Evans Building concession winner admits mistake, claims insignificance

Tista taqra dan l-artiklu bil-Malti.

Valletta Luxury Projects (VLP) – a consortium owned by the Decesare’s Eden Leisure Group and Mark Weingard of the Iniala Hotel – admitted, for the first time, a crucial mistake in its controversial winning bid for the concession of Valletta’s iconic Evans building, according to submissions published on the Public Contracts Review Board (PCRB) website on 22 February.

Responding to two challenges before the PCRB, asking it to annul the government’s decision, lawyers for VLP admitted that they had indicated the wrong financial offer of just €1.2 million for the 65-year concession instead of a yearly fee, which should have been translated into a total of €78 million.

Still, despite this mistake, which, according to rival bidders, should have led to their immediate disqualification from the process, the evaluation committee decided to award them the 65-year tender.

The consortium maintains the mistake was only a small one as the rest of their bid indicated clearly that they were offering €78 million and not €1.2 million.

The Decesare/Weingard consortium also said they had been asked to clarify the figure during the evaluation, confirming they did so immediately.

Based on this, the consortium argued the challenges from the two rival bidders should be thrown out.

The Evans concession, which will see the government hand over the historic building in Valletta to be turned into a 5-star luxury hotel for 65 years, is highly contested by other bidders.

Katari Hospitality, owned by Paul Attard, the secretary general of the Malta Developers Association and close to the prime minister, offered €41 million. And Iconic Hotel Malta – Nobu, fronted by seasoned entrepreneur Michael Bianchi – submitted a bid for €39.3 million.

Department of Contracts notice of how the bids were classified.

Both are challenging the OPM’s decision, insisting that the Decesare/Weingard bid should be disqualified due to their wrong submission and that a new evaluation should be made.

According to Iconic Hotel Malta – Nobu, even Paul Attard’s submission is faulty as he changed his financial data to make his bid eligible when the OPM ‘inexplicably’ changed the closing date of the contested bid.

Katari, which is challenging the decision through lawyer Ryan Pace – Robert Abela’s former assistant in his legal office – rejects all the claims against it.

The PCRB is now expected to hear the cases and issue its decision. However, its decision is not final, as it can be taken to court.

                           

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Robert pace bonello
Robert pace bonello
1 month ago

This is a giveaway once inflation is factored in. Disposing of our national assets for Peanuts. IS ANYONE LOOKING AFTER THE NATIONAL INTEREST? BOTH POLITICAL PARTIES ARE PUTTY IN THE HANDS OF THE GREEDY DEVELOPERS. WILL NOBODY STAND UP FOR MALTA?

Toni Borg
Toni Borg
1 month ago

Robert Abela is at logger heads as to whom he should award Evans Building for their personal gain given that they are all ‘friends of friends’……I guess the one who offered most on the side got the deal!!!

Judy S
Judy S
1 month ago

What we need is not another Hotel but an other Hospital ,an other old people’s home. The gov is selecting those who were of service to the PL and placing their parents or relatives in private homes where some are paying roundabout 3000 E a month whilst the chosen ones are subsidised by the gov and pay according to their pension. So some pass their possessions to their children and are placed there as social cases who do not possess anything. This is nice and we pay for those who do these things. Gov wants hotels but in many places old people’s homes were closed down. Why? These said buildings can also be turned into a hub with different offices representing all the Gov departments where one does not need to run from one dep to another and all around Malta to get things done as all will be in one place. Use the public property for the people’s best use no matter what and not for any thing else as there are enough hotels around.

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