Thousands more in direct orders for Keith Schembri and Vincent Marmara

University, Malta Gaming Authority issue 176 direct orders worth almost €4 million in six months


The University of Malta and the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) spent millions of euros over the second half of last year in another round of direct orders that have mostly conflicted with public procurement regulations.

In what has become characteristic of how public authorities are administering taxpayer funds, the University spent some €10,000 on photocopy paper directly from Kasco Ltd – the company owned by disgraced former OPM chief of staff Keith Schembri – instead of going to the open market.

It also spent half a million euros on two separate direct orders for security staff for six months. That warded to Executive Services Ltd, owned by Stephen Ciangura.

The MGA – led by Ryan Pace, a young associate of Prime Minister Robert Abela at his private legal office – awarded the Labour Party’s pollster Vincent Marmara another €34,000 direct order for ‘research’ – the eighth consecutive direct contract for Marmara which, together, amount to over €400,000.

Marmara conducts political surveys for Labour ‘free of charge’.

The MGA’s new list of direct orders published in the Government Gazette also shows the gaming regulatory issuing a €6,000 direct order to purchase groceries from Apple Core foods.

In addition to the usual regular direct orders for auditing firms – with €40,000 for PwC, €54,000 for KPMG and €84,000 for RSM – the MGA continued to spend big on internal and publicity events.

Event planning firm Jugs Malta was paid €10,000 to organise a team-building event for MGA staff, while its internal Staff Social Committee paid MUZA and Corinthia Caterers more than €12,000 to hold other unspecified events for MGA employees.

Casapinta Design Group Ltd, which specialises in stands for international fairs, received two chunky direct orders – a €140,000 payment for setting up the MGA stand at the annual ICE conference in London and another €65,000 for the regulators’ stand at the local SIGMA event. This tops tens of thousands of euros the MGA also pays to participate in the trade fairs.

The MGA also issued a €5,000 direct order for mental health specialist NGO the Richmond Foundation for “counselling services”.

It results that over the last six months of 2022, the MGA used 41 direct orders and the University of Malta issued 135 direct orders worth almost €4 million.

All direct orders should be approved by Finance Minister Clyde Caruana.


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1 month ago

Viva Labour(sic).

1 month ago

Where is the EU? For sure that they know what’s happening in Mafiamalta. Subsidies are ONLY ENHANCING CORRUPTION. Please wake up.

A. Fan
A. Fan
1 month ago
Reply to  carlos

They have bigger fish to fry first (HU, PL). Malta is just an annoying rounding error in the greater scheme of things…

1 month ago

It would be very interesting to know how many read the shift news. The shift news articles contain damning reports about continuous corruption under labour govts. It seems the more corruption is exposed the more people in these islands approve and applaud it!!

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