Fabian Demicoli

The Real Reason why Valletta Local Council did not renew its agreement with Green MT


Arrogance is at the heart of the Valletta Local
Council's decision not to renew its agreement with Green MT for the collection
of recyclables within Valletta following March 01, 2013. It is pertinent to note that Valletta Local Council
issued the below three tenders in October 2012 related to Waste Managment for
its locality:

The collection of mixed waste from Households Street
Sweeping within Valletta Local Council Tender VLC SSCRA/3/12 Cleaning of the
Commercial Centre in Valletta Tender VLC CCC/2/12 After the closing date of the
tenders. Valletta Local Council awarded all three tenders to Waste Collection
Limited.

This decision however aggrieved two GRTU members, who
placed an appeal with the Public Contracts Review Board. These tenders are
financed by public funds.

To date two of these appeals which were lodged by a
GRTU member have been heardand Valletta Local Council lost both these appeals.
During the appeal process the individual was assisted by GRTU ‘s Joe Attard who
also happens to be the CEO of Green MT and by a leading lawyer, Dr George
Cutajar. For all intents and purposes another tender, the collection of mixed
waste from households, also recommended for award to Waste Collection Limited
has been appealed by another GRTU member. The appeal is still pending at the time
of writing.

GRTU Malta Chamber of Small and Medium Enterprises on
behalf of its member duly referred the case also to the Director of Local
Councils stating that our member appealed both tender awards and in terms of
Regulation 84(2) of the Public Procurement Regulations 2010 (LN296 of 2010),
the Review Board has issued its decision in both cases. (Cases

510 and 511).

In both cases the Board recommended that the tenders
be cancelled and that another call be issued. The Board further recommended
that the deposit paid by the appellant for the appeal to be lodged should be
reimbursed. The issue now lies in the fact that the recommended tenderer, Waste
Collection Limited is actually doing the stated scope of works at the Valletta
Local Council. As such GRTU has now requested the Department of Local
Government to issue a time frame by which these tenders should be re issued,
without any further delay and based on the parameters when they were actually
issued.

Of course there were those at the Local Council who thought
that they were above board, who thought that they could trample over one and
all and make sure that the tenders were awarded to whoever they wanted. But of
course the Public Contracts Review Board provided a bollocking to the said
Local Council, even though the Mayor came up with the absurd excuse that these
tenders needed to be awarded with urgency, at the hearing.

Since the appeal was lodged by a GRTU member and
because Green MT CEO, together with the very able lawyer, aptly and diligently
defended his member at the hearing of the Review Board, the Local Council
decided that it is time for payback and therefore did not renew Green MT's
current agreement for recyclable collections within the locality.

We are not afraid of such actions. Such actions only
strengthen us in our belief that right is right and that we were correct in
ensuring that our aggrieved member was duly right in his appeal. The days of
the jungle are long past and part of history. Despite Valletta Local Council's
payback strategy to use another Scheme as from 1st March 2013, we will continue
to do what is duly right at law. Arrogance does not deter us from doing what is
morally and legally correct.

To add insult to injury Green MT was only informed by
this decision through the media. This is the way cowards act ! The
administrative staff at the Local Council was duty bound to inform the Scheme
of the decision taken by the Local Council. But why should the Executive
Secretary even consider putting pen to paper or communicate such a decision
taken by the Local Council?

This is the real reason why Valletta Local Council did
not renew its current agreement with Green MT. Green MT is still Malta's
leading Waste Packaging Compliance Scheme. A Scheme is not measured by how many
Local Councils it manages to take over, and saying this, both Schemes currently
have 34 Local Councils each, but by the amount of packaging waste their
producer members place on the market, and by the amount of tons each Scheme is
able to recover. In this case reports issued by both Schemes clearly show that
Green MT is by far the largest, both in market placement and also in actual
recovery from both Local Councils and other sources.

These reports can be seen and bought from MEPA. They
are public documents. They are issued by the same Schemes. Nothing can change
the real facts. Facts are what they are.

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