Malta

   

Executive Capacity

#26
Key Findings
Despite growing core-government steering capabilities, Malta falls into the lower-middle ranks (rank 26) with regard to executive capacity. Its score on this measure has improved by 0.9 points relative to 2014.

Strategic-planning capacities have improved in recent years, with more experts supporting the process. Spurred by recent policy failures, the Prime Minister’s Office has expanded its coordination and monitoring of line ministries, in part through central control of permanent secretaries in the ministries. A greater share of policy proposals must now be approved by the cabinet.

The RIA process is evolving, with assessment quality varying. Review of sustainability issues remains spotty, but is improving. The country lacks a systematic approach for reviewing whether laws and regulations have achieved their intended goals. Consultation processes have multiplied as the government has recognized the need to involve NGOs and the public in decision-making.

The quality of implemented projects has improved, particularly in the area of road works. Efforts to improve ministry and agency monitoring have expanded, but interministerial competition sometimes hinders the oversight process. Regulatory enforcement is sometimes biased toward powerful lobbies. A number of protests expressed popular discontent with the pace of unsustainable development.

Strategic Capacity

#20

How much influence do strategic planning units and bodies have on government decision-making?

10
 9

Strategic planning units and bodies take a long-term view of policy challenges and viable solutions, and they exercise strong influence on government decision-making.
 8
 7
 6


Strategic planning units and bodies take a long-term view of policy challenges and viable solutions. Their influence on government decision-making is systematic but limited in issue scope or depth of impact.
 5
 4
 3


Strategic planning units and bodies take a long-term view of policy challenges and viable solutions. Occasionally, they exert some influence on government decision-making.
 2
 1

In practice, there are no units and bodies taking a long-term view of policy challenges and viable solutions.
Strategic Planning
7
Each government ministry has a director and unit responsible for strategy and planning. These are strongest in the Ministry of Finance, the Malta Planning Authority, the Malta Transport Authority, the Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs, and the Education Ministry. However, the number of strategic planning commissions has mushroomed in recent years. In 2015, a new unit focused on information and the implementation of standards was introduced in the office of the prime minister to facilitate coordination between various stakeholders when implementing projects. Strategic planning has been boosted by the government’s efforts to reduce public debt. The National Statistics Office has also been reformed. Over the last year, the influence of strategic planning units over fiscal and education policy has increase. A Budget Implementation unit also monitors the implementation of policies with relevance to the budget. In the last year, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) and the Malta Police Force have been overhauled. A special cabinet committee was set up to review constitutional reform, and a committee composed of representatives from the civil service, the Health Ministry and the Finance Ministery has been set up to review the Vital Hospital deal.

Within ministries, the permanent secretary is responsible for developing strategy, including identifying key performance indicators, and determining timeline and budgets. Strategic plans normally run over three-, four- or five-year cycles and are often developed in the course of consultation with internal and external stakeholders. Internationally recognized benchmarking methodologies are used to track progress. Ministries increasingly employ consultants to produce reports on current policy issues, a practice that may be regarded as forward planning. The Management Efficiency Unit coordinates separate ministry plans and the Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA), which reviews government IT requirements, also assists. Usually when a policy is to be reformed or updated a strategic plan is released for consultation. It has been proposed that the annual government budget be instead shifted to a multi-year time-frame to ensure a greater degree of continuity and long-term planning.

Citations:
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20150823/local/malta-keeps-a-rating-deficit-is-down-economy-stronger.581555
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20151002/local/dbrs-confirs-maltas-long-term-rating-at-a-stable.586719
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20151004/business-news/ey-predicts-malta-gdp-growth-of-39-in-2015-29-in-2016.586905
http://www.politico.eu/article/maltas-eu-presidency-how-did-it-go/
https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20170701/local/eu-presidency-a-fantastic-experience-has-come-to-an-end-pm.652048
Caleja Ragonesi I., Maltese Presidency aims to make the ordinary extraordinary. Europe’s Word January 2017
Strategic Plan 2017-2020 Academy for disciplined forces Malta
Mobile Government Strategy 2017-2018ffddddf
Ufficcju tal – prim Ministru, Rapport Annwali 2015
https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20181017/local/79-of-budget-2018-measures-were-fulfilled.691830
https://www.tvm.com.mt/en/news/malta-ghandha-malta-should-have-a-national-strategy-for-sport-by-june-strategija-nazzjonali-ghall-isport-sa-gunju-li-gej/

Does the government regularly take into account advice from non-governmental experts during decision-making?

10
 9

In almost all cases, the government transparently consults with non-governmental experts in the early stages of government decision-making.
 8
 7
 6


For major political projects, the government transparently consults with non-governmental experts in the early stages of government decision-making.
 5
 4
 3


In some cases, the government transparently consults with non-governmental experts in the early stages of government decision-making.
 2
 1

The government does not consult with non-governmental experts, or existing consultations lack transparency entirely and/or are exclusively pro forma.
Expert Advice
5
Consultation processes involving academic experts has always been rather intermittent, but since 2013, such experts have been involved in a greater number of areas including family issues, gay rights, care of the elderly, health issues such as diabetes, IT in schools and others. With the exception of standing parliamentary committees, which regularly consult with academic experts, the government tends to consult with outside experts in an issue-based and ad hoc manner. Academic input is at the line ministry level. Policy issues have at times been the focus of studies directly commissioned from faculties, institutes and other bodies. Information required by the government may also be contracted out on an individual basis. Driven particularly by the needs of the country’s EU presidency, this process has become more inclusive since 2017, with many academics providing support for government policymaking. Increasingly, international experts are being commissioned to assist government in policy design and decision-making. The president’s office has currently opened up the issue of constitutional reform to public consultation, and the public has been requested to send in proposals. As yet it is unclear how these proposals will be dealt with.

