BCA CEO ignores public service chief as Christmas bash goes ahead

The Building and Construction Agency (BCA) will today proceed with a Christmas bash at the 5-star Marriot Hotel in St Julian’s in complete defiance of a directive issued earlier this year by the new head of the public service Tony Sultana.

The Shift reported that the construction industry regulator’s CEO, Jesmond Muscat, sent out invitations for the party only days after the collapse of a building in Kordin that claimed the life of JeanPaul Sofia, 20.

The Christmas party, expected to cost some €15,000, goes against a directive issued by Principal Permanent Secretary Tony Sultana stating that no public funds are to be used for parties during the festive season.

The circular issued by the Office of the Prime Minister.

A spokesperson for Sultana confirmed to The Shift that no permission had been granted for public funds to be used for such a “celebration” to be held. Yet he did not say whether any action would be taken to look into the issue.

Jesmond Muscat, a canvasser of Minister Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi, has informed staff that ‘his’ party will go ahead as initially planned.

Several of those invited who approached The Shift said they felt “disgusted” that such an event would take place as the country is still reeling from Sofia’s death.

Yet Muscat insists on celebrating, inviting people to spend “time to socialise outside the office”.

Both Muscat and Zrinzo Azzopardi refused to reply to questions by The Shift.

The party invitation sent to BCA employees.

This news portal is also informed that this is not the first time Muscat has used public funds to entertain staff.

Last summer, shortly after being appointed to head the BCA, Muscat threw another party at the Excelsior Hotel, again “to socialise outside office hours”.

Muscat, ex-deputy chief officer at Transport Malta and formerly a Planning Authority case officer, was only made CEO after Minister Zrinzo Azzopardi manoeuvred the sacking of his predecessor, Karl Azzopardi.

Azzopardi is now in court over his dismissal, claiming that the minister failed to honour his word to settle some €200,000 in outstanding compensation in line with his contract.

So far, despite the prime minister’s public commitment to rein in the construction industry, the BCA has failed to raise the bar on enforcement.

The BCA, headed by Maria Schembri Grima, an architect closely connected to construction magnate Joseph Portelli, has been sorely under-resourced.

Together with the Planning Authority and the OHSA, the BCA regulates the building industry, including monitoring of illegal projects and practices.

The regulator failed to act in the case of the Kordin building collapse despite illegalities.

                           
                           
                               
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Out of Curiosity
Out of Curiosity
1 month ago

So, we have now discovered that the best skill of Muscat is that to entertain those within, not through his personal means, it is obvious, since he is not that stupid, but through tax payers monies. He tries to cover his incompetence and become popular with his staff through lucrative bashes. In the meantime, the construction industry is still unregulated, buildings continue to collapse, and innocent people continue to die. Yet Mr Muscat continues to celebrate and to entertain, but surely not those who have lost their loved ones and the public in general, because this Authority is useless. Ma jafux bik Muscat tac-cirklu ghax jibghatu ghalik, forsi taqta figura ahjar!!

Noel Ciantar
Noel Ciantar
1 month ago

Isn’t Jesmond Muscat the brother of that other Muscat who has run the EU funded “Dingli Interpretation Centre” as a restaurant since Ian Borg inaugurated the “centre” in 2012?

And aren’t the Muscats cousins of the family which owns the business that in 2020 had applied for the development of a “hotel” (read “retirement residences”) on the site of the long abandoned Pulvich Explosives on the Dingli Cliffs?

Isn’t Dr. Zrinzo Azzopardi the same person who was in charge of the Parliamentary Secretariat for EU Funds whose name (the Secretariat’s) appeared in mid-2021 on adverts of EU funding on the site of the works on “rubble walls” along the rural road leading from Dingli to an area near the Pulvich site, and about which there was a Magisterial inquiry?

Last edited 1 month ago by Noel Ciantar
Out of Curiosity
Out of Curiosity
1 month ago
Reply to  Noel Ciantar

So, if this is true, where is the OPPOSITION to intervene? The minimum that the Opposition can do is to ask for the resignation of the Minister, and the removal of Muscat the entertainer. Let us not be accomplice of the crime and loss of a 20 year old son of this nation.

Martin
Martin
1 month ago

The OPPOSITION is dead.

carlos
1 month ago
Reply to  Noel Ciantar

kollha kemm huma hallelin ta flus il-poplu.

M.Galea
M.Galea
1 month ago

BCA ceo is canvaser of Zrinzo and Zrinzo is responsible for the building authority! Unbelievable!! They are all in it together!

AC.s
AC.s
1 month ago

Shouldn’t these funds be approved by the Permanent Secretary???

Last edited 1 month ago by AC.s
makjavel
makjavel
1 month ago

No wonder Zrinzo refuses to answer the Questions made by MP’s Ing. Ryan Callus and Ing. Mark Anthony Sammut about the Ghost Warrant Numbers in the Engineers List of Warrant Holders. Is he hiding some secret warrants issued to unknowns ? Why is he refusing to even discuss it. These fuckups do not happen by chance. Not with Labour. They are deliberate , thinking that people are fools . Many are fools , but many are not. Has the Minister’s predecessor behind , been exposed and Zrinzo is covering up as best as he can? Are these blanks for the Warrants , Ian Borg promised his gullible MCAST followers?

carlos
1 month ago

kollox mnfuq dar il-haddiem. Jistennew l-okkazzjoni biex jithanzru min fuq dahar il-haddiem onest. ISTHU.

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