The Malta Independent 13 November 2018, Tuesday

PD files judicial protest calling for publication of documents on SVPR project

Friday, 9 November 2018, 13:58 Last update: about 3 days ago

Partit Demokratiku has presented a Judicial Protest calling for government to publish – or give access to – all documents related to call for tenders CT 2009/2015 for a Public Private Partnership for the provision comprehensive catering services to St Vincent de Paul Long-term Care Facilities.

This same tender established an added investment as defined by SVDH, such that this additional offer has resulted in an agreement for the building of a 500-bed extension and, in return, government will pay €274 million for services rendered to manage the new facility.

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PD notes that:

1) Transparency is a corollary of the principle of equal treatment and this has been breached. Good sense DEMANDS accountability.

2) OBSERVING procurement procedures in relation to one of the largest public contracts HAVE NOT BEEN HONOURED WHATSOEVER.

3) This was awarded when there is no development permit by the Planning Authority.

4) Minister Scicluna STATED THAT HE GOT to know of the €240 million direct order from a newspaper. He had not approved it. He further asked THE Director of Contracts to submit an internal report on the said contract.

5) Parliamentary Secretary Anthony Aguis Decelis claimed that there was a mistake in its printing in The Malta Government Gazette whilst the Department of Information stateED that there was no such mistake.

6) The said contract awarded to James Caterers and Health Care, a subsidiary of db Group, has not been tabled in Parliament even though it was requested by Partit Demokratiku, and Minister Scicluna gave the impression that he would do so.

7) That the PN Opposition has not officially denounced such irregularities.

8) PD had requested that this contract should be discussed at Public Accounts Committee to be referred to Auditor General (AG). Minister Michael Falzon sent it directly to AG. This does not mean that all is well. Decisions taken at AG are never timely and will take years. Remedial action  cannot be taken. Government is hiding its wrong doings behind an entity that has integrity but lacks an adequate allocation of budget so that it increases its human resources and the necessary legal status to stop such contracts until it investigates.

The goings-on at Saint Vincent De Paul seem to indicate further pro-shady business, more so since it has been revealed that a monthly €300,000 contract has been awarded to a cleaning company, X-Clean Ltd, via another direct order. 

A PL government had promised accountability, transparency and good governance. It has failed miserably on all three counts, PD said.

 

 

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