Update 3 - Acting chairman says CEO was wrong to have taken laptop, documents, when he resigned

Dr Spiteri Bailey (right) replies to questions by MPs.

Dr Spiteri Bailey (right) replies to questions by MPs.

Updated - William Spiteri Bailey, Acting Chairman of Enemalta in 2011, said today that CEO, Carl Camilleri was wrong when he took a laptop with company information, as well as documents, when he resigned.

Replying to questions by members of the House Public Accounts Committee, Dr Spiteri Bailey said his understand at the time was that Mr Camilleri would not be taking any company information with him.

During the committee meeting, MPs continued to question members of Enemalta's Fuel Procurement Committee, homing in particularly on any oil imports which were 'off spec' (did not conform to contract specifications).

A letter by Mantoine D'Ambrogio manager internal audit of Enemalta, was read at the start of the sitting at the request of Labour MP Justyne Caruana.

Mr d'Amborgio said that a shipment referred to in previous sittings was made in December 2010 and had been accepted by Enemalta CEO Karl Camilleri due to a low level of stocks at the time.  However, supplier Trafigura was fined $250,000 for this shortcoming and severely warned.

Mr D'Ambrogio said that Enemalta was forced to accept a number of out-of-spec deliveries in 2011 but pointed out that the annual average of sulphur content was below the 0.7 per cent threshold.

He also noted that following September 2011, further out-of-spec consignments would lead to a $400,000 fine.

Dr Caruana requested that Mr D'Ambrogio be summoned in the future.

The sitting then continued with further questioning of Janice Mercieca, Enemalta risk manager. 

Replying to questions by committee chairman Jason Azzopardi, Ms Mercieca said that the fact that no minutes of Procurement Committee meetings were taken did not necessarily imply any wrongdoing, adding that every committee member knew exactly about their role.

Regarding the Auditor's claim that there was no policy on fuel procurement she admitted that as far as she knew, there was no policy.

However she said that a report commissioned by Roderick Chalmers about hedging, could be considered as a proper policy on hedging.

Labour MP Chris Agius asked deputy auditor Charles Deguara whether Mr D'Ambrogio had been previously employed with the NAO. Mr Deguara confirmed that the Enemalta official  had been engaged by the NAO but clarified that he had not worked on the fuel procurement report.

Replying to questions by Opposition MP Beppe Fenech Adami, Ms Mercieca said that since the publication of the report, she was not approached by the police to provide information about out-of-spec consignments.

This next witness summoned was William Spiteri Bailey, who served as Enemalta acting chairman. He said there was never any interference in the proceedings of the Fuel Procurement Committee.

He said he had worked to usher in a written fuel procurement policy not because he suspected wrongdoing in the past, but because he was not comfortable by the way, how, for example, bids were submitted through an e-mail to the chairman. He had wanted to see more transparency in the procurement process.

Dr Spiteri Bailey said that the implementation of the procurement policy was accelerated following an incident on 18 January 2011, when a bid by Totsa was not discussed whena contract for fuel oil was discussed. The bid had been overlooked since it was marked as a private email. The IT department had said that the bid had been submitted prior to the deadline and therefore it was later considered. However, it then transpired that the bid did not meet security of stock requirements and it was discarded.

Asked about the practice of not keeping any minutes of fuel procurement meetings, he said that that was the practice till 18 January 2011. Things changed as from 26 May 2011 when the new policy came into force.

Asked by Labour MP Owen Bonnici on the reason for such urgency to introduce the policy, he said that the email could have been accessed by non authorised people. He said that when he had learned of this old system he immediately felt the need to increase security and improve transparency.  He clarified that the new policy was based on the old practices bar the security procedures such as the password protected email to submit the bids. 


Asked how the CEO Carl Camilleri had taken his company laptop when he resigned, Dr Spiteri Bailey said that during a meeting with then Finance Minister Tonio Fenech, the CEO announced that he was resigning and said he wished to retain his laptop.

The minister and himself saw nothing wrong with that. The issue was also discussed in the board. However, Dr Spiteri  Bailey said, the understanding was hat the laptop, when taken, would not have included company information.

He also said, in reply to questions, that it was wrong for the former CEO to have taken company documents, although that depended on what he had taken.

He should not have taken any documents, Dr Spiteri Bailey said.



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