In addition, the process of developing important strategic plans and policies is being opened to consultation by stakeholders, including NGOs and the general public. Web-based consultation processes have become more refined, and calls for consultation more frequent. Nonetheless, gaps in the consultation process remain. In some policy areas, consultation remains sketchy or minimal, while in others, policy areas stakeholders are brought in only at a late stage. Occasionally, experts selected for the consultation process are accused of having conflicts of interest.

Citations:
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20160908/local/gozo-ministry-ordered-to-publish-consultancy-deals.624367
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20160818/local/chamber-of-pharmacists-not-consulted-on-move-to-electronic.622392
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20161007/local/delimara-power-station-ippc-application-to-get-public-consultation.627239
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20160816/local/era-chairman-denies-conflict-of-interest-in-townsquare-application.622170
PA Chief insists Paceville consultants had no conflict of interest Malta Today 02/11/16
Paceville Master plan:Mott Macdonald should refund payment aftet alleged conflict of interest Independent 23/11/16
https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20181002/local/white-paper-on-valletta-monti-stalls-to-be-published-shortly.690602
https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/90252/watch_local_government_white_paper_proposes_more_responsibilities_for_regional_committees#.W9MPkXszaM9
https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/90157/rent_reform_will_not_fix_prices_targets_stability_through_longer_leases#.W9MQJ3szaM8
https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/95731/proposed_amendments_to_building_regulations_published_for_public_consultation_#.XZxwO2AzbIU
https://www.pa.org.mt/consultation

Interministerial Coordination

#26

Does the government office / prime minister’s office (GO / PMO) have the expertise to evaluate ministerial draft bills according to the government’s priorities?

10
 9

The GO / PMO provides regular, independent evaluations of draft bills for the cabinet / prime minister. These assessments are guided exclusively by the government’s priorities.
 8
 7
 6


The GO / PMO evaluates most draft bills according to the government’s priorities.
 5
 4
 3


The GO / PMO can rely on some sectoral policy expertise but does not evaluate draft bills.
 2
 1

The GO / PMO does not have any sectoral policy expertise. Its role is limited to collecting, registering and circulating documents submitted for cabinet meetings.
GO Expertise
5
Government ministries in Malta traditionally enjoy almost complete autonomy in several areas of policy. The government office was primarily tasked with overseeing budgetary matters. Consequently, the fall-out for governments from policy failures has been significant. The present government initially faced the same problems, but in recent years has worked to bring policy under greater central control. Today the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) enjoys greater control mainly through the cabinet, and through the central control of permanent secretaries in ministries. As early as March 2013, the government appointed a minister as part of the PMO to oversee implementation of the government’s manifesto and more recently introduced a specific strategy to implement the government’s program. This strategy operates on a three-year planning cycle in conjunction with the budgetary cycle implementation program. Ministries have full responsibility for the policy, and draw up action plans that are monitored on a monthly basis by the PMO; areas of concern are flagged and brought to the attention of the public service and cabinet. More resources are being put into building the capacity of the public service through a centrally controlled Institute for Public Service (IPS), which coordinates training at all levels. The PMO has recently demonstrated an improved ability to respond to policy implementation failures. For example, during the period under review, the PMO heightened its overview of ministries to make up for a number of policy failures that occurred during the previous legislature, although certain ministries still make occasional efforts to evade oversight.

Citations:
Sansone, K Justice to be transferred to OPM – Labor MP is Commissioner Against Bureaucracy Times of Malta 18/06/13
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20151029/local/over-32m-in-government-consultancies-in-one-year.590017

To what extent do line ministries involve the government office/prime minister’s office in the preparation of policy proposals?

10
 9

There are inter-related capacities for coordination between GO/PMO and line ministries.
 8
 7
 6


The GO/PMO is regularly briefed on new developments affecting the preparation of policy proposals.
 5
 4
 3


Consultation is rather formal and focuses on technical and drafting issues.
 2
 1

Consultation occurs only after proposals are fully drafted as laws.
Line Ministries
5
Since 2013, a sustained effort at coordination has been made in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and in line ministries. During the period under review, the government established an office within the PMO to coordinate the policies contained in the ruling party’s electoral manifesto. In a new review strategy, ministries monitor the outputs of policies previously discussed with the cabinet; the OPM then monitors policies until they are implemented and supports the ministries in their implementation. Coordination meetings are also organized by the OPM bringing together the various ministries. Decisions taken by ministries have more than once been rescinded by the PMO, a practice less common in the past. The PMO may also seek to review its policies with the help of the Management Efficiency Unit and occasionally employs consultants. Cabinet meetings have allowed experts to give direct advice to ministers, a departure from the past. From time to time, cabinet meetings are held in different regions for the purpose of consultations. As a consequence of a number of past policy failures, most policy proposals have since 2017 required cabinet approval, with implementation subsequently monitored. Specialist ad hoc committees and interministerial cabinet committees are set up to facilitate coordination between the PMO and ministries.

Citations:
http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/33324/prime-minister-holding-cabinet-meeting-in-mellieha-20140121#.V_uQfvl96M8
http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/48377/cabinet_meeting_in_gozo_cost_taxpayers_7000#.V_uQpfl96M8
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20160223/local/cabinet-meeting-in-birzebbuga.603449
https://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2019-10-07/local-news/74-of-the-2019-budget-has-been-implemented-government-exercise-shows-6736214453

How effectively do ministerial or cabinet committees coordinate cabinet proposals?

