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Anti-Corruption Authority Cantone admits requests for Expo Milano 2015 works are much higher than expected

by Giovanna Mancini

A morning visit to the site of the Expo Milano 2015, then a telephone conversation with Commissioner Giuseppe Sala, who promised a quick examination of the extra cost of four separate operations.

Raffaele Cantone, head of Italy’s Anti-Corruption Authority (ANAC) admitted that “the requests by the companies engaged in construction are much, much higher” than what had been initially established, but he immediately clarified that economic evaluation is the domain of the State Attorney’s office, while his office is charged only with “procedural oversight” so it could only express an opinion after having received one from the State Attorney’s office.

In any case, everything should be concluded in the next few days, hopefully by May 1 (the day the Expo opens), reiterated Commissioner Sala yesterday, “in order to know exactly how much we must pay.”

Sala also repeated that the final spending figure for Expo Milano 2015 will be under (by €300 million) the budget initially set and also assured Cantoni that cost overruns for the Italian Pavilion (about €92 million versus an initial €63 million, in an agreement with Italian builder Italiana Construzione) will be covered by additional revenue and by sponsors. According to the agreement, reached last week, 20% of the agreed-upon sum will be tied to how fast work is completed.

In addition to the agreement with Italiana Costruzioni, there are three other sets of discussions open with three companies: Mantovani; CMC and Maltauro.
Mantovani executives, who met with the ANAC president yesterday, are said to have requested €120 million more from Expo Milano 2015 than initially anticipated, but the two sides struck a deal for a discount of 85%.

Sala and Cantone also discussed the guidelines for the “small roles and jobs that we will have to assign during the six months of the Expo,” said the commissioner, who also talked with reporters about the issue of security at the working sites and the closure of the site to external visitors.

The decision, he said, “concerns everybody and not only reporters, and is justified by security reasons. Businesses must be allowed to work in peace.”