Austin Gatt on Enemalta fuel procurement: ‘I’m not interested’

Austin Gatt, who between 2003 and 2010 was responsible for Enemalta Corporation, says he is ‘not interested’ in what the Auditor General had to say on the operations of the fuel procurement committee.

Austin Gatt: not interested in NAO findings on Enemalta's fuel procurement 'policy vacuum'
Austin Gatt: not interested in NAO findings on Enemalta's fuel procurement 'policy vacuum'

Former Nationalist minister Austin Gatt has declared he is not interested in the findings of a damning report by the Auditor General on the state of Enemalta's fuel procurement committee during his tenure in government between 2008 and 2010.

"I am not interested in anything you are writing," Gatt, formerly the investments minister under whose responsibility Enemalta fell, told MaltaToday.

The former minister, who also captained the Nationalists' electoral campaign in 2013, calmly reiterated that he "was not interested" when pressed on the fact that the NAO's report specifically dealt with Enemalta during his time as minister.

Enemalta was later passed under the responsibility of finance minister Tonio Fenech in early 2010.

"If you want a general comment, the comment I keep telling everyone, is that I am now out of the political scene," he said.

Gatt is now chairman of the Hili Group, a major player in the maritime industry.

In its scathing report on Enemalta's fuel procurement committee between 2008 and mid-2011, the NAO flagged the lack of a policy framework by which the committee operated between 2008 and 2010.

Prior to the formulation of a fuel procurement policy in January 2011, Enemalta's fuel procurement function "was effectively operating in a policy vacuum", the NAO said.

The inquiry found poor instances of record-keeping and corresponding fuel procurement meeting minutes lacked "the most rudimentary level of detail and bore no information relating to meeting discussions and decisions taken".

"Besides being handwritten and mostly undecipherable, these minutes also lacked a basic record of Committee members present," the NAO said, adding it found it a problem to effectively audit the decision-making process.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has called on Opposition leader Simon Busuttil to issue "a clear statement" on the shortcomings flagged by the Auditor General.

"We are talking about government's biggest procurement, and the matter becomes more serious due to the presidential pardon given on a case involving the procurement of fuel by Enemalta," Muscat said yesterday.

Pointing out that the NAO's report was not commissioned by the Labour administration - but on request of Labour MP Leo Brincat during the preceding, Nationalist government - Muscat said someone should shoulder the responsibility for the "abysmal shortcomings" and that Busuttil must come out with a clear stand.

He also questioned whether Gatt's successor, Tonio Fenech, had taken all measures to address the problems.

"As Prime Minister, I cannot understand how the procurement of fuel which runs into millions of euros every month, were taken as if it were four people meeting for coffee with limited minutes jotted down," he said.

The report however does concede that "real and tangible progress was subsequently registered from mid-2011 onwards".

Following a Cabinet reshuffle in 2010, the ministerial responsibility of Enemalta was transferred to Tonio Fenech.

"It is very difficult for me to comment on the actual NAO report, since it focused on what happened before I took over the corporation," Fenech told MaltaToday.

"If anything, the report gives me the biggest certificate as it recognises the necessary steps which had to take place and which I took."

Fenech, now the Opposition's spokesman for finance, said he had immediately commissioned a review of the tendering procedure and a specific policy was drawn up.

"We modified it to make the process more transparent, something which the Auditor General acknowledges," he said.

Fenech insisted he did his best to improve the situation when he took over in 2010. "I felt fuel procurement was a sensitive issue and the review commissioned had brought about recommendations which were implemented effectively," he said.

Fenech said at the time, no one knew about the oil scandal and his decision to make the committee more transparent had stemmed from his "own initiative".

Reacting to the Prime Minister's comments, Fenech said if he thought there were other shortcomings which were not addressed, he should then "explain why the same Enemalta management was retained".

Acknowledging the poor record-keeping was "a serious failure", he insisted this was not a minister's responsibility but the management's.

