[WATCH] Businesses to face fewer inspections under streamlined inspectorate

A new office will head the coordination of business inspections carried out by 23 different inspectorates

Mario Cutajar (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Mario Cutajar (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Businesses to face fewer inspections under streamlined inspectorate

Inspections costing businesses hundreds of thousands of working hours every year are to be streamlined in reforms launched earlier this year, according to principal permanent secretary Mario Cutajar.

The news comes in the wake of a law passed last month, setting up a new coordinating office for 23 different government inspectorates that keep an eye on local businesses.

The office unifies inspections in a bid to ease the burden these have on places of work – around 70,000 held every year.

Economy minister Chris Cardona said the approach will be that of ensuring the best standards, rather than punish businesses. “We kept the principles of efficiency in the reform, but we don’t want to retain operational systems that do not reflect the changes this country is undergoing.”

Chris Cardona (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday
Chris Cardona (Photo: James Bianchi/MediaToday

Cardona said that a report by the PPS on improving business inspections showed that 16 different government departments had spent €1.7 million in the form of 50,000 working hours, on inspections. He said this does not include the totality of what are 23 different government inspectorates.

“One business had six inspections in one day,” principal permanent secretary Mario Cutajar said. “Can you imagine how difficult it can be to do business like that?” he said, in explaining what he termed were ‘horror stories’ gleaned from the PPS’s review of inspections.

A pilot project carried out last year saw inspections carried out on pet shops reduced from six to just one.

The coordinating office will be based with the Permanent Secretary for Strategy and Implementation within the Office of the Prime Minister, headed by Joanne Farrugia.