One of the five new RHIBs Transport Malta (TM) purchased from Rabat, Malta for their maritime enforcement section has already been declared to be no longer seaworthy by the surveyor and needs to be scrapped, while the other four were found to have developed serious structural problems.
But despite technical reports on the state of the vessels having sounded alarm bells, Transport Malta is still using them for its enforcement patrols and both Minister Aaron Farrugia and Transport Malta CEO Jonathan Borg were made aware of these problems a long time ago but to no avail.
Some of the RHIBs were also operating for months with expired licences and registration while TM fines boat owners without valid licences and registration with €250 fines apart Commercial Vessel Certificate (CVC).
The tender is being investigated by the Auditor General though Nationalist Political Party (PN) maritime spokesperson Ivan Castillo also called for a separate, internal independent inquiry to determine how many times the tender was issued before the current supplier was chosen, and to find out why the boats continued to be used.
He said the authority was doing this to increase the mileage on the boats so that the €500,000 tender cannot be revoked in line with conditions outlined in the contract.
“It is unacceptable for government to continue squandering public funds without shouldering responsibility for its actions and at the same time putting the lives of its officials at risk by forcing them to use these RHIBS,” Castillo said.
The PN insists that sea craft that are not seaworthy and do not conform to tender specifications must not be used,” Castillo said, adding that risk assessments of every sea craft used by TM should be carried out.
The case was first flagged by independent candidate Arnold Cassola and a subsequent investigation by The Shift found that the boats continued to be used despite the negative assessment.
Also one cannot forget that the flags are not observed such as courtesy flag or torn National Flag , another SHAME in a commercial harbour !!!!
Or Spelling Mistakes from an Authority (Possible there are no Proof Checkers) !!!!