10
 9

The vast majority of cabinet proposals are reviewed and coordinated first by committees.
 8
 7
 6


Most cabinet proposals are reviewed and coordinated by committees, in particular proposals of political or strategic importance.
 5
 4
 3


There is little review or coordination of cabinet proposals by committees.
 2
 1

There is no review or coordination of cabinet proposals by committees. Or: There is no ministerial or cabinet committee.
Cabinet Committees
6
Malta’s EU’s presidency helped to strengthen and refine Malta’s cabinet and ministerial committees. Since the 2017 election, greater stress has been placed on such committees, which report to the cabinet. Most of these committees remain focused on issues that cut across ministerial portfolios, but some ad hoc committees are more focused on single ministerial policies. The new prime minster, who took office in 2020, has advocated for the use of special committees, and immediately set up a special cabinet committee for constitutional reform.

Citations:
Harwood Mark, Malta in the European Union 2014 Ashgate, Surrey
https://www.pressreader.com/

How effectively do ministry officials/civil servants coordinate policy proposals?

10
 9

Most policy proposals are effectively coordinated by ministry officials/civil servants.
 8
 7
 6


Many policy proposals are effectively coordinated by ministry officials/civil servants.
 5
 4
 3


There is some coordination of policy proposals by ministry officials/civil servants.
 2
 1

There is no or hardly any coordination of policy proposals by ministry officials/civil servants.
Ministerial Bureaucracy
6
The effort to enhance collaboration at all levels, reported in the last review period, continues to be strengthened within ministries and across ministries. The government office (GO) has gone to great lengths to enhance ministries’ personnel capacities for this purpose. This is done through focused training and targeted recruitment efforts. The GO also collaborates with universities by offering placements and research posts to undergraduates in an attempt to help recruit future top civil servants. These students are placed in sectors where they can build their own managerial capacities, and are offered fast-track employment to senior offices on graduation. In other cases, it is now compulsory for top senior managers to hold post-graduate degrees, and existing personnel are offered bursaries and time off to pursue such qualifications.

In 2017, the first 12 key performance indicators (KPIs) for the public service were put into place. This is a new concept for Malta’s public service, and is designed to establish clear objectives that need to be attained within a specific time frame. A “mystery shopper” for government departments was also introduced, with the aim of identifying shortcomings in service delivery and allowing such situations to be remedied.

Citations:
https://www.pressreader.com/
https://education.gov.mt/en/education/myScholarship/Documents/OPM%20Circular%2019_2016%20%20%20BA%20Work%20and%20HR.pdf
http://www.grtu.org.mt/index.php/publications-resources/publication-after-2010/publications-in-2013/2849-Tackling_bureaucracy

How effectively do informal coordination mechanisms complement formal mechanisms of interministerial coordination?

10
 9

Informal coordination mechanisms generally support formal mechanisms of interministerial coordination.
 8
 7
 6


In most cases, informal coordination mechanisms support formal mechanisms of interministerial coordination.
 5
 4
 3


In some cases, informal coordination mechanisms support formal mechanisms of interministerial coordination.
 2
 1

Informal coordination mechanisms tend to undermine rather than complement formal mechanisms of interministerial coordination.
Informal Coordination
7
The government tendency toward informal coordination mechanisms has increased since Malta joined the European Union in 2004. Many directives from Brussels cut across departments and ministries, and ministries have to talk to and work more closely together. Preparations for the EU presidency in January 2017 and the actions taken during the presidency itself raised this informal coordination to unprecedented levels. Government longevity has also helped to strengthen this informal consultation process. As senior managers remain in their place, they build networks which they can employ informally. This also applies at ministerial levels. Informal consultation also takes place within party structures, since these are seen as a link to the grassroots level.

How extensively and effectively are digital technologies used to support interministerial coordination (in policy development and monitoring)?

10
 9

The government uses digital technologies extensively and effectively to support interministerial coordination.
 8
 7
 6


The government uses digital technologies in most cases and somewhat effectively to support interministerial coordination.
 5
 4
 3


The government uses digital technologies to a lesser degree and with limited effects to support interministerial coordination.
 2
 1

The government makes no substantial use of digital technologies to support interministerial coordination.
Digitalization for Interministerial C.
7
The use of digital technologies in Malta has now become widespread both to support interministerial coordination and for client use. The government is determined to make full use of digital technologies, including blockchain. A total of €40 million have been earmarked for the digitalization of public services over the next five years. Individual government ministries can access policies by other ministries that may touch on their own policy formulation, as well as any policies that come from the cabinet.
Each government ministry has its own information management unit (IMU), headed by a chief information officer (CIO). The IMU’s primary role is to ensure that the information technology used is aligned with the ministry’s strategic priorities. IMUs are also involved in applying government-wide policies, standards and protocols aimed at ensuring that IT systems are mutually compatible and that staff members understand and adhere to government policies and procedures.
All CIOs are a part of a CIO Forum chaired by the permanent secretary (strategy and implementation) within the Office of the Prime Minister. Various topics and issues are discussed during the monthly meetings; however, the CIO Forum also serves as a venue in which ideas and projects can be shared across ministries. This serves as a platform for CIOs to unite their efforts toward achieving a digitalized public administration.
In 2017, a total of 21 mobile apps for government services were launched; moreover, the servizz.gov.mt website went live, offering access to about 800 services and the associated forms. The public service.gov.mt website was also launched to disseminate information and news about the country’s public services. The 2019 Ombudsman report focused on efforts to upgrade this technology in such a way as to facilitate the monitoring of ministries.

Citations:
https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20161003/local/malta-ranks-first-in-europe-for-egovernment-services.626864
https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20171210/business-news/Microsoft-highlights-Malta-s-eGovernment-as-a-case-study.665311
https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20171106/local/e-government-service-platform-wins-international-award.662430
https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/public-services-to-be-digitized-over-the-next-few-years.714394
https://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2019-06-17/local-news/40-million-investment-for-digital-transformation-of-the-public-administration-6736209668
https://publicservice.gov.mt/en/Documents/MappingTomorrow_StrategicPlan2019.pdf
https://mita.gov.mt/en/ict-features/Pages/2017/Malta-reconfirmed-as-European-leader-in-the-provision-of-digital-public-services.aspx
https://economy.gov.mt/en/ministry/The-Parliamentary-Secretary/Pages/Malta-Digital-Economy-Vision.aspx

Evidence-based Instruments

#23

To what extent does the government assess the potential impacts of existing and prepared legal acts (regulatory impact assessments, RIA)?

