The case against outgoing EU ambassador Richard Cachia Caruana has all the ingredients that point to a frame-up as it seems to be characterised by false accusations that are only aimed at tarnishing the integrity, seriousness and character of someone whom everyone knows as an honest person, Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said yesterday. In a recorded interview on the PN’s radio station, Radio 101 yesterday, Dr Gonzi said Labour MP Joe Mizzi has made serious drug-related allegations, which he failed to act upon as minister responsible for the police during the Alfred Sant government. Nationalist MP Jeffrey Pullicino Orlando has called for the expulsion of outgoing EU ambassador Richard Cachia Caruana from the PN, claiming he colluded with the 1996-1998 PL administration, and a few days ago Mr Mizzi claimed he had been informed about a cocaine party on board a yacht, and that following Mr Cachia Caruana’s intervention, the police had gone to search a different yacht. According to Mr Mizzi, the people on board the yacht where the cocaine party was being held were friends of Mr Cachia Caruana. Mr Cachia Caruana has asked the police to institute criminal libel proceedings against Mr Mizzi. Dr Gonzi asked: “What action had Minister Joe Mizzi taken? Why had he remained silent when faced with such a serious drug-related allegation?”(independent.com.mt) False accusations are very serious.
Air Malta invests €3.5m in new ground services airport equipment
Air Malta has committed an investment of €3.5 million in new ground service equipment specifically for airport environment use. The business case for this heavy investment was to modernise the airline’s ground handling capabilities and service delivery standards and offer both Air Malta’s customers as well as third party airlines a high quality ground services package. The list of equipment purchased comprises 35 vehicles and other airport units that include high-reach mobile passenger steps, ground power units, airport buses, loader transporters, electric tow tractors, ambulifts, air starter units, fork-lifters, cargo dollies, baggage and cargo carts and various trucks. A tendering process was followed for the purchase of this equipment. This investment will not only standardise and modernise all Air Malta’s airport ground equipment fleet but will also reduce operating costs for the airline. The ground power vehicles purchased, which supply electric power to aircraft whilst on the ground, operate at less than one forth the cost of their corresponding power units (Auxiliary Power Units) found onboard aircraft. €2.3million worth of equipment has already been delivered. The rest will be delivered in the next six months. Speaking about this investment, Peter Davies, Chief Executive of Air Malta said: “We are taking a comprehensive review of every element of the organisation, not only at a financial turnaround. This investment is part of the airline’s restructuring efforts aimed at offering all our customers, both individual travellers and corporate airline clients, the best in high quality services and increase confidence in their airline of choice.(independent.com.mt) Investing is always good for business.
Supply of LPG not mixed with mercaptan broke contract conditions
Enemalta Corporation's Chief Financial Officer told the House Public Accounts Committee this evening that the corporation could have gone to court when its supplier of LPG unilaterally decided to send consignments without mercaptan mixed in as specified in the tender, but decided to accept the imposition and have the noxious substance added in Malta. The law would have been on its side. Mr Anton Galea, who joined the corporation in 2009, was answering questions in a sitting of the committee hearing of witnesses in connection with the inquiry into the alleged irregular disposal of the chemical mercaptan by Enemalta. He said Enemalta's contract with its supplier mentioned specific minimum and maximum concentration levels of mercaptain in LPG consignments in just one or two lines. Even so, after mixed initial consignments, the supplier had simply sent a communication saying that mercaptan would henceforth be sent to Malta in 10 tanks, for local mixing, because of health hazards it created in the refinery and on board ships if pre-mixed with the LPG. Asked if that did not raise the possibility of problems at a local level, he said the problem had been underestimated because Enemalta did not have the technical personnel or capacities required for the task. Mr Galea also said that when Standard & Poor's had downgraded the corporation in January 2011, its overriding concern had been not so much the lack of an internal audit mechanism at institutional level as the slow pace of publishing its accounts – up to three years in late – making them immediately outdated. To date, Enemalta still did not have a formal internal audit set-up of its own. The issue of introducing internal audit answering to the board of directors was still being evaluated at board level.(timesofmalta.com) The law is on the side of those who know how to control it.