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Coward, idiot and arrogant.
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JIEN MA NISTENNIX AGJAR MINN DAN L-AKTAR BNIEDEM ARROGANTI LI QATT RAT MALTA. IMMA MILL GVERN NISTENNA HAFNA. GHANDU JINVESTIGAH MHUX BILLI M'GHADUX FIL POLITIKA U ISSA QIEGHED IGAWDI L-FLUS LI RNEXXILU JAGHMEL MINN FUQ DAHARNA. JEKK KELLU X'JAQSAM MAL KORRUZZJONI GHANDU JIEHU DAK LI HAQQU. JWEKK MA JIGRIX HEKK IL GVERN IKUN KOMPLICI.
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Inkissru, nfarrku u wara nahslu idejna. Sewwa wisq.
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Billi mhux interessat imma ahna nteressati sur arroganti gatt. Il gvern ghandu d-dmir li jinvestiga lil dal bniedem li issa qed igawdi frott ghemilu. jekk ma jiehux passi ikun komplici u l-paroli li sar qabel l-elezzjoni ta accountability jisfa fix xejn.Irridu gustizzje ma dal bniedem li kellu parti kbira it tort tat tkaxkira li ha l-PN. anke shabu jmisshom ipattuhilu talli kissrilhom partit.
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Dear Dr. Gatt It is true that you are now out of politics, but a real statesman would still shoulder responsibility and at least provide feedback to the citizens on the wrongdoings done by his actions or subordinates. It is easy to first scoop the money, do what you please and then run away, without any explanation to gross errors which the country has to pay. Kind regards Keith ZD
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Arroganti? Mhemx xi kelma ohra li tispjega li din il forma ta bniedem?
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Arroganti? Mhemx xi kelma ohra li tispjega li din il forma ta bniedem?
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Arroganti? Mhemx xi kelma ohra li tispjega li din il forma ta bniedem?
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Not interested my foot ! You as EX -Minister is still liable for the descrepancies on oil`s procurement and should answer for your deeds. Taxpayers needs more explanations !
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Il-bully spicca ta` kodart. Daqshekk il-klikka. Rih ta` siegha naddaf lilu u l-min tah ir-rih li jaghmel li jrid u kisru pajjiz u partit!!Ma nafx kif ma jisthux jidhru quddiem in-nies.
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He is not interested as yet. He will become VERY interested if Government does the right thing as sets up an inquiry into what went on and the culprits brought to justice!
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Hadd wara hadd tasal ta kulhadd Buffu !! You are the a very arrogant stuck up piece of crap and once the whistleblower act starts rolling I'm sure that your name will show up somewhere ...So sleep easy for now because time will judge you very soon ..In the meantime keep milking the cow within the hili group, commissions comes to mind !!!!! and don't forget your Swiss account...it happened once if you remember well !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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There is no doubt about the arrogance of this ex-minister. It's true however that there were politicians before him who were equally endowed with this virtue, like the one who used to say 'Jien nitnejjek mill-kostituzjoni ghax ma ktibtix jien' and several others who were in this man's cabinet some of whom passed away or are ministers today. Indeed, AG also has competition from some greenhorns in the current cabinet, and this after a mere 100 odd days in their post. This apart, how does a minister feature into the matter of how a parastatal company keeps its minutes? Do we really believe that any minister has ever or will ever be involved in such matters? We must be realistic.
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In other words; he does`nt give a s--t.
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Rita Pizzuto
Da zgur li Wistin ma jimpurtahx! Da zgur li Wistin ma regax hareg bhala kandidat ghall-elezzjoni? Kien jaf fejn qed jonfoh ir-rih u ma ridx li jkun membri parliamentari fi gvern tal-labour ghax kien ikollu jwiegbek lill-parliament. X'misthija u x'arroganza. Ipprova jehles minn umiljazzjoni Akbar milli kellu il-Partit tieghu. Imma kif ma jisthux?