10
 9

RIA are applied to all new regulations and to existing regulations which are characterized by complex impact paths. RIA methodology is guided by common minimum standards.
 8
 7
 6


RIA are applied systematically to most new regulations. RIA methodology is guided by common minimum standards.
 5
 4
 3


RIA are applied in some cases. There is no common RIA methodology guaranteeing common minimum standards.
 2
 1

RIA are not applied or do not exist.
RIA Application
6
As it has worked to fulfill its obligations under EU law, Malta’s government has been improving and strengthening its regulatory processes. The process has generally been slow, but has gained momentum in recent years. The government has conducted several ad hoc reviews of existing laws and regulations in specific areas aimed at reducing administrative burdens. However, Malta lacks a systematic approach for reviewing whether laws and regulations achieve the intended policy goals, for instance through periodic ex post evaluations. Within the existing framework, the cabinet is required to approve regulatory impact assessments (RIAs) for government notices, regulations and by-laws. This process is detailed in the Small Business Act, Chapter 512 in Maltese law. Recent reports from the EU have continued to confirm steady progress. To ensure that reviews contain sufficient detail, an International Accreditation Forum (IAF) process was introduced. Each ministry is responsible for drawing these up, assisted by their legal offices and program-implementation policy directorates (a unit found in each ministry). Over the past year, as reported by the Principal Permanent Secretary, this process has been strengthened by the recruitment of more trained personnel. However, the Office of the Attorney General, which also has a legislative unit, continues to make a final review when legal issues are under consideration.

Citations:
OECD (2007), “Regulatory Management Capacities of Member States of the EU that Joined the Union on 1 May
2004: Sustaining Regulatory Management Improvements through a Better Regulation Policy,” Sigma Papers, No. 42, OECD Publishing. https://www.mepa.org.mt/permitting-ea-eiaprocess
Ope rational Program II ‘Empowering People for More Jobs and a Better Quality of Life,’ July 2012, p.28
http://www.bru.gov.mt/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/ESF-4-87-Laun ch-Speech-by-Mr-J-Aquilina.pdf
http://www.bru.gov.mt/administrative-b urdens/
http://gov.mt/en/Government/Gov ernment%20of%20Malta/Ministries%20a nd%20Entities/Pages/OPM-Portfolio.a spx
Indicators of Regulator Policy and Governance EUROPE 2019 Malta
http://www.oecd.org/gov/regulatory-policy/indicators-of-regulatory-policy-and-governance-2019-malta.pdf

Does the RIA process ensure participation, transparency and quality evaluation?

10
 9

RIA analyses consistently involve stakeholders by means of consultation or collaboration, results are transparently communicated to the public and assessments are effectively evaluated by an independent body on a regular basis.
 8
 7
 6


The RIA process displays deficiencies with regard to one of the three objectives.
 5
 4
 3


The RIA process displays deficiencies with regard to two of the three objectives.
 2
 1

RIA analyses do not exist or the RIA process fails to achieve any of the three objectives of process quality.
Quality of RIA Process
4
Malta’s policy on regulatory impact assessments (RIA) is taking slow steps forward. Stakeholder engagement is not required by law when defining a negotiating position for EU directives/regulations, but is required when transposing EU directives. Stakeholder engagement is currently required for all subordinate regulations as part of the RIA process, as well as for some primary laws in selected policy areas. Recent better-regulation initiatives have been targeted at improving the accessibility of the regulatory process, for example through the introduction of a central portal for online consultations. Each online consultation is accompanied by a feedback report that summarizes the views of participants and provides feedback on the comments received. However the transparency of the Maltese regulatory framework could be further strengthened by making RIAs available for consultations with stakeholders While consultation remains superficial in some areas, a more sophisticated reaction from the public has led to more robust consultation with stakeholders. Indeed, the number of policies implemented without strong consultation is diminishing rapidly. Previously, consultation prior to implementation was commonly extensive when regulations dealt with economic or labor issues; this practice has now increasingly been extended to social issues. The government has thus increased its consultation frequency and expanded its dissemination of information; nonetheless, in small states such as Malta, truly “independent” bodies are generally absent or rare. Furthermore, civil society groups must become more proactive if they are to help shape policies during the formulation stage.

Consultation activities have been codified to support environmental impact assessments. Guidelines initially allowed for an open, transparent and inclusive consultation process. However, in April 2016, the Planning Authority was separated from the Environmental Authority, a reform that may have confused this process. Critics have also charged that consultation sometimes involves only selected interest groups. Overall, because of the extensive developments taking place in Malta, this area requires serious study. In 2018, stakeholder engagement in the process of developing regulations was on par with the OECD average. In 2020, the government launched a €450,000 project to improve the Environmental Resource Authority’s regulatory process.

Citations:
http://www.mcesd.org.mt/mcesd/conte nt.aspx?id=101553
OECD (2007), “Regulatory Management Capacities of Member States of the EU that Joined the Union on 1 May
2004: Sustaining Regulatory Management Improvements through a Better Regulation Policy,” Sigma Papers, No. 42, OECD Publishing.
https://gov.mt/en/Go vernment/Public%20Consultations/Pag es/Public-Consultations.aspx
Hospital development impact assessment waiver may breach EU law Times of Malta 26/08/2015
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20150430/local/mepa-is-seeking-views-of-public-on-stadium.566146
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20150511/local/mepa-issues-consultation-document-on-selmun-palace-hotel.567744
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20160404/local/mepa-becomes-the-planning-authority-once-more.607804
More development to be included in planning process, Times of Malta 19/04/2016
A Master Plan in Reverse Times of Malta 10/10/2016
Malta Independent 04/02/20 450,000 euro project launched to strengthen ERA regulatory process

Does the government conduct effective sustainability checks within the framework of RIA?

