26 September 2023

MALTA: Bureaucracy ‘active in reform process’

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The head of Malta’s Public Service has announced that the bureaucracy has implemented 90 per cent of the recommendations made to it by the National Audit Office (NAO) and 98 per cent of the recommendations put forward by the Government Ombudsman.

Principal Permanent Secretary, Mario Cutajar revealed the figures at the start of the country’s Public Service Week, rejecting criticism that officers had been dragging their feet on the reforms.

Mr Cutajar (pictured) used the speech to launch a book giving an overview of the Public Service’s work in 2021.

“This book focuses on what the Public Service does,” Mr Cutajar said.

“It’s a new form of accountability in the Public Service where we take stock, in writing and for posterity, of what we’re doing and what the Service achieved,” he said

“The NAO used to complain that its recommendations were being put forward for nothing, but the book shows the opposite.”

Mr Cutajar said he felt the Public Service had accomplished its first phase of renewal.

“Quality was always the framework,” the Principal Permanent Secretary said.

“It was the first concept we defined — what quality means and how we achieve it,” he said.

“What value is there to having a strong economy when people find it difficult to open a business? What value is there to having a welfare state but people have to go through hell to apply for benefits?

“We took care of all this in the first stage.”

Mr Cutajar said the next step was to strengthen the Public Service and provide seamless Government service — “a Public Service that isn’t a burden”.

He emphasised the need for providing a service of excellence, especially where data usage came into play.

“Service of excellence means data is used in the best way possible, first by providing a better service, and secondly by taking informed decisions on a day-to-day basis,” Mr Cutajar said.

Valetta, 3 May 2022

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