Most of the €40,000 spent by Infrastructure Malta to organise the inauguration of two flyovers in Marsa by the Prime Minster last month went to a company that organises most of the Labour Party’s mass events.
Details given in Parliament by Transport Minister Ian Borg, following questions by Nationalist MP Karol Aquilina, shows that Formac Malta Ltd was commissioned to supply equipment for a total of €37,412.
It provided a billboard, built a makeshift platform, and supplied sound, lighting, TV cameras and related equipment for the launch.
The stage-building company was also asked to provide translation services, as included among the guests were the Turkish owners of the company awarded the €50 million contract to construct the flyovers.
Elia Caterers was tasked with providing the catering and beverages to the government’s invitees for an after-party event.
All procurement made by Infrastructure Malta for the inauguration was made through the use of direct orders without any sort of competitive process.
Dr Borg justified holding the party for the inauguration of two of the seven flyovers by saying this was “a historic” event.
Relatively unknown among local companies involved in the organisation of events, Formac Malta was registered in 2013.
Research conducted by Times of Malta shows that its mother company is TEC Ltd, the main organiser of all Labour Party mass activities since 2013.
Company has dominated the publicly funded mass events industry since Labour was returned to power
According to the Malta Business Registry, TEC Ltd and its owner, Carmelo Magro, hold all the shares in Formac Malta. TEC and Formac Ltd operate from the same premises in Qormi and are audited by the same auditors – Nexia BT.
TEC Ltd and its related subsidiaries have dominated the publicly funded mass events industry on the island since Labour was returned to power in 2013.
They supplied Labour with most of the equipment it needed for its multi-million euro electoral campaigns, from tents to massive stages.
They have also been the recipients of tens of direct orders from the Office of the Prime Minister and other government entities worth several millions more in value. In fact, TEC Ltd features prominently in all the long lists of direct orders dished out by government ministries for various services.
The company was also heavily involved in the procurement of services required to host European Union summits and other major events, from those held during Malta’s six-month rotating EU presidency to the hosting of the Commonwealth summit.
Only last June, Mr Magro’s company was the only one participating in an “accelerated procedure” tender – a procedure normally used for unplanned and sudden events – for the organisation of an EU mini-summit for southern European leaders. The event cost taxpayers €1.5 million for a four-hour meeting.
Before the 2013 election, Mr Magro had hit the headlines with ‘scandalous’ claims that then Finance Minister, Tonio Fenech, had not paid his company for renovation works at his home.
It later emerged that Mr Fenech did not owe any money to Mr Magro or his company.