10
 9

Sustainability checks are an integral part of every RIA; they draw on an exhaustive set of indicators (including social, economic, and environmental aspects of sustainability) and track impacts from the short- to long-term.
 8
 7
 6


Sustainability checks lack one of the three criteria.
 5
 4
 3


Sustainability checks lack two of the three criteria.
 2
 1

Sustainability checks do not exist or lack all three criteria.
Sustainability Check
4
Though regulatory impact assessments are a compulsory regulatory tool in Malta, the government is only gradually learning to use this tool. Until recently, sustainability checks were common mostly in areas involving planning and the environment; however, these have now successfully been extended to the economic sphere, as EU and credit-rating reports indicate. Yet generally speaking, the effectiveness of key regulations and policy initiatives is assessed mainly through Malta’s National Reform Program, and the associated annual report that Malta (like all other EU member states) submits to the European Commission. This report is like a progress check, where Malta provides detailed updates relating to its Europe 2020 targets as a result of its policies. These reports include quantitative impact indicators that can illustrate the effectiveness (or failure) of regulatory projects that touch on social, environmental and economic issues. Overall, Malta has made progress in many areas, reaching many targets but lagging behind in others. Some indicators of progress include an increased level of subsidy provided to public transport programs, improved efficiency with the power-generation sector, and a plan for sustainable water use backed by actual budgetary allocations. More importantly, the PMO is currently directing an ambitious ICT project aimed at ensuring that policies and programs can be better assessed for sustainability, and at ensuring more coordination.

Citations:
http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/maki ng-it-happen/index_en.htm

To what extent do government ministries regularly evaluate the effectiveness and/or efficiency of public policies and use results of evaluations for the revision of existing policies or development of new policies?

10
 9

Ex post evaluations are carried out for all significant policies and are generally used for the revision of existing policies or the development of new policies.
 8
 7
 6


Ex post evaluations are carried out for most significant policies and are used for the revision of existing policies or the development of new policies.
 5
 4
 3


Ex post evaluations are rarely carried out for significant policies and are rarely used for the revision of existing policies or the development of new policies.
 2
 1

Ex post evaluations are generally not carried out and do not play any relevant role for the revision of existing policies or the development of new policies.
Quality of Ex Post Evaluation
6
In recent years, ex post evaluations have been carried out for most significant policies. Various tools are used, and supported by enhanced digital processes. Improvements in ministerial coordination have also contributed to this development, along with ongoing review by the Office of the Principal Permanent Secretary. A “mystery shopper” for government departments was introduced in 2017, tasked with identifying shortcomings in service delivery so that they could be remedied accordingly. The National Audit Office performs audits to determine whether government entities have adequate systems of internal controls in place, with follow-up audits conducted to determine whether identified weaknesses have been dealt with. The 2018 follow-up audit report paints a mixed picture, with recommended improvements fully or partially implemented in some cases, and no changes made in others. The 2019 OECD report on Regulatory Policy and Governance indicates that Malta is well below the OECD average in terms of the ex post evaluation of regulations. Additionally, Malta has no entity that can take legal or regulatory action against consultants who present flawed reports, or who mislead the Environment and Resources Authority or Planning Authority.

Citations:
Follow Up Reports by the National Audit Office 2018 http://nao.gov.mt/en/recent-publications
Malta Today 03/07/2018 Environment Impact Assessments still unregulated after 20 years

Societal Consultation

#19

Does the government consult with societal actors in a fair and pluralistic manner?

10
 9

The government always consults with societal actors in a fair and pluralistic manner.
 8
 7
 6


The government in most cases consults with societal actors in a fair and pluralistic manner.
 5
 4
 3


The government does consult with societal actors, but mostly in an unfair and clientelistic manner.
 2
 1

The government rarely consults with any societal actors.
Public Consultation
6
The government has an obligation to consult with the public. In addition, a ministry for dialogue has been established. New policies and legislation must be published for consultation. A formal consultative structure, called the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development, works well in facilitating consultation between business associations, trade unions and government. The government has also setup a separate Council for Economic and Social Development for Gozo and a consultative council for the South of Malta. NGOs concerned with social policy tend to be regularly consulted; however, environmental NGOs are rarely integrated into the policymaking process. The Planning Authority has its own consultation processes, but the views of non-governmental actors are taken into account to only a very questionable extent. Overall, Malta has seen a substantial increase in the number of policy areas open for public consultation. Malta today has a proliferation of NGOs, and increased consultation has created wider scope for them to act. However, greater progress could be achieved if NGOs were to become more professional, and officialdom less sensitive to feedback and more prepared to react to criticism. Nevertheless, the number of consultation processes has multiplied as the government has become more conscious of the need to bring NGOs and the public into the policy-development process. The government has also facilitated the process by engaging in online consultations and creating multiple portals.
In 2019, civil society held numerous protests to make clear its disaffection with government policies and shortcomings. In 2020, the new prime minister is attempting to preempt new demonstrations by promising reforms in a number of policy areas.

