Renzo Piano's designs for Valletta cost €6.6 million

Renzo Piano's re-imagining of Valletta's City Gate and the new parliament tagged at €6.6 million.

Additional reporting by Nestor Laiviera.

Laparelli’s jaw would have surely dropped at the fees commanded by architect Renzo Piano, who will be paid €6.6 million for his architectural services on the City Gate project. But it’s always less than the customary 10% on the €80 million regeneration of Valletta’s entrance and the new parliament building.

A full list of tenders and direct orders issued by the Grand Harbour Regeneration Corporation shows the maestro has already been paid €2.6 million of his fees, just one of the direct orders issued by the corporation.

As a ‘schedule 3’ corporation, the GHRC can issue contracts without the vetting of the finance ministry or the contracts department, and instead seek permission from Austin Gatt’s infrastructure and transport ministry.

A spokesperson for the GHRC said the corporation is not exempt from “procurement rules but rather it vests in it the responsibilities that the Department of Contracts normally exercises in procurement processes of other public organisations.”

The spokesperson however clarified that in the case of the City Gate Project “all tenders are sent to the Department of Contracts for vetting,” adding that the directive came straight from the Finance Ministry given the considerable investment and public scrutiny.

The GHRC is presently tasked with the adjudication of tenders for City Gate and Parliament Projects in Valletta.

Other schedule 3 entities that can administer their own public procurements are the Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs, Local Councils, the Infrastructure Ministry, MGI, and Mimcol.

This allows all entities falling under these ministries and corporations to seek ministerial consent when choosing whether to adopt ‘restricted’ or ‘negotiated’ procurement procedures.

Even extra costs that exceed the standard 5% variation would require only the consent of the minister responsible.

A full list of tenders and direct orders issued by the Grand Harbour Regeneration Corporation shows the maestro has already been paid €2.6 million of his fees, just one of the direct orders issued by the corporation.

As a ‘schedule 3’ corporation, the GHRC can issue contracts without the vetting of the finance ministry or the contracts department, and instead seek permission from Austin Gatt’s infrastructure and transport ministry.

The rest of some €900,000 in direct orders have gone to Architecture Project for services on the Barrakka Lift and Dock No. 1 projects (€682,500), Architects Studio for services on the Banca Giuratale (€80,000), ADI Associates for the City Gate traffic assessments (€80,000), Design Solutions for services on the Menqa (€34,000) and Demicoli Associates (€30,000) for services on Fort St Elmo.

Another €750,000 of contracts – procured with a request for quotes – will be dispensed to international firms who have already worked with Renzo Piano, such as Harrison Group, Tu Wien GmbH, Muller-BBM and Franck Franjou.

Over €8.3 million in other services were procured by calls for tender: €2.9 million for Bovis Lend Lease project management and €2.8 million for Ove ARUP’s engineering services, while Polidano gets €760,000 for site enablement works and €373,000 to Agius-Camray-Vassallo joint venture for the Opera House ruins’ restoration.

'Schedule 3' motion

A spokesperson for the GHRC said the corporation is not exempt from “procurement rules but rather it vests in it the responsibilities that the Department of Contracts normally exercises in procurement processes of other public organisations.”

The spokesperson however clarified that in the case of the City Gate Project “all tenders are sent to the Department of Contracts for vetting,” adding that the directive came straight from the Finance Ministry given the considerable investment and public scrutiny.

The GHRC is presently tasked with the adjudication of tenders for City Gate and Parliament Projects in Valletta.

Other schedule 3 entities that can administer their own public procurements are the Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs, Local Councils, the Infrastructure Ministry, MGI, and Mimcol.

This allows all entities falling under these ministries and corporations to seek ministerial consent when choosing whether to adopt ‘restricted’ or ‘negotiated’ procurement procedures.

Even extra costs that exceed the standard 5% variation would require only the consent of the minister responsible.

A parliamentary motion presented in May by the Opposition has been in limbo, after calling into question “serious mistakes” in a legal notice which waives the need for certain public contracts to be vetted by the Contracts Department.

The motion draws attention to how Enemalta and the Water Services Corporation are classified as Schedule 5 authorities that make them “free to publish offers without requiring that they be examined by the Contracts Department.”

Similarly, the Grand Harbour Regeneration Corporation (GHRC), the entity tasked with the re-development of the harbour and docks area, can award multi-million euro tenders that are exempt from the checks and balances governing public contracts.

