‘Why am I here?’: David Spiteri Gingell questions request for his testimony in parliament

‘I don’t see why I’m here,’ consultant David Spiteri Gingell tells MPs who requested he testify in front of the public accounts committee

Inset: David Spiteri Gingell
Inset: David Spiteri Gingell

Management consultant David Spiteri Gingell was perplexed in front of the public accounts committee on Tuesday, wondering why has been asked to testify on his time as Enemalta chief – a time that precedes the events in the Electrogas audit report.

The public accounts committee is examining the Auditor General’s report on the contracts awarded to Electrogas Ltd by state entity Enemalta years after Spiteri Gingell left his post at Enemalta.

“I already testified in front of the PAC in 2010 and 2013, on the context of the actions and strategy decisions I took as chief executive… I still don’t see why I’m here to answer questions I already answered twice to this committee on the same topic,” he told the MPs on the committee.

Spiteri Gingell was called to testify by the Labour MPs on the committee in an attempt to refish the BWSC saga. The saga concerns a contract with Danish company BWSC on a new power station built in the Gonzi administration, when a decision was taken to continue operating on heavy fuel oil.

This decision was taken despite Enemalta’s strategic report suggesting the country start shifting to gas.

The strategic report was Spiteri Gingell’s making – his last move as CEO of Enemalta.

‘The Titanic after it hit the iceberg’

During the committee meeting, Spiteri Gingell described Enemalta as “the Titanic after it hit the iceberg”.

He said there were highly-skilled people on its payroll, and he had a good relationship with the General Workers’ Union at the time. “However, there were a number of difficult situations,” he said.

Spiteri Gingell said Enemalta had no strategy until Austin Gatt became the minister responsible for the entity. He also said he held “no respect” towards Tonio Fenech, who was finance minister under the Gonzi administration.

Indeed, Spiteri Gingell’s clashes with the finance ministry at the point sparked his resignation from Enemalta and MITA.

When Spiteri Gingell testified in front of the public accounts committee in 2013, he said he plead to the finance ministry several times to enroll more personnel at Enemalta. However, the call fell on deaf ears, prompting his resignation.

“It was a waste of time… decisions which should be taken by the CEO were taken in Strait Street,” he had told the committee in 2013.