NAO turns down request to publish newly-found Vitals MOU

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The National Audit Office will not publish the memorandum of understanding signed with Vitals Global Health Care before the company was controversially granted a concession on three public hospitals, arguing that it was neither right nor ethical for it to do so.

The NAO had flagged the government’s failure to provide the document in a damning report on the controversial deal, and Prime Minister Robert Abela revealed that it could not be found. It ultimately turned up this week, though the government did not reveal where it had been found.

The document was thus passed on to the NAO, prompting former Alternattiva Demokratika chairman and independent political candidate Arnold Cassola to ask for its publication.

But an NAO spokesman replied  that it was not right for the office to publish a document passed on to it, which it was using to further its investigations on the cas.

Cassola expressed his disagreement, stating that the public had the right to know what had been agreement.

“This is not a secret treaty or one that could prejudice the security of the state. The Maltese taxpayer has every right to know how its taxes are being spent,” he argued.

“The longer the document remains hidden, the more suspicions and the lack of faith in our political leadership grows.”