The Malta Independent 26 June 2022, Sunday

Anglu Farrugia washes his hands on whether PAC should summon Angelo Gafa on Electrogas deal

Giuseppe Attard Monday, 20 June 2022, 18:12 Last update: about 5 days ago

Speaker Anglu Farrugia washed his hands on whether the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) should summon Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa to testify before it on the Electrogas power station deal, leaving the matter in the hands of the committee – which has already failed to agree on it once. 

Last week, the Nationalist Party MPs on the PAC requested a ruling on the matter after the government MPs didn’t agree on summoning Gafa in connection with the committee’s investigation into the deal. 

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The ruling by Farrugia stated that the final decision on whether someone should testify in front of the committee should fall in the hands of the committee. “If the committee fails to reach an agreement, a majority vote should be taken.” 

The probe by the PAC into the Electrogas deal was prompted after the National Audit Office (NAO) found weaknesses in the tendering and due diligence processes of the deal. 

The Labour Party MPs argued that since the NAO did not find any illegalities in their report, summoning Gafa would be a useless exercise. In response to this, Auditor General Charles Deguara clarified that the NAO is not an investigative body and does not have the authority to uncover certain illegalities. 

The PN MPs therefore requested that Gafa should come before the PAC so it can be ascertained whether matter is being investigated by the police since all NAO reports are immediately passed on to the Police Commissioner to evaluate if an investigation is required. 

Labour MP Andy Ellul stated in Parliament that it is not within the PAC’s remit to “investigate police investigations.” 

Throughout the previous PAC meeting, all the members however did agree to summon former Enemalta board members including former Minister Edward Scicluna and Electrogas director Ray Fenech.

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