The Malta Independent 26 June 2022, Sunday

Labour’s events stage supplier nets over €430,000 in direct orders related to metro project

Albert Galea Tuesday, 3 May 2022, 09:03 Last update: about 3 months ago

An events company which is one of the main providers for equipment relating to the Labour Party’s political events netted over 430,000 in direct orders related to the Malta Metro, newly published data reveals.

Data published in the Government Gazette and analysed by The Malta Independent shows that The Events Company – otherwise known as TEC Ltd – was the beneficiary of 21 separate direct orders from the Ministry for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects – then led by Ian Borg – worth a total of 434,492.04.

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The direct orders, all awarded on 8 November 2021 except for one which was awarded on 4 October 2021, are listed as simply being for the “Malta Metro.” It is not clear what exactly the direct orders were awarded for.

Information tabled in Parliament by then-Transport Minister Ian Borg in November last year –ironically on the same day that these direct orders were approved – showed that a total of €76,981.76 was spent on the press conference event which saw the Malta Metro announced, which was held on 2 October.

The data published in the Government Gazette also reveals that the government paid consulting firm Arup €111,001.75 across four direct orders for “consultancy services” in August.

Although what exactly these consultancy services are is not specified, it is known that Arup was the company engaged to carry out its studies into a metro system proposal for Malta.

TEC Ltd is well known as being the supplier for the stages used by the Labour Party for their political events, including for mass meetings, and have been the beneficiaries of many government direct orders since the PL came to power.

The company is owned by Charles, also known as Carmelo, Magro, who was at the centre of allegations against PN Finance Minister Tonio Fenech before the 2013 general election, which turned out to be the first of many PL landslide victories.

It had been alleged that structural and finishing works on a Balzan villa purchased by Fenech had been done for free by JPM Brothers in return for a favour regarding their projected sale of the Jerma Palace Hotel to Joe Gasan and George Fenech.

A turnkey projects company owned by Magro was contracted to do the works, but later stopped works and claimed that Fenech owed him some 20,000.

The allegation was jumped upon by the Labour Party – then in Opposition – and was the subject of a number of articles and statements between 2009 and 2011.

However, it was later proven that Magro had been paid €30,000 with a further €9,623 in cash. For the outstanding balance of €1,000, he received €905 which he had accepted in full and final settlement.

Glenn Bedingfield, Joseph Muscat – then PL leader, and Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi – then PL President – subsequently lost two libel cases over stories and statements which the party and its media arm had carried about the scandal.

“It is a pity that politicians lend importance to people like Charles Magro who are prepared to tarnish anyone's image, solely for their own financial gain,” the court had said in its judgement on the libel cases.

Since the Labour Party came to power however, Magro’s companies – including TEC Ltd – have been beneficiaries of hundreds of thousands of euros in direct orders from multiple government ministries and agencies.

 

 

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