Citations:
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20151005/local/second-public-consultation-on-regulation-of-drones.587085
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20150909/local/policy-launched-to-facilitate-use-of-tables-and-chairs-in-public.583770
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20150910/local/energy-rules-consultation.583796
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20151028/local/consultation-document-on-language-policy-for-early-years-launched.589986
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20150918/local/consultation-document-on-free-access-to-bills-published.584900
https://meae.gov.mt/en/Public_Consultations/Pages/Home.aspx
https://www.transport.gov.mt/strategies/public-consultations-2236
https://mtip.gov.mt/en/Pages/Public%20Consultations/Public-Consultations.aspx
https://family.gov.mt/en/public-consultation-online/Pages/default.aspx
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20151010/business-news/Final-consultation-on-green-economy.587604
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20150829/local/white-paper-on-schools-role-in-alleviating-traffic-congestion-launched.582378
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20150915/local/white-paper-to-reduce-inspections-bureaucracy-launched.584533
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20160203/local/green-ngos-have-open-invitation.601085
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20160114/local/700000-scheme-for-ngos-launched.598666
http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/69495/green_ngos_to_get_collective_50000_in_government_funds#.We2bzVuCyM8
http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/lifestyle/health/69774/watch_conference_highlights_ngos_contribution_in_health_sector#.We2cCluCyM8
http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/64883/social_dialogue_minister_stresses_role_of_ngos_in_outreach_programmes#.We2ciluCyM8
Malta Today 02/01/20 How Civil Society Rocked the establishment in 2019

Policy Communication

#10

To what extent does the government achieve coherent communication?

10
 9

Ministries are highly successful in aligning their communication with government strategy.
 8
 7
 6


Ministries most of the time are highly successful in aligning their communication with government strategy.
 5
 4
 3


Ministries occasionally issue public statements that contradict the public communication of other ministries or the government strategy.
 2
 1

Strategic communication planning does not exist; individual ministry statements regularly contradict each other. Messages are often not factually consistent with the government’s strategy.
Coherent Communication
7
The Labor Party, now in government since 2013, has been credited with strong communication strategies under the present leadership, particularly during election campaigns. Once in government it initially adopted normal channels, including the Department of Information, which is the state’s primary communication channel, as well as individual ministerial communication channels. However, the run-up to the 2017 EU presidency helped refine the party refine its communication strategy and tools, and it today has a broad strategy which includes an e-government service. Ministers give daily briefings when launching policies and projects. These are normally associated with campaigns that include social media. Overall, this strategy seems to be working well, with the government enjoying unprecedented levels of trust compared to the EU average, though trust ratings dipped slightly in 2019 – to 58% compared to 63% in 2018. However there have been calls for a reform of the public broadcasting service in order to ensure transparency and objectivity.

Citations:
How the Maltese government spend over 2.5 million in social media ads. Malta Today 07/11/17
Times of Malta 06/11/18 MFSA spends €210,000 for communications advice
https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/trust-in-malta-government-is-highest-in-the-eu-survey.697362
https://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2019-08-06/local-news/Eurobarometer-58-of-Maltese-trust-the-government-6736211853
https://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2018-12-22/local-news/63-of-Maltese-trust-government-Eurobarometer-6736201196
Euro -barometer trust ratings 2019

Implementation

#29

To what extent can the government achieve its own policy objectives?

10
 9

The government can largely implement its own policy objectives.
 8
 7
 6


The government is partly successful in implementing its policy objectives or can implement some of its policy objectives.
 5
 4
 3


The government partly fails to implement its objectives or fails to implement several policy objectives.
 2
 1

The government largely fails to implement its policy objectives.
Government Effectiveness
6
Government efficiency has continued to improve, although strong economic growth and the government’s ambitious plans have created challenges for the administration. Central to this improvement has been the Prime Minister’s Office and the work of the Principal Permanent Secretary’s Office. Policy implementation is measured against agreed upon KPIs and benchmarks, policies are monitored and shortfalls highlighted. Templates are sent out to ministries with deadlines and then assessed and reviewed. Every February, the first round of audit closing meetings commence. In October 2018, the PMO and the Ministry of Finance stated that 79% of measures announced in the previous year had been successfully implemented. In 2019, this was rated at 74%.
Although problems remain, such as insufficient oversight of service providers and a lack of controls related to personal emoluments, insufficient verification and enforcement procedures, missing documentation, deficiencies in stock management, and a lack of adherence to public-procurement regulations, some improvement has been evident in the quality of implemented projects, especially road works. However, there has also been criticism of the lack of impact assessment reports prior to certain roadwork projects. In 2018, purchases totaling approximately €86 million were made by direct order following approval from the Ministry for Finance. Furthermore, a new act aimed at reforming local councils’ performance has been introduced.

Citations:
Gozo projects lacking good-governance rules Times of Malta 16/12/2015
Briguglio, M An F for Local Councils Times of Malta 12/12/16
Report by the Auditor General Public Accounts 2015
http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/80417/half_of_nao_recommendations_implemented_auditing_is_not_a_witchhunt#.We2pXVuCyM8
http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/environment/townscapes/79047/no_value_for_money_in_fekruna_bay_expropriation__nao#.We2pt1uCyM8
http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/79029/labour_urges_pn_to_stop_ignoring_nao_reports_pointing_fingers_at_azzopardi#.We2p4VuCyM8
The following reports are obtained here http://nao.gov.mt/en/recent-publications
Performance Audit: An evaluation of the regulatory function of the Office of the Commissioner for Voluntary Organizations –
REPORT BY THE AUDITOR GENERAL ON THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS 2017 –
An investigation of matters relating to the contracts awarded to ElectroGas Malta Ltd by Enemalta Corporation
Report by the Auditor General on the Workings of Local Government for year 2017 –
Performance Audit: A Strategic Overview on the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture’s Inspectorate Function –
Follow-up Audit: Follow-up Reports, 2018 by the National Audit Office
https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/97895/74_of_2019_budget_implemented_accountability_exercise_shows#.Xa1uQ5IzaM8
National Audit Office: Report of the Auditor General public accounts committee 2019

To what extent does the organization of government provide mechanisms to ensure that ministers implement the government’s program?