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Fine! We know this clown's position (and that of his fellow PN travellers) on the subject matter. But what steps are the Police and the present administration taking to bring all to book????? Should George Farrugia still enjoy the Presidential pardon, even though many are beginning to believe that this was awarded for no other reason than to not mention certain names????? Go on Joseph show us you really care!!!!
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Go fly a kite. So Austin Gatt is not interested anymore in all the fiasco he created while he was a Minister? He is no longer responsible for the fiasco he created ever since he brought Arriva to Malta? What a disaster that turned out to be. And how about the fiasco he created rebuilding the Mellieha overpass? And now his indifference about the Eenemalta discrepancies? What about the way he oversaw the incompetence of Transport Malta? The best one is that he forgot to mention his inheritance of thousands of euros placed in a foreign bank to avoid paying taxes like the rest of us do.. Miskin, This man has no conscience to speak of and hopefully, very soon it will all catch up with him and he will have to answer to somebody or other, or will he? How arrogant of him to act as Julius Ceasar and wash this whole thing of his hands. No conscience whatsoever. Throw the first rock and runs away. I think he will have a lot to say if the Auditor General or the present government decides to file charges and have him stand accountable in a court of law.
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This man has to answer for his actions. It will happen soon enough. His arrogance is an affront to the Maltese people, our legal system, and our laws. If he gets out of this scott free then the message being given is nothing short of an encouragement to lawlessness, graft and corruption, encouraging others to follow in his dirty footsteps.
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Fenech milli jidher irid jipprova jahsel idejh ukoll 'Acknowledging the poor record-keeping was "a serious failure", he insisted this was not a minister's responsibility but the management's' mela Ministru ta x'hiex hu responsabbli, biex jidher jaqta xi zigarella fuq it-TV, jew jakwista xi rigal ghax jiggustawh, hallina Ton u mur qerr. Ghoqod attent li ma tarax il-Madonna tibki bis-serjeta minnhabba l-miljuni li gew sparpaljati jew ??????
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Not interested. Ma jinteressanix. Attitudni irresponsabli li ma tistax tigi issuperata. Nahseb li jekk jigi mistoqsi dwar l-iskandlu tal Fairmounth, li gabet id-Drydocks arkubtejja, il qassata ta' l-Arriva, l-art fil Qawra li kienet tiswa Lm 10 mijuni (jew €23.3. miljun)li qal li din mhix tal-kumpanija Go, jghid l'istess "ma hinix interessat". Nistaqsih lill Dr. Austin Gatt ta x;hiex hu interessat. Joqod jaghmel is-sommom ta kemm miljuni tharbtu taht id-dekasteri tieghu meta kien jaghmel parti mil gvern ta Gonzi PN. Ha naraw x'se jigri mill-kumpanija li issa hu Chairman taghha jekk jigriliex l-istess. Hallina Dr Gatt, nisperaw f-Alla li z-zejt jitla f'wicc l-ilma, ghakemm anke jekk ma jitlax ikollok trid u ma tridx tidher quddiem imhallef li ma tghidlux li ma jinteressakx
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Jekk ma issirx gustizzja il-poplu ghandu jipprottesta. Dan ma ghandu xejn specjali aktar minni u minnek. Ghadhom ukoll jirrispodu ta madwaru. Justice Delayed is Justice denied. Justice is there for one and ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL
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i guess you were not going to post my comment as the founder of powerplan
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WHY IS HE NOT INTERESTED? IS HE ALSO NOT INTERESTED IN THE TAX THAT HE SHOULD HAVE PAID ON THE INTEREST EARNED FROM THE INVESTMENT THAT HE HAS IN SWITZERLAND? U AKTAR ARA GEJ AKTAR……In 2002 those who had foreign investments should have had registered them under the Investment Registered Scheme and paid a fee of 5% on the holdings. Can the ministry of finance and the Central Bank make the necessary checking to ensure that all dues on this investment (we not talking about an investment of €1000) were paid. If the value of his investment 11 years ago was 500,000 euros the amount due was 25,000 euros. If investment was not declared we the people of this country want the authorities to make him pay the fee, the fine and the interest accrued on the unpaid fee. Also if the law permits