Ronald Mizzi used Projects Malta to hide his involvement in decisions on hospitals

Aqra bil-Malti.

Permanent Secretary Ronald Mizzi dictated all that had to be done regarding the corrupt multi-billion-euro deal between Vitals/Steward and the government, even as these instructions clashed with Projects Malta, the magisterial inquiry shows.

Mizzi chose Ganado Advocates to draft the original Request for Proposals (RfP) for the “fraudulent” deal. He also handpicked all members of the project management, evaluation and negotiations committees, much to the frustration of the top brass at Projects Malta – the government vehicle used as a conduit for the hospitals’ agreement.

Nevertheless, correspondence revealed by the inquiry notes that despite all his direct interventions, Ronald Mizzi tried to cover his tracks by demanding that the Executive Chairman of Projects Malta, Adrian Said, formalise the appointment of individuals close to Konrad Mizzi in the process.

“Projects Malta was only informed of the RfP launch on March 17, 2015. They do not appear to have been directly involved in advising on content or drafting of the RfP or in appointing Ganado Advocates. They were not directly involved in the selection of various committees and board that decided the direction and the outcome of the RfP process as borne out by the correspondence on these matters between Projects Malta and Ministry officials (Ronald Mizzi),” the inquiry found.

“Once members of the Evaluation Committee were appointed by the Permanent Secretary, Ronald Mizzi, then effectively they were answerable to Ronald Mizzi and not to Adrian Said”.

Said signed all the appointments and was the executive chairman of Projects Malta then, but no criminal charges have been filed against him.

Correspondence included in the inquiry shows that Said was unhappy with how things were being conducted and felt that his organisation was being undermined.

In several e-mail exchanges, Said lamented that Projects Malta, which was supposed to manage the process, had “no visibility” of what was happening. He also insisted that once Mizzi took all the decisions, he should own them.

Adrian Said

Still, Said did not resign and later issued all the appointment letters and direct orders as directed by the ministry.

Upon hearing of Said’s frustration, lawyer Aron Mifsud Bonnici, a board director of Projects Malta and disgraced former minister Konrad Mizzi’s right-hand man, told Said he should speak to the minister.

Ronald Mizzi’s teams

Although officially appearing to be appointed by Projects Malta, the inquiry found that Ronald Mizzi decided who the evaluation committee members would be.

Initially, Mizzi issued instructions to appoint James Camenzuli – now Projects Plus CEO, Brian Tonna of Nexia BT, Mario Galea, Robert Borg, and Charles Grixti to take decisions.

All members of this group are involved in several other scandals by the Labour administration, some of them are also facing other criminal charges.

Brian Tonna and Mario Galea were removed from the proposed list for reasons that are unclear, and Manuel Castagna, Brian Tonna’s partner at Nexia BT, replaced him.

While the group comprised Konrad Mizzi’s close collaborators, the inquiry noted that Nexia BT was also advising VGH, the eventual successful bidder.

Ronald Mizzi stays

Ronald Mizzi, from Zabbar, was a childhood friend of Konrad Mizzi, who appointed him permanent secretary as soon as Labour returned to power in 2013.

Ronald Mizzi was still in his 30s and had little executive experience. The chief civil servant executed all the decisions made by disgraced former minister Konrad Mizzi without question.

Ronald Mizzi played an important role in controversial deals conducted by Joseph Muscat, Konrad Mizzi, and Keith Schembri, from the hospitals’ deal to the ITS sale to the DB Group and the LNG power plant in Delimara.

After Konrad Mizzi’s exit from politics, Ronald Mizzi continued to serve as permanent secretary at the economy ministry. He has resisted calls for his resignation, and Prime Minister Robert Abela has defended him.

Ronald Mizzi will face criminal charges in court this week, including dereliction of duty, since he was duty-bound to prevent corruption and fraud to the detriment of Maltese taxpayers.

                           

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5 Comments
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saviour mamo
saviour mamo
27 days ago

With all this kind of information coming out, there should have been a total collapse of the government and we should be heading for a general election.

Joseph Markham
Joseph Markham
27 days ago
Reply to  saviour mamo

Dream on…. This is Malta, where white is black and black is white …

carlos
26 days ago
Reply to  Joseph Markham

SFORTUNATAMENT

carlos
26 days ago

F’mafiamalta ghandna l-aqwa mhuh ghall-HAZEN, KORRUZZJONI u DELITTI – u dejjem bis-sapport ta’ dawk li jinxtraw b’xi xoghol mal-gvern, biex ma jaghmlu xejn,b’xi mitt ewro, b’kuntratturi korrotti u hallelin u frodisti – u dan kollu ghad-detriment ghall-haddiem onest li jhallas it-taxxi.

David Zammit
David Zammit
25 days ago

Ronald Mizzi, who served as the permanent secretary to Konrad Mizzi, was specifically appointed to oversee the implementation of various projects. These projects were associated with corruption, which Konrad Mizzi was allegedly involved in. Ronald Mizzi’s role was to manage these projects intelligently and efficiently. He was adept at concealing any wrongdoing related to Konrad Mizzi’s activities. Notably, Ronald Mizzi received support from Prime Minister Abela, allowing him to continue in his position!

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