10
 9

The organization of government successfully provides strong mechanisms for ministers to implement the government’s program.
 8
 7
 6


The organization of government provides some mechanisms for ministers to implement the government’s program.
 5
 4
 3


The organization of government provides weak mechanisms for ministers to implement the government’s program.
 2
 1

The organization of government does not provide any mechanisms for ministers to implement the government’s program.
Ministerial Compliance
6
The cabinet is the most important organizational device at the disposal of the government providing incentives to ensure ministers implement the government’s program. Second to this are the weekly meetings of permanent secretaries. Meanwhile, the powers of the Prime Minister’s Office have increasingly been used to drive policy implementation. The ministerial secretariat is generally responsible for overseeing the implementation of a program. However, this function has become more centralized; the government can now show how much of its program has been implemented. A yearly report provides details on each budget measure, indicating when it was implemented and by which ministry. A list of unimplemented measures is also included. In addition, the Management Efficiency Unit in the PMO provides ministries with advice and capacity-building tools. Informal coalitions, for instance between civil society groups, businesses and individual ministries, can drive implementation in certain policy areas, such as the extension of LGBT rights, tourism or the construction sector. The drive to introduce simplification measures across ministries facilitates decentralization (e.g., in recruitment accords), granting ministries greater independence as well as additional incentive to implement policies successfully. Parliamentary committees have also become useful in making policy implementation more efficient, for instance in the area of social affairs; however, bipartisan cooperation is all but absent in every sphere.

Citations:
PM wants powers to appoint ministers who are not MPs Times of Malta 15/02/16
Implementation of government measure 2018 Publicservice.gov.mt
https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/97895/74_of_2019_budget_implemented_accountability_exercise_shows#.Xa1uQ5IzaM8

How effectively does the government office/prime minister’s office monitor line ministry activities with regard to implementation?

10
 9

The GO / PMO effectively monitors the implementation activities of all line ministries.
 8
 7
 6


The GO / PMO monitors the implementation activities of most line ministries.
 5
 4
 3


The GO / PMO monitors the implementation activities of some line ministries.
 2
 1

The GO / PMO does not monitor the implementation activities of line ministries.
Monitoring Ministries
6
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) monitors the implementation activities of most line ministries and the structures for doing so effectively are being continually refined. The PMO has an office dedicated to monitoring which is increasingly fine-tuning the system. The PMO does not have a unit to assess policies in the ministries. Instead, the ministries themselves must do this work according to impact assessment procedures and the policy cycle. If problems surface in a ministry, the PMO steps in to assist. Furthermore, the cabinet office, which is part of the PMO, monitors policy implementation by line ministries, ensuring that they implement the decisions made by the PMO. Many lessons were learned during the Labor Party’s first administration (2013 – 2017), and a marked improvement has been evident since that time. Nevertheless, competition between ministries at times hinders or obstructs monitoring efforts.

Citations:
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20151010/local/around-70-per-cent-of-last-budget-measures-implemented-pm.587638
Bartolo insists that ministries should support each other, pull the same rope Independent 10/06/15
Times of Malta 17/10/18 79% of budget measures implemented
https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/97895/74_of_2019_budget_implemented_accountability_exercise_shows#.Xa1uQ5IzaM8

How effectively do federal and subnational ministries monitor the activities of bureaucracies/executive agencies with regard to implementation?

10
 9

The ministries effectively monitor the implementation activities of all bureaucracies/executive agencies.
 8
 7
 6


The ministries monitor the implementation activities of most bureaucracies/executive agencies.
 5
 4
 3


The ministries monitor the implementation activities of some bureaucracies/executive agencies.
 2
 1

The ministries do not monitor the implementation activities of bureaucracies/executive agencies.
Monitoring Agencies|Bureaucracies
5
Malta is a unitary state. As such, monitoring of bureaucratic agencies is undertaken by parliamentary oversight, such as through parliamentary committee sessions, a Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC), the National Audit Office and the Office of the Ombudsman. In 2018, the Office of the Principal Permanent Secretary committed his office to a review of all cases that had been investigated by the Ombudsman the previous year as a means of ensuring the rule of law and good governance. The 2017 Ombudsman report emphasized difficulties in receiving timely information, and further indicated problems related to the inappropriate disclosure of government information – specifically problems with binding parties signing government contracts to secrecy, and in areas where essential health and energy services in sectors have been partially or fully privatized. The Department of Local Government assesses the performance of local-government bodies. There is also an internal audit office within ministries. The Prime Minister’s Office, through the Office of the Principal Permanent Secretary, has become more involved in monitoring processes, and positive results are beginning to show. The recruitment of more qualified personnel and the provision of greater amounts of training are also proving effective in this regard, helping to improve monitoring of all sectors. Since 2017, efforts to strengthen this monitoring capacity have increased. Nonetheless, National Audit Office reports still point to some problematic areas.

Citations:
73% of budget measures to be implemented by the end of 2016 Malta chamber of commerce

To what extent does the central government ensure that tasks delegated to subnational self-governments are adequately funded?

10
 9

The central government enables subnational self-governments to fulfill all their delegated tasks by funding these tasks sufficiently and/or by providing adequate revenue-raising powers.
 8
 7
 6


The central government enables subnational governments to fulfill most of their delegated tasks by funding these tasks sufficiently and/or by providing adequate revenue-raising powers.
 5
 4
 3


The central government sometimes and deliberately shifts unfunded mandates to subnational governments.
 2
 1

