€29 million in direct orders issued by Infrastructure Malta in six months

Large portion of funds issued for emergency works on behalf of Enemalta


Infrastructure Malta has issued some €29 million in direct orders in just six months, with a large portion of the funds spent on behalf of Enemalta for emergency works.

The Shift’s analysis of direct orders issued shows that the majority went to a handful of roadworks contractors, issued about €20 million between July and December 2023 alone, of which around €11 million are for works required by Enemalta.

Public procurement regulations forbid the issue of direct orders larger than €10,000, unless in an “exceptional case”. Yet tens of millions of euro in direct orders are issued each year.

Last Wednesday, while answering parliamentary questions by Opposition MP Adrian Delia, Chris Bonett claimed €124 million in both direct order and tender payments had been issued to contractors in 2023.

He listed 20 roadworks contractors engaged through direct order in 2023, claiming these engagements amounted to €13.7 million.

Yet The Shift’s research has found that the same 20 contractors received more than €20 million in just the last six months of 2023, according to a government gazette issued on the same day.

The other €9 million were issued for various other services such as landscaping, lighting and project management services.

Some of the largest recipients included contractors who have been receiving such contracts for years.

Between July and December 2023, the top two contractors, Philip Agius & Sons (Ta Maksar) and Schembri Infrastructures, received €2.9 and €2.6 million, respectively.

During the same period, Schembri Barbros and Polidano Brothers (Taċ-Ċaqnu) received around €2.3 million each, and V&C Contractors received €1.7 million.

Conglomerate RM Construction, which comprises Asfaltar, Bonnici Bros and Schembri Infrastructures, received €1.6 million.

Turkish contractors Excel SIS Enerji Uterim, of which developer Joseph Portelli and arms dealer James Fenech are shareholders, received €1.4 million.

Large direct orders issued For Enemalta works

The majority of Infrastructure Malta’s direct orders, some €16 million, were issued “for works carried out on behalf of other entities.” The vast majority of these, some €13 million, were issued for Enemalta works.

Many of these direct orders were issued for “emergency” cable laying works across Malta and Gozo.  Following years of bad planning and conflicting messages about Malta’s energy needs, an emergency project to lay some 70km of new underground cables was launched last year alongside the fast-tracked construction of a new power plant at Delimara.

The largest recipient for such contracts was also Philip Agius & Sons, issued €2.5 million for works in Dingli, Rabat, Mtarfa, Mosta, Birkirkara and Attard.

Last year The Shift reported how the European Court of Auditors flagged the issue, noting a lack of transparency in how some contractors are repeatedly winning tenders and receiving direct orders.


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1 month ago

Tal maksar at the top!

1 month ago

What kind of pigsty is this government?
You can only have something like this in a comic 🤡 book country.

Planning with government has nothing to do with anything here.
It’s all about awarding expensive contracts to relatives, acquaintances and political friends.
I’m shaking 😵‍💫my head with giddiness.

1 month ago

Always the same story involving the same people.
It is easy to come to terms if you are corrupt with someone who you know is corrupt too..
Kullhadd JITHANZER skond Nuxxolina

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