Government announces €40 million investment in ICT system

The €40 million investment, partly financed by the EU, will be spread across different sectors, including updating the government’s accounts system and implementing an national online health infrastructure

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Yannick Pace
15 May 2017, 3:10pm
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, together with parliamentary secretary for EU funds Ian Borg and digital economy minister Manuel Mallia, made the announcement during a visit to the MITA data centre
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, together with parliamentary secretary for EU funds Ian Borg and digital economy minister Manuel Mallia, made the announcement during a visit to the MITA data centre
The Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA) will be investing €40 million in the government’s ICT systems, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced this afternoon.

The initiative, named Connected eGovernment or ‘Converge’, will be financed by €28.5 million in EU funds and €11 million in national funds, and will be the largest ever ICT investment in Malta.

Muscat, together with parliamentary secretary for EU funds Ian Borg and digital economy minister Manuel Mallia, made the announcement during a visit to the MITA data centre.

Mallia explained that Converge would give citizens the possibility of having more access to information online, with investment being spread across different sectors:

· €9 million will be used for the implementation of eHealth – the national online health infrastructure;

· €12 million have been earmarked for updating the government’s accounts system;

· €10 million will be invested in better ICT systems for customs, tourism, national security, justice and social services;

· €8.5 million will be invested in the installation of MITA’s ICT infrastructure and will be used to support the aforementioned initiatives as well any future electronic services.  

The Prime Minister said the investment would continue to strengthen the public sector and follows today’s launch of 12 ‘Key Performance Indicators’ that will help the public service sector “move closer to the people”.

“This will happen through services that are more accessible, including a number of mobile apps which would make life easier for consumers,” Muscat said.

He insisted, however, that investment in ICT did not mean a reduction in human contact.

“For this reason, the government has invested in five regional centres that one can visit in order to be served in the traditional way,” he added.

Moreover, the Prime Minister stressed that since a number of services had now been shifted online, it was imperative that the necessary safety measures were in place to safeguard people’s sensitive information.

“The more time passes the more people become conscious of this,” Muscat said, addinh that he had been assured that no government systems were hit by an international malware attack over the weekend.

Without this sort of investment in “critical” infrastructure, Muscat said government data and structures that were today considered basic would be endangered.

Centrecom Ltd. to double workforce

Earlier, Muscat visited the Centrecom call centre where he announced that the company would be increasing its employees from 250 to 500, as the services offered by the company continue to grow.

The increase follows an agreement between the company, Malta Enterprise and Malta Industrial Parks that will also see Centrecom move in to the Mosta Technopark.

“The shareholders are convinced that there is enough work locally and from abroad to merit an increase in workforce,” Muscat said.

Following a short tour of the centre, Muscat said he was happy to learn that 90% of the company’s employees were Maltese, despite the need for fluency in a number of languages.

Moreover, he said he was also pleased to hear that 60% of those working at Centrecom were women, pointing out that many women had returned to work over the past four years following the implementation of a number of family-friendly measures by the government.

He said that the company had chosen Malta, despite competition from countries boasting cheaper Labour costs.  

“On the other hand, Malta is competitive because of the high quality of its workers, the ability to communicate in different languages and worker flexibility in an environment that is politically and socially stable,” Muscat said, adding that Malta being part of the single currency and its digital connectivity also ensured that Malta could offer quality despite not being the cheapest.

Finally, he said that the business process outsourcing and call centre industry in Malta continued to grow, and was offering support to other sectors such as remote gaming, financial services and other sectors.

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Yannick joined MaltaToday as a journalist in 2016. His main areas of interest are politics...