Classified as a “schedule 3 contracting authority”, the GHRC does not require approval of its direct orders from the Finance Ministry or the Contracts Department, but from Austin Gatt’s Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport.

This, the motion points out, “goes against every recommendation put forward by the Auditor General in his report dealing with the Delimara power station extension.”

Labour MPs say the government had approached the Opposition to hold talks before discussing the motion, but any meetings were postponed pending “necessary documentation” to be presented by Finance Minister Tonio Fenech.

Since then, the documentation never materialised, and the talks have been postponed indefinitely.

The first talks were held between Fenech, and Labour MPs Anglu Farrugia, public accounts committee chairman Charles Mangion, Joe Mizzi and Evarist Bartolo.

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Don't you have any decencey, aren't you ashamed to go out in public when you make the people pay high tariffs, bills, taxes etc then splurge €6.6 million on designs alone.? Unbelievable.
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marquette as the saying goes, there are lies, damned lies and PN lies.
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Gonzi always boasts that he has full confidence in the ability of the Maltese people, then why the f.ck he employed a foreigner. Is'nt there any good Maltese Architect? No according to our great bullshit pm. Its always the same with the pn. Lies lies and more lies.
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Disgusting squandering of our taxes for a Fortified Capital City without a gate but a gash in its walls, a roofless theatre and a Parliament on stilts as used by circus clowns to show us how our parliament has been reduced to a circus under Gonsipn. Dwar it-teatru bla saqaf il-Gvern Dimonjukristjan Nazzjonalista lanqas il-Vanġelu ma jaf għax kieku kien jiftakar dwar it-twissija biex qabel tagħmel xi ħaġa ara li tkun kapaċi tagħmilha għax jiġrilek bħal dak li beda jibni torri u spiċċawlu l-flus u waqà għaċ-ċajt man-nies l-oħra. Jew kif kien il-venġelu din il-ġimgħa fejn Re li kien se jiġi attakkat minn ieħor ġie mwissi biex jiżen sewwa s-sitwzzjoni qabel imur jiġġieled li ma jmurx ikun nofs triq u meta jara kemm ikollu suldati inqas mill-ieħor ikollu jibgħat ambaxxata għand min ikun se jattakkah biex jitolbu l-paċi. Hekk ġralu l-Gvern Nazzjonalista ta' Gonzipn. Irid jippriva jagħmel l-affarijiet biex iħalli ismu fl-istorja ta' Malta, imma tassew se jħalli ismu, imma bħala l-aktar Prim Ministru u Gvern arroganti, perċeput korrott u inkompetenti li qatt kellha Malta u li kien il-kaġun tal-falliment ta' pajjiżna. L-aħħar elezzjoni ġiet misruqa minn Gonzipn, imma kif jgħid il-qawl Malti "Alla ma jħallasx bin-nhar ta' Sibt" u dak li ħaseb li se jkollu jiffaċċja Alfred Sant bit-tbażwir u d-diżastru li għamlu huma kellu jiffaċċjaħ huwa stess. Issa Alla jilliberana għax m'għandix l-iċken dubju li d-dejn li se jsib Der Joseph Muscat mhux dawk l-4.5 BILJUNI li jidhru, imma ħafna u ħafna aktar u Alla biss jaf x'hemm moħbi. Kif jitla l-Partit Laburista għandu jgħaddi liġi li kulħdd, inklużi l-Ministru u dawk kollha li kellhom sehem fid-diżastru ta' pajjiżna jridu jagħti kont ta' għemilhom u ma jkun hemm l-ebda preskrizzjoni.
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Monique Cauchi
Absolutely disgusting. At least the Germans didn't charge when they destroyed the look of the capital!
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Nahseb li Gonzi u Austin Gatt tghid ma hadux COMMISION MIN DAWN 6.6 MILJUNI lll perit PIANO mhux ta bxejn ma ridux jisimhu min HADD fuq dan il KUNTRATT HUWA COMMISIION TA 6.6 MILLJUNI TISWA
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Laparelli’s jaw would have surely dropped at the fees commanded by architect Renzo Piano, who will be paid €6.6 million for his architectural services on the City Gate project. unbelievable but true- these god-like ,all of them will end with only thier head as a statue or their names just written on the wall- that only will be left, from thier psycho of a god-like-

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