National Audit Office asked to investigate €420,000 in direct orders for metro launch

The Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation has asked the National Audit Office (NAO) to investigate the €420,000 in direct orders issued by the Transport Ministry to The Events Company (TEC Ltd), supposedly for the launch event of the Malta Metro project.

In the latest development on Saturday, The Shift revealed that the direct orders amounting to over €420,000 were calculated according to one single quote submitted by TEC in August 2021.

The Foundation said in a statement that the launch was being made following journalists’ investigation into the direct orders that were published in the Government Gazette, linking to The Shift’s analysis in May that 20 different direct orders were issued by former Transport Minister Ian Borg on 8 November, 2021, ranging from a value of €7,000 to €46,000.

All marked as ‘Malta Metro’ – a general term used by Transport Malta to avoid giving specific details on each direct order – the 20 direct orders had a total value of €424,000.

The Shift later revealed that the same company had shortly afterwards provided Borg with at least six massive tents and related costly services to organise electoral campaign events in his districts during the last general elections.

The Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation said the evidence regarding the disparity in pricing for services shown on campaign expense declarations versus market prices for the same services indicated that profits from the public contracts awarded to TEC are “reinvested by the company in supporting the governing Labour Party’s campaigns and those of its candidates, by means of underpriced services for campaign events.”

The Shift’s findings showed that Ian Borg has made extensive use of the same company’s services for his electoral campaign, and it just so happened that he was charged much less than the hundreds of thousands of euros charged to Tranport Malta just a few weeks earlier.

The Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation asked the NAO to assess whether there was a “legitimate economic rationale for the public contracts by auditing those deals, both past and current, bearing in mind the circumstances within which they were made.”

In his campaign expenditure report, Borg declared his total campaign expenditure to be  €33,189, with €15,487 spent on “hire costs”.


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1 month ago

If they finished road projects before starting another, there would be no need for a metro. Seriously they can’t finish a simple tunnel in a reasonable time, most of us would never see a metro running.

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