat-Tmighejka, also known as Triq San Pawl tal-Pitkali, in Dingli, where his family originates, let alone getting other things done.

Is it not about time that he is made to sit down woth the independent media to answer some questions as to how he spent the 700 million Euros of public and EU funds available for the roads, and why there are so many roads which have never been rebuilt and/or resurfaced?

Last edited 1 month ago by Noel Ciantar
M.Galea
M.Galea
1 month ago
Reply to  Noel Ciantar

He should also be investigated for the land in Gozo he issued for registration without the owners knowledge when he was responsible for lands authority!

Francis Said
Francis Said
1 month ago

This is fraud of taxpayers’ funds. I am no lawyer, but I feel that it is time to take this and many other similar instances to Court. If needed to the highest institutions of the EU.

The Finance Minister must to quote: “shoulder this mal practice”. Whilst expecting the PN with all their lawyers at hand, to take immediate action. I am certain that a willing lawyer will carry out the necessary legal work on a pro-bono basis.

It is ridiculous that Arnold Cassola is the only one to take some action.

Well done Shift News for your dedicated and very well researched information supplied.

Last edited 1 month ago by Francis Said
Godfrey Leone Ganado
Godfrey Leone Ganado
1 month ago

Mafia all the way.
And now Ian Borg can easily launder money for himself and his mafia colleagues, through the diplomatic immunity he has in using the VIP lounge.
Poor taxpayer, having funds misappropriated by these political crooks.

Joe Borg
Joe Borg
1 month ago

Thank God and Caroline (not necessarily in that order) for The Shift News. An extremely good read every day and quality journalism.

Paul Bonello
Paul Bonello
1 month ago

This is SMURFING in nature, essentially meant only to avoid detection of what is illegitimate and illicit, even if not technically outright criminal

jingo
jingo
1 month ago

For that price they could have bought the equipment and burnt it afterwards.

Cikku l-Ghawdxi
Cikku l-Ghawdxi
1 month ago

Poplu llupjat u drogat. Bla sinsla.

M.Galea
M.Galea
1 month ago

Dik hi r raguni ghalfejn qed jaghmlu li qed jaghmlu! Poplu llupjat, bla sinsla ezatt kif ghedt inti w kuntent kurnut! Huma liberi, x ma jaghmlux, minghajr misthija ta xejn!

J B
J B
1 month ago
Reply to  M.Galea

U l-oppozizjoni ghar min illupjat, mejjet jahasra. Kemm ilu li spicca Jason Azzooardi il PN sparixxa..

Joseph
Joseph
1 month ago

These politicians show smiling faces while they steal ‘f..ch’ the Maltese people withe the aid of
the illiterate gahan.

Alex
Alex
1 month ago

Good very good excellent work and excellent journalistic house … always go on like this …

Noel Ciantar
Noel Ciantar
1 month ago

This article says a lot about Ian Borg.

Now think about that man Robert Joseph Mvscat-Abela who thinks that Ian Borg is fit to represent the Maltese around the world.

Brrr.

carlo
carlo
1 month ago

ISTHI ian – dawk huma flus il-poplu onest li jhallas it – taxxi u mhux flusek.

Mary Rose
Mary Rose
1 month ago

Breach of procurement regulations throughout! Where is the Director of Contracts?! The Permanent Secretary approving retro-respectively!! Wow!! All paper pushers – not fit for purpose. Those in Transport Malta processing and approving these illegalities are equally corrupt and probably all are involved in one way or another. Can someone investigate them or report them to OLAF?

LSM
LSM
1 month ago

Imma Transport Malta ghandhom Direttur tar-Risk Management maghzula apposta ghax in-neputija tac-Cermen Joe Bugeja. Ma rathomx lanqas dawn il-hnizrijiet miskina! Min jaf kemm ghandha risks x’ticcekja ux?! Ma tlahhaqx ma kollox.

Albert Mamo
Albert Mamo
1 month ago

AM I SURPRISED…NO. IS THIS TO BE EXPECTED, YES. A CORRUPT GOVERNMENT THAT BELIEVES, MONEY NO OBJECT, AS LONG AS IT’S TAXPAYERS MONEY AND OUR NATIONAL DEBT KEEPS SPIRALLING OUT OF CONTROL!!!

alfred zammit
alfred zammit
30 days ago

hmieg biss! wicchom u xiemkien iehor l,istess

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