MITA commissioned to draw up digital economy strategy

Parliamentary Secretary for Competitiveness Edward Zammit Lewis commissions technology agency to draw up a national strategy for the digital economy.

The government has commissioned the Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA) to draw up a national strategy for the digital economy, parliamentary secretary Edward Zammit Lewis said.

The parliamentary secretary for economic growth was speaking during a visit to the agency's offices in Blata l-Bajda , where he was greeted by the new executive chairman, Tony Sultana.

Zammit Lewis said the national strategy for the digital economy would complement other government strategies and play a central part in the implementation of the government's ambitious electoral programme.

"MITA plays a crucial role in government's plans," Zammit Lewis said, adding that he believed that the agency's board was capable of living up to the administration's expectations.

He added that the civil service should model itself on MITA's "professional and corporate set-up."

While recognising the previous administration's investment at MITA, Zammit Lewis said that he was not satisfied with the return on investment.

He added that Malta's ranking in the UN's e-government development index was also unsatisfactory, and more investment was needed to improve on Malta's 35th position in the rankings..

The agency is also crucial in the government's plans to strengthen e-democracy, Zammit Lewis said, and MITA would form part of the decision-making processes together with citizens, civil society and the business community.

Newly appointed MITA chairman, Tony Sultana, said the agency was looking at making e-government services accessible from smart phones and tablets, while exploring how the civil service could exploit the social media. 

He added that one of the board's priorities was that of improving the technical side of the agency by strengthening software engineering and improving disaster recovery mechanisms.

Sultana added that the agency needs to strengthen its relationship with the private sector and look at the sector as a partner.

Pointing out that under the previous government the agency's employees were demoralised, Sultana said that the new board would draw on its experience and embrace MITA's values to face the chalanges ahead with courage.

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