No Infrastructure Malta employees declare conflict of interest, receiving gifts

Out of the 104 employees currently stationed at the government’s roads agency Infrastructure Malta, including many architects and draughtspersons, none have declared any direct conflicts of interest or received gifts worth more than €100 during the last year.

According to new information submitted in parliament, following questions by Nationalist Party spokesman Joe Giglio, Transport Minister Chris Bonett confirmed The Shift’s story from last year that reported the introduction of a new transparency policy following a series of mishaps involving employees and the issuance of multi-million-euro direct orders.

Bonett said that so far, none of the employees have declared any direct conflict of interest, with seven declaring a “perceived” conflict and three a “potential” conflict.

According to the new policy introduced by CEO Ivan Falzon in the summer of 2023, the agency is to decide whether to take action regarding perceived, potential or direct conflicts. No decisions have been made so far.

The employees’ declarations, which should be revised every 12 months, introduced a gift register where employees are duty-bound to declare any gift they receive from Infrastructure Malta clients, contractors or suppliers of over €100. No one declared receiving any such gifts.

The Shift previously revealed two instances of conflict of interest involving the handing out of lucrative tenders. These involved Noel Vella, the head of implementation at the agency, and €2 million in direct orders to various companies connected to his brother Jonathan Vella, including Darna Properties Ltd and JV Infrastructure Ltd.

Weeks later, The Shift reported how Infrastructure Malta architect Albert Spiteri, responsible for multi-million-euro works done by Liam Friggieri’s Infinite Fusion Technology Ltd for the agency, was also fronting a private development application for the building of two ODZ villas in Baħrija by Friggieri.

It is unknown if and how Vella and Spiteri declared their conflict of interest or if any measures were taken after the conflict became known.

The two are still working at Infrastructure Malta, which has a multi-million-euro yearly budget dedicated to road works carried out by contractors, often through direct orders.

Many of the roads built by Infrastructure Malta during the past years have gone significantly over budget, been delayed, or required additional work and variations, all with the approval of senior officials.

No audit has ever been carried out by the government or the National Audit Office to check these projects’ costs and value for money.

                           

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Joseph
Joseph
1 month ago

But corruption has become the norm and in many cases accepted or condoned..we have almost hit the bottom

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