Infrastructure Malta board: a partisan club

The new board of directors of Infrastructure Malta is now effectively a constituency office for Transport Minister Aaron Farrugia.

The new board was announced last week and will be headed by architect Ray Farrugia. Its members include a large number of Labour Party canvassers from Minister Farrugia’s electoral district.

New deputy chair Josef Azzopardi is the mayor of Marsa, the first district from which Aaron Farrugia is elected.

Silvana Civelli, a member of Hamrun’s PL club, has no academic qualifications for the role but will earn a few thousand euros per year sitting in on board meetings.

Karen Schembri from Paola is also on the board. A former person of trust of Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne, the avid Labour Party supporter joined Minister Owen Bonnici’s secretariat but returned to Fearne’s fold several years ago. She was given a job as a manager in the office of Mater Dei CEO Celia Falzon.

Retired army officer Raphael ‘Il-BagolluFarrugia was also nominated to the board by Minister Farrugia. The 70-year-old is known for his unconditional support of the Labour government during the Mintoff era. He is the father of Elena Zammit Lewis, wife of the former justice minister and current MP Edward Zammit Lewis.

The Infrastructure Malta board also includes Nadia Gatt Curmi, former Transport Minister Ian Borg’s architect when he applied for a controversial development permit to turn a dilapidated rural building on the fringes of Mġarr into his home in 2014. Curmi was later appointed director at Borg’s ministry.

This week, the minister also appointed Ivan Falzon, a former canvasser and personal assistant to former parliamentary secretary Franco Mercieca as the entity’s new CEO. Falzon was previously Mater Dei CEO and later appointed to the Water Services Corporation, all positions he got through political appointments.

                           
                               
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Out of Curiosity
Out of Curiosity
26 days ago

Malta taghna lkoll, lol.
To be fair with Minister Farrugia, I believe that all boards are filled in with few individuals who have either contributed to the success of the Minister concerned or have a potential to do so in due course. So, it is a shameful trend adopted by this political party in Gov, without favors and fear….Hekk Alla jghini!

makjavel
makjavel
26 days ago

Kazin tar Rahal. The Village Labour Club transplanted into TM. Save them some traffic jams. Get to meet at the Village Labour Club.

David
David
26 days ago

The CEO is the cherry on the cake.

Noel Ciantar
Noel Ciantar
26 days ago

The report says that Minister Ian Borg’s controversial development is located in Mgarr, but actually it is located in the highly protected small rural settlement of Santa Katerina, in Rabat Malta. The development took place despite the fact that the office of the Ombudsman investigated the relative permit and found it to be the result of a “grave error” on the part of the Planning Authority.

Borg’s application for the permit was submitted under the name of a third person who Borg says was his project manager. No mention of Borg, or that the development was to serve as his residence, was made in the application which referred to two overlying duplex apartments, each having a floorspace close to 200 squared meters. According to local plan policy, a residence in Santa Katerina can have a maximum floorspace of 200 squared meters, as also confirmed by an Appeals Tribunal decision about the property adjacent to that of Borg. Borg’s residence has a total floorspace of around 360 squared meters plus a basement of more than 100 squared meters.

On the permit application form, the third party declared he was the sole owner of the development site, which had however been acquired by Borg from other third parties less than a month before the application. A week after filing the application, the applicant, acting via Perit Nadia Gatt Curmi, submitted a “correction,” about the ownership, this time declaring Borg’s father as the sole owner. The correction was accompanied with formal paperwork and copies of registered mail documents addressed to Borg’s father in terms of the claim that he was the site owner. Relevant documents were seen by myself on the Planning Authority’s permit file.

Thus, the Planning Authority did not know that Borg was the real applicant, that the development was intended to be his residence, and that he was the site owner.

Upon acquisition of the property, Borg had made multiple written declarations under caution by his Notary that he was acquiring the property for his primary residence.

The permit issued gave Borg two dwellings, each with a floorspace close to the maximum allowed for a residence.

The Ombudsman’s report recommended a review of the permit because the new development had used fresh land, which cannot be developed in small rural settlements.

Although two investigations were under way by the Ombudsman and an Anti-Corruption Commission, Borg contracted the project construction works in October 2015. The investigation conclusions were made public in November-December 2015. The Anti-Corruption Commission accepted the Ombudsman’s conclusions. Yet, Borg proceeded with the development as permitted.

Last edited 26 days ago by Noel Ciantar
Chris stott
Chris stott
25 days ago

To be honest, I live in Marsa, and being English have no political sway one way or the other.

I will say though that Josef Azzopardi is an excellent mayor. You can go up and talk to him, he’ll go on walks in the area and sort out any problems.

Haha he’s probably going to be the most competent person on the team..

Thomas ellul
Thomas ellul
20 days ago
Reply to  Chris stott

Qed seww int jien mil
Marsa u jekk tahseb li joseph Azzopardi kapaci Issa adt wahda seww madux jihu konsulenza minand Deo Debattista mar jilaq il Aron Farrugia dik kapacita kbira !

Marjo
Marjo
25 days ago

Le, hawn it-trasparenza u l-meritokrazija qalu! U Gahan jemminhom.

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