MEPA contract with CEO’s former firm extended till 2013

MEPA claims 'firmly established' relationship with Abela Stafrace & Associates.

The contract between the Malta Environment and Planning Authority and private firm Abela Stafrace & Associates has been extended for another two years without a public call for tenders.  The main representatives of the firm are staunch Labourite supporters.  The Labour party has been critical in the past of the arbitrary issuing of direct orders.

Ian Stafrace resigned from the firm when he was appointed as Chief Executive of MEPA in March 2011, without any public call for applications.

The legal firm is now run by three partners all in their early thirties; Robert Abela, a prospective Labour candidate and son of President George Abela; his wife Lydia Abela, who also serves as the PL’s Executive Secretary and Dr Ian Vella Galea.

The contract was extended for a further two years by the MEPA Board in May 2011, a spokesperson confirmed. The Authority is still awaiting confirmation of the appointment from the Ministry of Finance.

MEPA justifies not issuing a call for expression of interests or public tender on the basis of its “firmly established” relationship with the company.

“The MEPA Board had discussed this matter and felt that the working relationship with this firm had been very firmly established and their knowledge regarding matters related to the Environment and Planning Act has reached considerable depth. It also considered that the retainer was still at a very competitive rate.”

The same rates and conditions as in the previous contract will apply.

The company is paid an annual sum of €30,281 plus VAT excluding taxed court fees. Other legal services are being offered at the rate of €46.60 per hour, plus VAT.

The company has been handling MEPA’s caseload since April 2001 when it was chosen after a call for expression of interest. No subsequent calls for expression of interest were issued.

Apart form Abela Stafrace & Associates, another legal firm Grech Vella Tortell & Hyzler – Advocates, also offers legal services to MEPA mainly with regards to Planning Area Permits Board (PAPB) cases.

Dr Andrew Borg Cardona offers legal advice on Human resources and trade union issues.

The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
Seems to me like a balancing act!
@James Debono At least you should have had the decency to say what the numeration Grech Vella Tortell &Hyzler get and the same goes Dr A.Borg Cardona, since you saw fit to mention what Abela Stafrace and Ass. get paid. . You should also name the people making up Grech Vella Tortell & Hyzler and see if they are staunch nationalist for fairness sake, but then I am asking too much of you James.