his investment should be forfeited in favour of the government of Malta. We want action from the new Government. Since the price of commodities and services were hiked year after year and we were paying higher prices for the inefficiencies of others, the new Government must do something to show that he cares about what the citizens had to endure in the past years under the PN. If no action is taken, especially against this arrogant person (he was and still is) dear PL leaders forget our votes...and we are not joking. For example, if someone who was involved in other a crime s/he cannot say that s/he does not care about what was done. So the law is equal to all and it is time to put someone behind bars to answer for the mismanagement. After all Dr Pullicino was put behind bars for something that he did not do (ok he was the person responsible for the police but he did not commit a crime), but still with dawwar minn hawn u dawwar minn hemm he was sent to prison. So why those who committed gross mismanagement and inflated the Debt Account to almost 5 billion euros, are not held accountable and like others are put behind bars. We all hope that the ball starts rolling and those responsible are brought before the courts to answer for their actions. Again, my vote and those of many others will be invalidated if no one is held accountable. I am mentioning the vote because it is a means to sanction or not the work of the government.
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Not interested anymore..... li kellu jiehu, hadu! U jien inhallas it-taxxa ghal wiccu!
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I think that as decency would have it, unless they are all cut out of the same material, his fellow party compatriots should be interested, to say the least, at how affairs were carried out under his direct responsibility, but then this enthroned but not defunct king has ridden roughshod over one and all, even his pals, so many times, that he would 'nt know how to behave differently even if he tried. If he won't take responsibility over this sad state of affairs, who will? As the maltese saying goes 'iz zejt jitla f' wicc l ilma' pun intended
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the true fact of the matter is commission is paid and is still being paid today, that is how it works the only reason george got cought was GREED. whoever is supplying now has a local agent and that agent pays out (FACT) who he pays it to is the greed factor. I am a trader and have been for a while and get a little bit tired when the media thinks this should not happen, lets live in the real world everyone wants there share so just payit the bottom line is a tender was won by being cheaper and paying off the rite people
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Austin Gatt as always arrogant and obnoxious. He may not face earthly justice but there is the ultimate justice who nobody is free from it.
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Arrogant as before. He is not interested, but I am. He was responsible of spending my tax money. Is there no law that will bring this arrogant bully down to size?
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L`aqwa li mela butu u but il-familja tieghu u mar jinvestijom fi Zvizera u miskin nesa` jiddekjarhom biex ma jhallas taxxa. Imbaghad bicca haddiem ghax jaqla` polkerija jitnaqasslu 15%. Veru pajjiz taz-zibel u l-ligi qeghda ghaz-zghir, ghall-fqir. Qisu ma gara xejn. Veru tellajna gvern ghall-moxt u l-mera tajjeb ghax ma jinqala` ghall-xejn hlief ghall-paroli u z`zghir baqa` fqir, u tal-qalba staghannew bil-flus.Muscat u shabu marru l-ahjar ghax huma saru l-allat u l-poplu spicca taht ir-riglejn.Mormi fil-landa taz-zibel.
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You may not be interested, my friend, but we are!
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What arrogance!When is this person going to be stopped taking the maltese society for a ride??!!
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Mhux hekk ! Ta' pastaz li hu minghalih li hu xi gran alla.
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L-operat ta dan il-Ministru hu xokkanti Simon; il-fatt li ma iddikjarax eluf kbar ta ewros fis-secret swiss bank hu xokkanti Simon; l-arroganza bla qies, bla limitu, il-ksieh u l-paroli fil-vojt huma xokkanti Simon! Ahjar tmorru kollha go kunvent l-ex ministri Simon, u toqghodu tahsbu ftit ghala aktar ma naraw wicckom aktar tqabadna in-nawsja; specjalment issa li wara 25 sean ta orgja politika u bla kontrol tridu tilghabuha tal-vergni bil-moral high values taghkom! Mela hsibtuna cwiec ergajtu?
