[WATCH] PN requests Auditor General investigation into St Vincent de Paul cleaning direct orders

PN leader Adrian Delia said the direct orders were abusive and illegal, stressing that the PN would continue to demanding transparency in the government’s administration of public funds and land

Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia said the PN had asked for an investigation by the Auditor General's office
Nationalist Party leader Adrian Delia said the PN had asked for an investigation by the Auditor General's office

The Nationalist Party has requested an investigation by the Office of the Auditor General into direct orders amounting to €9 million, that have been handed to cleaning company operating at the St Vincent De Paul home for the elderly.

Speaking during an interview on Net FM, Delia said the country’s public procurement regulations needed to be respected and that the government needed to be transparent in the way it was using public funds. “Public funds do not belong to the government or to Joseph Muscat or Edward Scicluna or Konrad Mizzi,” he said

He said that rather than ensuring that money was being spent transparently, the government was doing the opposite by dishing out direct orders in a manner that did not conform with the regulations.

Delia said that the fact that a cleaning company had been handed €9 million in direct orders in three years. “This is illegal. This is abuse.”

The PN, he said, had requested that the Auditor General’s office investigate the contract and determine whether public funds are being spent properly. The PN would continue to vigilant and to watch over the government in order to ensure that the public’s land and its funds are administered in the best possible manner.

Turning to the Corinthia deal, which has been withdrawn before being resubmitted to parliament following consultations. Delia said the government was willing to give the public’s land to a single company, “not for it to invest in tourism, but for speculation”.

He said the proposed deal would allow the International Hotel Investments - the company behind the proposed development – to sell residential units to others. “So this company can get land for free and then sell it to others to make a profit.”

He said the PN had met over the Christmas period and had taken a position and said that it would not vote on the deal.

Delia said that after having asked more questions, the PN had taken a position against the deal, with Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi informing parliament last week that he was withdrawing the proposal and would be submitting a new one in the coming days.  

“Yesterday the Nationalist Party gave the people a win,” he said, adding however that the “battle was not over”.

The PN would continue to oppose the project until it was convinced that the country was getting the most it could possibly could from it.

Turning to the possibility of widespread irregularities in the way in which utility billing company ARMS was charging customers, Delia accused the company of trying to get a case filed by two private individuals thrown out.

“This is a private case but it affects many people. What is being said in this case, the PN has been saying for a long time,” he said.

The PN had analysed hundreds of bills and could prove that customers were being shortchanged. He reiterated that if the government did not return to people the money that had been stolen from them, the PN would see that every cent is returned once it is in power.

Finally, Delia referred to reports of students being taught in mobile classrooms because of large influx of new students. He said the government, after having repeatedly showed a lack of respect towards educators, was now also disrespecting children. “Children learn in containers in third world countries. If this isn’t a certificate of the government’s failure in this sector I don't know what is.”

  

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