Finance Minister asks for report on claims of massive direct order for elderly home

Edward Scicluna says he has not approved any direct order to the tune of €274 million for the construction of a 500-bed extension to the St Vincent de Paul home for the elderly

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna
Finance Minister Edward Scicluna

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna has asked the director of contracts to draw up a report on claims that government was on the cusp of approving a €274 million direct order.

The case concerns a news report that appeared in The Sunday Times of Malta, which quoted sources saying the government was about to change a catering contract at St Vincent de Paul into a €274 million direct order.

READ ALSO: Government mum on elderly home billed as record €274 million direct order

The beneficiaries of what is being labelled an unorthodox contract are James Caterers and the db Group. While the consortium was selected to provide catering services for the State home for the elderly, it appears they will also build a 500-bed extension, which has bumped up the price.

A direct order to that tune would be a record sum and will have to be approved by the Finance Ministry.

But asked by MaltaToday on Monday afternoon about the matter, Scicluna said no such approval had been sought. “I have not approved a direct order of that sort and nothing has come before me,” the Finance Minister said.

Scicluna added that he asked the director of contracts to draw up a report on the claims made by the newspaper.

The Sunday Times said it had received no replies from the government and a freedom of information request had also been refused.

More in National