Gozo Channel issues €730,000 tender for work on unused office

The work is unlikely to be finished before 2025. By then, the state would have paid €350,000 in rent, spent over €1.5 million to demolish and reconstruct part of the building, and wasted half of the 10-year lease contract.

 

Gozo Channel, which has been running at a significant loss for many years, has issued a new €750,000 tender for additional construction work to be carried out at a property it leased from a private party in 2019, despite the state-owned entity having not used it since.

The company has been paying some €63,000 a year in rent to A&J Hili Ta Miema Ltd for the last four years, but the site has not been used, and the ongoing works are unlikely to be finished before 2025.

By then, the state would have paid €350,000 in rent, spent over €1.5 million to demolish and reconstruct part of the building, and wasted half of the 10-year lease contract.

The Shift previously revealed close connections between the chairman of Gozo Channel, Joe Cordina, and the owner of the building, who also used to own Ta’ Miema supermarket in Mġarr, a client of Cordina’s private auditing firm.

Initially, Gozo Channel was supposed to start using the offices in 2020, but shortly after signing the contract, it was discovered the building had severe structural damages and part of it was at risk of collapse.

Instead of returning the building to its owners and cancelling the contract, Gozo Channel decided to demolish half of the building, put in the necessary expensive stabilising structures, and rebuild it at a cost of some €700,000, mainly carried out through direct orders.

Last month, Gozo Channel published a new procurement exercise to carry out more work, particularly installing utility services and undertaking the necessary finishings.

According to the tender, with bids closing in January, the works are estimated to cost a minimum of €730,000 and are to be completed within eight months of signing the contract.

This means that the new offices will not be ready until 2025. If the work is completed on time, more than half of the lease will have elapsed before the site is used for its intended purpose.

Joe Cordina, a former Labour candidate, has been Gozo Channel chairman since 2013.

Once the contract expires in 2029, the company A&J Hili Ta Miema Ltd and its owners, Joseph Hili from Xewkija and his two children, Ruth Hili and Sara Saliba, will get back a newly refurbished property, which could then be leased out again to the Gozo Channel or another third party.

Gozo Channel’s woes

Gozo Channel has been running on a deficit for years despite millions of euro of subsidies paid by the taxpayer. It has failed to publish its audited accounts for at least three years while the government increased its subsidies significantly, reaching some €14 million this year.

The company has also been leasing an old vessel from a Greek company at a cost of some €13,000 a day, on a contract for the past four years through a direct order.

Millions of euro are also distributed to several private companies, providing extra staff to the state entity. Most of the staff are recruited through ministerial ‘recommendations’.

                           

Sign up to our newsletter

Stay in the know

Get special updates directly in your inbox
Don't worry we do not spam
                           
                               
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

10 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Joseph Tabone Adami
Joseph Tabone Adami
2 months ago

Sopra corna bastonate – but only for the ill-served taxpayers and not for the leeches unduly sucking their blood.

Last edited 2 months ago by Joseph Tabone Adami
carlos
carlos
2 months ago

thanzru kemm tifilhu.
wara li hniezer jithanzru, dawn jspiccaw il-biccerija biex iroddu lura l-hnizrijit li thanzru bihom.

Pespes
Pespes
2 months ago
Reply to  carlos

Minn fommok għal fomm Alla!!!

Carmelo Borg
2 months ago

Allura din il bicca hadma id direttur debono grech espert tal vapuri jaf u accetta.

Joseph Micallef
Joseph Micallef
2 months ago
Reply to  Carmelo Borg

U zgur li jaccetthom!
Dat-tip ta nies ilu li kklassifikhom mal-lista tal-halliel it-tajjeb ta magenb Kristu.

Anne R. key
Anne R. key
2 months ago

Well it’s just a pat on the back to some lackey contractor, for Christmas. L’aqwa zmien 🙁

David
David
2 months ago

Cordina huma l uniku Charmain li Ma nbidilx dawn l ahhar ghaxar snin tal misthija . Raguni hemm Zgur . Ta Burmarrad ghandu d djun Mieghu ? Cordina dejjem kien imdawwar b diretturi ta minghajr skola u dejjem ghamel li ried hu minghajr Ma jkunu jafu x Qed jigri.

Wish
Wish
2 months ago

No surprhse, il-labour hmieg kien u jibqa, nies li ma jistaw rajaw xejn li ma jarawx kif idabbru lejhom, fid-DNA.

Wish
Wish
2 months ago

Investigaw kif Joseph Portelli qam fuq saqajh fi zmien il-PN, l-istess hadma.

David
David
2 months ago

The Shift should investigate how several Gozo Channel workers are being seconded with the government, keeping the same salaries (€40,000 plus) and benefits (including free ferry transport and health insurance) and doing an hour or two hour work a day with the Gozo Ministry. Incredible but true.

Related Stories

Spanish lawyer paid €111,000 to defend Malta’s EU bird trapping case
The government has hired a top Spanish lawyer, who
Film Commissioner Johann Grech gets €90,000 raise amid mounting scandals
Aqra dan l-artiklu bil-Malti Prime Minister Robert Abela has

Our Awards and Media Partners

Award logo Award logo Award logo