Lucrative direct orders for Air Malta chairman, top Labour official

Official policy states that direct orders should only be used in urgent cases

Charles Mangion

Charles Mangion

Air Malta chairman Charles Mangion and Labour organising secretary William Lewis have landed lucrative direct orders to provide their services to the government without any competition.

Details of the latest direct orders dished out by the Health Ministry through the Central Procurement and Supplies Unit, published in the Government Gazette, show that soon after the last general election, the former Labour deputy leader was given a €31,000 direct order to provide “legal and support services”.

No details were given about what type of support services Dr Mangion – a notary by profession – is giving to the Health Ministry or any of its units.

According to government’s official policy, direct orders are to be restricted in number and only used in urgent cases.

During the last legislature, Dr Mangion was appointed to chair Enemalta by then energy minister Konrad Mizzi. However, he had to resign after he was elected to Parliament following a casual election to fill the seat vacated by Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca.

Following the last election, which he did not contest, Dr Mizzi, through his new tourism portfolio, appointed Dr Mangion to replace Maria Micallef at the helm of Air Malta.

Dr Mangion’s remuneration at the national airline has never been divulged.

Meanwhile, the ongoing restoration of the Addolorata Cemetery by the Health Ministry has landed Labour’s organising secretary, the architect William Lewis, a €102,000 direct order. According to the Government Gazette, Mr Lewis has been made responsible for the supervision of the restoration project and for issuing certification once the work is complete.

It is not yet known why, despite there being many architects to do this sort of work, the contract was awarded to the Labour official without any call for offers.

Since Labour was returned to power in 2013, Mr Lewis left his employment at Transport Malta and instead opened his own practice in Qormi.

He has been engaged on a number of government projects through various direct orders, including for the Marsa Race Track, the controversial installation of new stalls for the Monti hawkers, the motor race track project in Ta’ Qali and the proposed building of a carnival village in Marsa.

The Labour official is also the recipient of a number of direct orders from his former employer Transport Malta, the government’s transport agency .


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