Konrad Mizzi’s Projects Malta overspends by €2m on its €1m budget

Published: January 13, 2017 at 10:31am

Projects Malta, the state corporation which works on all of the government’s major deals and for which Konrad Mizzi has been the minister responsible since March 2013, has overspent its €1.1 million budget for 2016 by €1.93 million.

It was not Mizzi himself who replied to questions in parliament yesterday about this overspending, but the Prime Minister in whose office Mizzi is now sheltered. Muscat attributed the unplanned tripling of Projects Malta’s expenditure in a single year to “project management fees and legal services”. €1.6 million of the additional funds went to lawyers and consultants.

The information was given in parliament in response to a question put by shadow health minister Claudettee Buttigieg. The Prime Minister told Mrs Buttigieg that Projects Malta needed the extra €2 million because of its “ambitious projects to improve people’s lives”.

Projects Malta has worked on all the controversial big deals which have raised suspicions of corruption, and on which Konrad Mizzi signed off.

€600,000 of the taxpayer funds given to Projects Malta were passed on to Trade Malta, an unacceptable company in which the shareholding is jointly held by the Chamber of Commerce and the government of Malta, and Yachting Malta, an equally unacceptable company in which the government of Malta and the Royal Malta Yacht Club are joint shareholders.

The Chamber of Commerce’s role is to protect business interests by acting as a check on, not a partner with, the government. And the government has no business partnering up with a yacht club. Clubs should be independent of the government. Some of the money also went to the Mrieħel Foundation, which was set up to maintain that industrial zone. Again, this is not the business of Projects Malta or a foundation.