A €400,000 public contract for Identity Malta to lease new offices will be graded in part on how close it is to the centre of junior minister Alex Muscat’s electoral district.
The parliamentary secretary for citizenship hails from Mosta and contests the election on the 11th district of which the locality forms a key part of.
According to the tender documents, offices that are within a 500-metre radius of the Mosta church will have 20 marks added to the evaluation score when the offers are being assessed, whereas offices that are more than 2.5km radius away from the Mosta church only get two marks.
One Identity Malta insider flagged concerns to Times of Malta that the tender appears to have been designed with a predetermined outcome in mind.
The tender is currently under evaluation.
A spokesperson for Muscat declined to answer questions about the tender, instead referring Times of Malta to Identity Malta.
Identity Malta said following the relocation of offices from the Evans Building in Valletta to Marsa, Identity Malta felt the need to open a new “regional hub”, to provide a better service to the northern part of Malta.
The spokesperson said that apart from location, there are nine other criteria on which the contract for the office lease is being assessed.
“Mosta serves as a catchment area and the locality already houses a number of other ancillary government services on a regional level, including police station, health centre, social welfare service office and a servizz.gov hub. The new hub would be ideally located within the proximity of these services,” the spokesperson said.
This “northern hub” was outlined in Identity Malta’s recently launched strategy. It will offer identity management services in relation to passports, ID cards and the public registry, the spokesperson continued.
“The tender has not yet been awarded and the tendering process has been vetted and approved by the Department of Contracts. Identity Malta is already operating new offices in Marsa and Mater Dei, and the Agency will continue to offer its service in the most practical way,” the spokesperson said.
The agency is forecast to have made a loss of €6.2 million last year.
According to the agency’s CEO, Identity Malta is taking all the necessary measures to counteract the losses made in 2021 and 2020 by “rationalising” the agency’s operations through better utilisation of resources.
Last year, Muscat pledged €850,000 in passport sale funds for a new lighting system for the Mosta church.
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