€14 million Cottonera pool complex faces fresh delays following tender challenge

Aqra dan l-artiklu bil-Malti.

The government’s repeatedly delayed completion of the Cottonera Sports Complex has met fresh setbacks following a challenge to the procurement process for essential swimming competition equipment currently missing from the indoor pool.

The challenge, raised by audiovisual company Cave Ltd., is the latest in a saga of delays, missed deadlines, and ballooning budgets that have plagued the project for years.

The situation means further delays in equipping the complex for competitive swimming. Essential facilities remain missing from the pool despite government assurances of its state-of-the-art features upon its inauguration in September.

A request for quotations to procure equipment covering some of the missing facilities, which include scoring and timing apparatus, was issued in October. Notably, the request was made by the Aquatic Sports Association rather than SportMalta, the government sports agency administering the complex.

In its letter to the Public Contracts Review Board, the appellant company argued that its tender proposal offered a superior solution to the one chosen by ASA, offered by competitor Alternative Technologies Limited. The €260,000 offer was approved on 18 December.

In its objection filed 10 days later, Cave Ltd. claimed that its proposal “meets and, in severe critical aspects, exceeds the specification outlined in the tender document,” offering “superior functionalities.” A technical comparative analysis highlighted “potential gaps in the evaluation process” and called for reassessment.

The challenge will mean the case will now be heard in front of the Public Contracts Review Board, a semi-judicial tribunal which deals with public contractual issues.

The hearings will lead to further delays in finalising a project initially slated for completion in 2020, ahead of the Games of the Small States of Europe, hosted in Malta in June 2023.

After completely missing both deadlines, the pool was inaugurated in September for €14 million, €6 million over its initial budget.

Despite its missing equipment, the complex is now slated to host the national swimming championships scheduled for April this year.

The Shift has previously reported how SportMalta has mismanaged multiple multi-million-euro projects for sports complexes that were supposed to be completed in time for training and used in the small nation’s games.

These included the Cottonera pool complex, a €16 million pool in Victoria, Gozo, a €3 million tennis complex in Pembroke and a €9 million indoor squash and weightlifting complex in Marsa.


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Francis Said
Francis Said
1 month ago

Efficiency at its worst. This government really has no clue or intention to learn from all its mistakes.
Right first time does not apply in our “good governance”.

Paul Abela
Paul Abela
1 month ago

Sportsmalta = INKOMPETENTI

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