Simon Busuttil u l-konkos ta’ Mater Dei

mater_dei

Dal-għodu, il-Kap tal-Opposizzjoni Simon Busuttil, ġo B’Kara, ikkummenta dwar il-Bord tal-Inkjesta li saret dwar Mater Dei.

Ikkummenta fuq il-fatt li wieħed mill-membri tal-Bord tal-Inkjesta kien Karl Cini, l-istess persuna li f’isem in-Nexia BT kien qed jieħu ħsieb it-twaqqif tal-kumpaniji fil-Panama għal Konrad Mizzi, Keith Schembri l-Kasco u oħrajn mhux magħrufa, preżentement fl-aħbarijiet.

Bla dubju l-presenza ta’ Karl Cini fuq dak il-Bord tal-Inkjesta jitfa’ dell fuq il-proċess kollu ta’ investigazzjoni dwar l-isptar Mater Dei, ħlief għall-istat tal-konkos. Għax l-istat tal-konkos huwa riżultat ta’ eżami xjentifiku fil-laboratorji mid-ditta Arup u fil-fatt Karl Cini ma kellu xejn x’jaqsam biex ġie stabilit li l-konkos kien dgħajjef.

Tajjeb li l-Kap tal-Opposizzjoni Simon Busuttil jiftakar f’dak li qal kważi sena ilu meta insista li dawk responsabbli għall-konkos dgħajjef għandhom iwieġbu għal għemilhom. Dakinnhar kien staqsa lil min kien qed jiddefendi l-Gvern ta’ Joseph Muscat. Jiġifieri mhux kontestat li l-konkos hu dgħajjef. Pero għadu mhux stabilit ċar min hu direttament responsabbli għal dan.

Tajjeb li niftakru li reċentement in-Nexia BT li f’isimha aġixxa Karl Cini, riċentment ingħataw inkarigu addattat ħafna mill-Gvern. Il-Ministru tat-Turiżmu inkarighom biex jirrappurtaw dwar il-latrini pubbliċi ta’ Malta u Għawdex. Materja li mid-dehra jifhmu sewwa fiha.

Fuq dan il-blog ara ukoll hawn.

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The hospital’s concrete

concrete sampling

 

The issue came to the fore last September when Minister Konrad Mizzi said that there were problems with constructing additional wards on the Emergency Department of Mater Dei Hospital.  The contractor whose tender had been selected proceeded to carry out the necessary tests to ascertain that the existing buildings had the specified load-bearing properties. It was found that they did not.

All hell broke loose. Questions were asked as to how this was possible. Only one person kept his cool, former Finance Minister Tonio Fenech who, in September ,  declared  that he was not at all surprised by what was being said. He added that he was aware that Skanska, the contractor in charge of the hospital construction project, had repeatedly refused to construct additional floors because (it maintained)  the structure was not designed to carry such additional loads.

How come that only former Minister Tonio Fenech seems to have been aware of the design limitations of the hospital’s concrete?

On the other hand, whilst an inquiry is under way, Minister Konrad Mizzi is unethically disseminating selective titbits of information in order to make heavily loaded political statements.

Arup Group, a UK engineering firm, was commissioned by the government to analyse  the concrete used in the hospital’s structure. The report, which has already been submitted to the government and parts of which are being selectively quoted by Minster Konrad Mizzi, has not yet been published.

Likewise, the government is selectively quoting a waiver agreement between the Foundation for Medical Services and Skanska, signed on the conclusion of the project, presumably putting in writing what had been  agreed when addressing the final list of pending issues between the parties. The quotes being made lead to the conclusion that the waiver agreement was a blanket waiver. In fact, Minister Konrad Mizzi is actively encouraging such a conclusion. A full disclosure of the agreement would make it possible to consider whether the selective quotes are misleading –  as they most probably are.

Contrary to the manner in which the public debate has so far developed, the issue of the hospital concrete is primarily one of quality control on site, that is whether adequate quality control existed on site throughout the duration of the project. Such quality control requires that all concrete used on the Mater Dei project should have been sampled on use and tested according to established standards. Generally speaking, 28  days after use the project management team would have been in possession of the laboratory results on the concrete’s strength.

The questions which logically arise are whether the project managers had results indicating that the concrete supplied was not compatible with the relative specifications and, if such results did in fact materialise,  the manner in which they reacted to them.

The answers to these questions will point to the technical responsibilities arising both professionally and managerially.

Are there political responsibilities? I do not know. However,  the question of political responsibilities could arise if the politicians in charge interfered (directly or indirectly) in the technical decision taking. Political responsibilities  could also arise if the politicians obstructed the Foundation for Medical Services in the performance  of its duties by, for example, withholding funds or by dishing out appointments to persons who were not fit for purpose.

These are undoubtedly issues which the inquiry led by Mr Justice (retired) Philip Sciberras will examine, hopefully in some detail.

The sooner this whole saga comes to an end, the better. It is about time that everybody’s mind is at rest. This includes the taxpayer, who is not yet certain whether he will end up footing the bill.

Published in The Malta Independent on Sunday, 31 May 2015