The Malta Independent 14 July 2020, Tuesday

40% of objections to tenders upheld in 2019

Albert Galea Friday, 26 June 2020, 15:59 Last update: about 17 days ago

Some 40% of the objections to public contracts presented in 2019 were upheld, the Chairman of the Public Contracts Review Board Anthony Cassar said in a press conference on Friday.

Speaking as the PCRB published its annual report, Cassar said that 2019 had seen a 30% increase in appeals when compared with 2018.

The increases are down to the increase in the number of tenders issued, the increase in infrastructural projects, and increased awareness of the remedies which are present, he said.

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Cassar said that since the board was appointed, it had made over 1,000 decisions pertaining to €869 million worth of public contracts.

In 2019, the board handled 169 million in tenders, and upheld around 40% of the objections presented.

Cassar noted that the number of appeals for contracts issued by local councils had once again continued to decrease, adding that the problem in this regard – wherein local councils did not know that they needed to follow public procurement regulations – was now solved.

He said that pre-contractual appeals have also seen a drastic decrease in 2020.

Furthermore, Cassar said that the board had managed an average time of only 15 days between when an appeal is lodged and the publication of the subsequent decision of the appeal.

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna praised the board as a well-run organisation the success of which shows in the trends that have developed over the years.

Scicluna said that one must be alert when it comes to public spending, and noted that every ministry should have warranted, qualified individuals within it to handle such things. He noted that some ministries did not have this, but that this has to change – like private companies, however small they are, have to follow certain standards, so does the government, he said.

Finally, he praised the reduction in the time required to reach a decision, before thanking the board for their professional work.

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