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L-operat ta dan il-Ministru hu xokkanti Simon; il-fatt li ma iddikjarax eluf kbar ta ewros fis-secret swiss bank hu xokkanti Simon; l-arroganza bla qies, bla limitu, il-ksieh u l-paroli fil-vojt huma xokkanti Simon! Ahjar tmorru kollha go kunvent l-ex ministri Simon, u toqghodu tahsbu ftit ghala aktar ma naraw wicckom aktar tqabadna in-nawsja; specjalment issa li wara 25 sean ta orgja politika u bla kontrol tridu tilghabuha tal-vergni bil-moral high values taghkom! Mela hsibtuna cwiec ergajtu?
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As a Maltese citizen I am interested about Mr.Austin Gatt's fuel procurement and I believe other fellow citizens too. Mr.Gatt has to answer!!!!
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Well, that's a great example of poking two fingers at the general electorate. Still, it was only millions of euros of public money involved. There again this gentleman did forget he had a Swiss bank account and the general consumer did keep Enemalta running by paying off most of its dues to ARMS Limited. Yep, we were certainly in great hands. ALBERT FENECH
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Ara x'qalilkom dan l-aktar persuna arroganti li qatt rat Malta. Mhux interessat x'qal l-uffiċċju ta' l-Awditur Generali u ma jħossux responsabbli ta' dawk il-ħnizrijiet li ġraw taħt il-Ministeru tiegħu. Malta kollha għanda izzomm responsabbli lill-dan il-bniedem għall inkompitenza kbira li wera meta kien obligat li jara li ma jsirux ħnizrijiet ta' dan it-tip.
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L-arroganza ma hemmx tarf ghaliha.
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ARROGANCE at its very best!!! What a relief that this Austin Gatt in no longer involved in Politics!!!! Gooooooooood Riddance !!!!!!!!!!!!
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One wonders what a minister's responsibilities are. None apparently. Yet many still vote for these clowns. Don't know who to despise more really.
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First of all Malta thanks Maltatoday for exposing your Ministerial Millions euros oil buying scandal.If the ex Minister keep saying that he is not interested anymore and now is living in serenity is mistaken.Now,with the whistleblower act passed in Parliament,no one is safe anymore as he thinks.
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Austin Gatt fu***d up the PN and left, LOL.
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One and all should be responsible for our actions. I suggest that Political immunity is removed. No one should be above the Law, and Justice should be there also for one and ALL no matter who you are and how big your balls are. If justice isn't done with one and all then ALL POLITICIANS ARE CORRUPT. THEY SHOULD NOT PRACTICE SCRATCH MY BACK AND I SCRATCH YOURS. I (the People of Malta and Gozo) want to elect the next President who should have executive powers. The president should also be equal and should be liable for prosecution and imprisonment like me.
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Paul Sammut
"Fenech insisted he did his best to improve the situation when he took over in 2010. "I felt fuel procurement was a sensitive issue and the review commissioned had brought about recommendations which were implemented effectively," he said." So he knew that things were foul.Why did he not investigate thoroughly, bring the culprits to book and get them to return the monies back in Malta's coffers? That was his duty not the managements. One must remember that Millions if not billions were ripped off the population's back. Looks dirty, much more that fuel oil.
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You can see why 38000 votes change party. PN supporters thank you Austin Gatt for F---- the party.
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Not interested? Is that why he didn't contest again because he knew what had happened. I suggest that he be held responsible and pay for his incompetence. Common workers are always held accountable and pay for any mistakes they do, so why not a minister?