MFSA rewrites the rulebook to provide a €1 million direct order

The minister’s explanation was merely a ‘puerile excuse’ to bypass the rulebook as ‘it is only a figment of his imagination that no competition exists’

 

The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), with the consent of Finance Minister Clyde Caruana, has invented new rules to bypass public procurement regulations so as to be able to award a new direct order worth over €1 million.

Following revelations by The Shift last July that the MFSA, under the chairmanship of university professor and former businessman John Mamo, issued a €1.1 million direct order for the lease of offices next to its headquarters in Mriehel, Minister Caruana justified the use of the competition- restricting procedure for “technical reasons”.

Pressed by Opposition MP Jerome Caruana Cilia to explain the massive direct order, the finance minister said that this was necessary as the building stands adjacent to the MFSA’s current headquarters and it is already being used by the Authority.

According to the minister, the building, The Fort Business Centre, leased through a five-year contract in 2017, has been leased for another three years at a rate of €400,000 a year.

The new lease was done instead of issuing a new call inviting all those interested in participating.

“Since the building is adjacent to the MFSA’s original building, no tender was necessary as a negotiated procedure would suffice. This is because according to the rules, the Authority could do this since competition is absent according to technical reasons,” the minister said.

Sources at the MFSA told The Shift that the minister’s reply was merely a “puerile excuse” to bypass the rulebook and that “it is only a figment of his imagination that no competition exists”.

“It is unbelievable that the finance minister came up with this justification, as there are tens of thousands of square metres of available office space even on the same road – the Mriehel Bypass – that could be rented out to the MFSA at a much lower price than that to which the MFSA has committed,” the sources said.

Sources speaking to The Shift explained that the real reason behind the bending of rules is that certain individuals at the MFSA are “very comfortable” with the owners of The Fort Business Centre and the generous lease payments.

“If one had to use the minister’s weak argument, then all buildings currently being leased out by the government or its authorities could be leased again through a direct order without the tendering system ever being used,” the sources added.

“This is another massive abuse of public funds, and an investigation would lead to a breach of public procurement regulations.”

The Fort Business Centre, occupied mainly by Evolution Gaming, is owned by Tal-Lira Investments Ltd, which also controls other large businesses such as the JB stores, the Tal-Lira chain, the Galleria Shopping Complex in Fgura and various hotels.

The MFSA has been rocked by a number of scandals under Mamo’s chairmanship, including the wanton abuse of funds by its former CEO Joseph Cuschieri, yet the government has insisted on retaining Mamo as the financial services watchdog’s chair.

                           
                           
                               
guest

13 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
viv
viv
1 month ago

Foie gras is very tasty, until one sees the technique of production, as is daily brought to light here on The Shift.
’Foie gras government’ only produces fat geese. And when other sources of income shrivel – what then?

makjavel
makjavel
1 month ago
Reply to  viv

Kill the geese.

M.Galea
M.Galea
1 month ago

U dan ipingi lilu nnifsu ta’ xi vergni!

makjavel
makjavel
1 month ago
Reply to  M.Galea

U martri

Francis Said
Francis Said
1 month ago

Business as usual, spend taxpayers’ funds as it is the corrupt procedure of this government.
It also does not harm the Party. They need monthly funds to pay their VAT dues over 15 years!!!

N Scerri
N Scerri
1 month ago

How can MFSA be credible then when it issues massive fines to institutions such as Lombard.

Steve
Steve
1 month ago

These anonymous sources should make use of the whistleblower procedure to demand an investigation.

Nic.
Nic.
1 month ago

Palermo in the 80s is nothing compared to malta in the last 10 years. The only difference is that the mafia bosses are elected in parliament over here

John S.
John S.
1 month ago
Reply to  Nic.

Their message reads: Let us remind everyone that, way back we legislated against ‘L-Indhil Barrani’. We must make amends for our devastating loss without prejudice with Malta’S accession in EU. Let us make the most out of it, till the time is ripe…!

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Nic.

Don’t talk rubbish. People were killed every other day in Palermo at that time

Paul Bonello
Paul Bonello
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

Dear Steve without surname. What Nic without surname said is not rubbish. Yes it is true there were more violent deaths in Palermo of the 80s, but our corruption is worse than that of Palermo was. Malta’s current corruption is bare, without any sense of shame, unrestrained and orchestrated by Mafia that has been “democratically” elected to government. What worse moral condemnation can there be when those that are rlected to govern in the common interest and for the common good are masters of corruption, lack of transparency and no accountability?

Last edited 1 month ago by Paul Bonello
Belinda Mifs
Belinda Mifs
1 month ago

How are people so blind to the non stop corruption from our government departments and officials
Why is there no big investigation going on to make sure our public funds and government officials are acting in the best interest of the Maltese population

A38
A38
1 month ago

Do us a favor and resign!
You have no shame!!
Stop lying to everyone stop making excuses.

Air Malta fiasco!
They will offer €40,000 to those who have served up to five years; €80,000 to those serving 5-10 years; €120,000 for 10-15 years of service; €150,000 for 15-20 years of service; €180,000 for 20-25 years; €210,000 for 25-30; and €240,000 for those of over 30 years of service.

Air Malta staff aged 50 and over are eligible for an early retirement scheme if they have served 20 years and over, to be paid two-thirds of their total take-home pay, capped at a maximum €300,000.

Last edited 1 month ago by A38

Related Stories

Lust for life
Thousands marched in Valletta to protest the amendments that
Lands CEO’s driver is collapsed factory developer’s business partner
Matthew Schembri, the developer behind the collapsed timber factory

Our Awards and Media Partners

Award logo Award logo Award logo