Public Contracts Review board dismisses Comino ferry appeal

Comino ferries

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The Public Contracts Review Board has dismissed an application by the Comino ferries against Transport Malta in the awarding of a concession to Comino Ferries Co-Op for a period of 15 years. In its decision, the Board dismissed the application and confirmed the contract as valid and effective.

The operators had requested the board to review the contract and called for it to be annulled. Last month, a court had turned down a request to suspend the granting of the contract, which gives the operator exclusive rights to provide a scheduled ferry service from Malta and Gozo to Comino.

The operators were given 20 days to appeal the Board’s decision.

The applicants claimed that there was no prior publication of the notice of the proposal in the official Journal of the European Union and interested parties were not notified through the public procurement platform that the contract was awarded.

However, the board found that publication of the prior notice was appropriately made and notice of the contract was also made through the public procurement platform.

The Board noted that the applicants had requested clarifications during the process and were therefore aware of the process.

The board found that the procedure adopted conformed with local and EU directives.

In a statement, Comino Ferries Coop welcomed the ruling and looked forward to providing the public with a much-improved service in the “very near future”.

Lawyers Jonathan Mintoff and Larry Formosa appeared for the plaintiffs. Lawyer Mark Simiana represented Comino Ferries Co-Op Ltd and Lawyer Shazoo Ghaznavi appeared for Transport Malta.