People are being listened to, Joseph Muscat tells civil service heads

Public Service Week kicks off today

Joseph Muscat urged heads of government entities and departments to take decisions: 'It's better for a public official to make a bad decision rather than not take a decision at all.'
Joseph Muscat urged heads of government entities and departments to take decisions: 'It's better for a public official to make a bad decision rather than not take a decision at all.'

The government information portal servizz.gov has 42,000 unique users every month and handles 500 emails per day, Joseph Muscat told civil service heads.

The Prime Minister was concluding the annual conference of the Public Service’s heads of department at the Hilton Hotel in St Julian’s.

“The service hubs in Malta provide over 250 services. We invested in people, for people over these years and people are being listened to. It’s better for a public official to make a bad decision rather than not take a decision at all. The government believes that it’s important that clients are constantly met with engagement,” Muscat said.

He added that a civil service that was not lost in internal bureaucracy guaranteed increased accountability.

The conference marks the start of the Public Service Week that will include various activities, some of which will be open to the public.

Civil service heads this morning heard Principal Permanent Secretary Mario Cutajar speak of quality labels that will be handed out to government departments that deliver an excellent service.

“This year will be the first time that this initiative is implemented. We will give a label that says ‘excellent service’ to those government entities and departments who would have enriched their work environment, to whoever cleaned up the work processes and whoever drafted a quality service charter,” Cutajar said.

Principal permanent secretary Mario Cutajar
Principal permanent secretary Mario Cutajar

Cutajar said this year’s theme for the Public Service Week is ‘a service of excellence’.

“In everything we do and in everything we implement, the total focus should be the client, those people who will get our service,” Cutajar said. 

Quoting a recent Eurobarometer survey, he said that over 70% of Maltese people have faith in the public service.

He added that the four pillars of service were: being in constant engagement with stakeholders and clients, design, the quality of the package on offer, and accountability. 

The five servizz.gov hubs across Malta — in Paola, Birkirkara, Qormi, Qawra and Floriana – 

have brought government services closer to the people, Cutajar said, adding that while government departments had been previously estranged from their clients and that bureaucracy was rife, the Labour administration had cut down bureaucracy by 25%.

Cutajar announced that a new servizz.gov headquarters would soon be erected to cater for the increased services it was offering.

“We changed the service drastically by providing everything online. The e-gov and e-forms have changed the way we provide our service. If the mobile phone is the most commonly used object, then our service has to be accessible there as well,” Cutajar said.

He praised the government’s implementation of 1,350 Budget measures since 2013 and said that the government had implemented 710 recommendations of the Auditor General since then, in a bid to improve the quality of the public service.

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