Bonnici Brothers was the biggest recipient of direct orders relating to works at the Ta’ Kandja shooting range, receiving three direct orders of over €1 million each.

One direct order, for €2.76 million, was paid for services relating to the construction of the facilities’ five-metre backstop. The company also received €1.7 million for the installation of artificial turf, a drainage system, and a Bern wall, as well as €1.5 million for the construction of an access road and retaining wall, apart from several other direct orders for amounts of less than €1 million each.

This information was tabled by Education Minister Evarist Bartolo in response to a parliamentary question by Opposition MP Jason Azzopardi.

Mr Bartolo specified that the procurement request was made by SportMalta, and approved by the Finance Ministry according to established procedures.

The new shooting range at Ta’ Kandja, in the limits of Siġġiewi, has cost in the region of €14 million, double the original estimate, the Times of Malta had revealed some months ago.

Read: Direct orders double cost of new shooting range

Most of the infrastructural works on the multimillion-euro facility were carried out without the normal public call for tenders, industry sources noted. Instead of following public procurement rules, Sport Malta, the government’s agency responsible for the project, bypassed the system and dished out about 25 direct orders to a few private companies, they added.

The government justified the many direct orders, some running into millions of euros, saying they were “due to urgency”.

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