An entity falling under Konrad Mizzi when he was energy minister allocated two direct orders worth €130,000 to Nexia BT, information tabled in Parliament has shown.
Replying to a parliamentary question by Nationalist MP Jason Azzopardi, Energy Minister Joe Mizzi furnished data showing his ministry had dished out 55 direct orders, worth just over €3 million, from March 2013 to date.
Direct orders are only meant to be given in exceptional circumstances, because they bypass normal public procurement rules.
Mr Mizzi moved to the Energy Ministry last June, and sources noted that the majority of the direct orders in question had been allocated when the ministry fell under Konrad Mizzi’s political responsibility.
Nexia BT, the firm which set up a secret Panama company for Dr Mizzi that was not registered with the local tax authorities, received direct orders for consultancy services for State-billing company ARMS Limited.
After setting up Panama company, it got direct orders for consultancy
E-Cubed Consultants, which split from Nexia BT after the Panama Papers scandal, received a €50,000 direct order from the Energy and Water Services Ministry under Dr Mizzi. Its director, economist Gordon Cordina, also received a personal direct order worth €42,000.
Mifsud Bonnici Advocates, run by Dr Mizzi’s lawyer, Aaron Mifsud Bonnici, received two direct orders from the Water Services Corporation worth €27,420.
Dr Mifsud Bonnici was also appointed by Dr Mizzi as board secretary to Enemalta, Engineering Resources Limited, Energy Services Centre, International Clean Energy, International Energy Service Centre, MPG Energy Services, Projects Malta Ltd and Projects Plus.
Dr Mizzi lost his health and energy portfolios in a Cabinet reshuffle in April 2016, soon after the Panama Papers leaks, and was appointed Minister Within the Office of the Prime Minister. Yet, he remained in charge of energy projects until the June election.
The Labour Party’s auditors, RSM, received €254,000 worth of direct orders from various entities under the umbrella of the Energy Ministry.
The former head of government marketing, Johann Grech, who has since been appointed by Dr Mizzi as film commissioner, was given a direct order for €39,000 for “consultancy on marketing” to the State’s fuel importation entity.
Sciberras Associates Advocates were allocated a €64,000 direct order for legal consultancy for Enemed. The firm’s senior partner, Alex Sciberras, is a close associate of Dr Mizzi, who last year appointed him to Air Malta’s board of directors.
Beat Consulting received direct orders worth €262,700 from ARMS Limited. David Grech, one of Beat’s directors and shareholders, is known to be another close associate of Dr Mizzi.