Privatisation of car parks’ management was a Cabinet decision – Transport Ministry
The initiative to privatise the management of several car parks was not taken by Transport Malta but by the Cabinet of Ministers because it goes hand in hand with Government’s policies that require services to be given in a transparent way and for those who provide them to be guaranteed a reasonable income.
The Ministry for Infrastructure, Transport and Communication stated that the process was not going to lead to the privatisation of the car parks that are already managed privately. The parkers were licensed by Government who had at its discretion leave of suspending such licences.
“Parkers were being engaged without any form of competition or choice. Instead, Government wanted to introduce a contract that is awarded after a public call for tenders. This, however, does not change the nature of the way the service is given,” the Ministry said.
The Ministry also made it clear that the tender issued was for those car parks that were already administered by parkers and thus places where one had to pay to park.
“A payment that was never regulated,” the statement added.
It said that no local council had asked for a car park administered by a parker to be passed on under its administration, despite what a Labour Party councillor from Mosta would have thought. Neither did the Labour Party ever express the idea that the local councils had to administer car parks that are administered by parkers.
“This idea, which essentially constitutes a nationalisation policy and administration by Government of an activity that is purely economical, was never promoted by anyone prior to the present controversy,” the Ministry said.
The Ministry noted that the publication of the tender for the administration of car parks should not have come as a surprise in view of the several questions put in Parliament by Labour Party Members of Parliament in the past two years asking at what stage the talks about the restructuring of the car parks had reached.
“This showed that Labour Party deputies were informed about the detailed talks that were taking place between Transport Malta and the Union Ħaddiema Magħqudin, which represents the parkers,” the Ministry for Transport said.
It added that at no point in all this time was there an objection about the matter from any local council, the Labour Party or any other association.