The central government often and deliberately shifts unfunded mandates to subnational self-governments.
Task Funding
5
Task funding remains a contentious issue. Although many new schemes have been put in place, funding remains inadequate. Local councils in Malta are primarily municipal bodies, and cannot raise revenue through local taxes; however, as they are an integral part of the political system, and under party control, they come under pressure to carry out tasks beyond their remit. Nearly all funding for local-government activities comes from the central government, with a small fraction sourced from local traffic fines. The funding formula for local councils is based on geography and population, but – despite legal provisions – local councils run budget deficits, both because of inadequate funding and mismanagement by the councils themselves. At the beginning of 2015, the government launched a fund for local councils’ capital projects however it remains inadequate. Regional committees were generating revenue from contraventions through the local enforcement system, however, this task was taken over by a central government agency in 2014. There has been a steady, though not particularly substantial, increase in the overall budget. In 2018, direct funds allocated by the government to local councils totaled €36.5 million. An additional adjustment fund of €504,782 was created with the intention of remedying imbalances in the distribution of funds. These funds were distributed to 25 local councils that either faced specific exigencies and/or had experienced a decrease in funding as compared to preceding years. Meanwhile, in line with prior years, a further €102,772 was allocated to the Local Councils Association (LCA). As of 2019, the regional committees were allocated a fund containing more than €3 million. These committees have now been relieved of all expenses relating to local tribunals, as these related costs are now borne by the Local Enforcement System Agency (LESA).

Citations:
44 local councils request devolution of government property Malta Today 11/09/2015
Money for local councils Times of Malta 14/02/2015
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20151228/local/councils-shortcoming-identified-by-nao-unacceptable-parliamentary.597069
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20160706/local/auditor-general-criticises-funding-scheme-as-hasty.617914
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20160111/opinion/Auditing-local-governance.598374
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20151226/local/councils-christmas-dinner-bills-give-auditor-a-headache.596707
Local government culture fund 2018 – 2020
35.5 million budget for 68 local councils in 2017 The Malta Independent 04/07/17
The Independent 12/12/18 A total of 30 local councils benefit from the capital projects fund
Financial Allocations to local councils January -December 2018

To what extent does central government ensure that subnational self-governments may use their constitutional scope of discretion with regard to implementation?

10
 9

The central government enables subnational self-governments to make full use of their constitutional scope of discretion with regard to implementation.
 8
 7
 6


Central government policies inadvertently limit the subnational self-governments’ scope of discretion with regard to implementation.
 5
 4
 3


The central government formally respects the constitutional autonomy of subnational self-governments, but de facto narrows their scope of discretion with regard to implementation.
 2
 1

The central government deliberately precludes subnational self-governments from making use of their constitutionally provided implementation autonomy.
Constitutional Discretion
3
Local councils have no constitutional right of implementation autonomy, and all their activities and responsibilities are monitored and can be challenged by the Department of Local Government. All by-laws have to be approved by the central government and decisions taken may be rescinded. These constraints are intentional, to prevent local councils from assuming responsibilities independent from the central government or adopting policies which conflict with those of the central government. Consequently, local councils intent on taking decisions that conflict with the central government, for instance in the area of local planning, must resort to sui generis tactics, often working with civil society organizations, in order to support the views of the locality.

To what extent does central government ensure that subnational self-governments realize national standards of public services?

10
 9

Central government effectively ensures that subnational self-governments realize national standards of public services.
 8
 7
 6


Central government largely ensures that subnational self-governments realize national standards of public services.
 5
 4
 3


Central government ensures that subnational self-governments realize national minimum standards of public services.
 2
 1

Central government does not ensure that subnational self-governments realize national standards of public services.
National Standards
6
The Department of Local Government and the National Audit Office (NAO) work together to ensure that local councils meet basic standards. The former entity is responsible for monitoring and reporting on the performance of individual local councils. Central departments set the benchmarks for services provided by local councils. The NAO independently investigates local council activities both from a purely auditing perspective and from a “value for money” perspective. It is this latter perspective that has by and large driven reform of local councils. The NAO has audited local-government authorities six years in a row. In the last audit, the NAO stated that by mid-October 2019, no reply had been provided by 11 local councils, and that 16% of local councils had not responded to the issues raised by the office. The 2018 report emphasized recurring weaknesses within these councils, including accounting records that were not properly updated, procurement that was not carried out in compliance with regulations, adequate fixed asset registers that were not being maintained, and the lack of statuary documentation on websites. A review of the follow-up actions undertaken by local councils following the previous year’s audits showed that out of more than 1,500 recommendations put forward by local government auditors, only 26% had been implemented. Thus, 71% of recommendations remained completely unaddressed, and 3% had been only partially implemented. This could be construed as a lack of accountability on the part of these councils. National standards at the local level are also reinforced through the councilors’ code of ethics and the Local Councils Association. The ombudsman’s office has also suggested the introduction of a commissioner for local government within his office. In 2019, a local-council reform bill was passed seeking to strengthen regional councils, supply them with financial resources and recognize this level of government in the constitution. Furthermore, it would introduce the position of full-time mayors, increase investment in education and training for councilors and staff, introduce so-called “integration programmers,” and extend the hours in which local council services were provided.

Citations:
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20151226/local/councils-christmas-dinner-bills-give-auditor-a-headache.596707
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20160111/opinion/Auditing-local-governance.598374
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20160706/local/auditor-general-criticises-funding-scheme-as-hasty.617914
http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20151228/local/councils-shortcoming-identified-by-nao-unacceptable-parliamentary.597069
Report by the auditor general on the workings of local government for the year 2015
White paper on local government 2018
NAO Local Government 2018

To what extent is government enforcing regulations in an effective and unbiased way, also against vested interests?

10
 9

Government agencies enforce regulations effectively and without bias.
 8
 7
 6


Government agencies, for the most part, enforce regulations effectively and without bias.
 5
 4
 3


Government agencies enforce regulations, but ineffectively and with bias.
 2
 1

Government agencies enforce regulations ineffectively, inconsistently and with bias.
Regulatory Enforcement
5
For the most part, government agencies in Malta enforce regulations effectively and without bias. This said, the close personal relationships inevitable on a small island have undoubtedly greased the cogs of the administrative machine in order to facilitate positive outcomes in many cases. Certain powerful interests such as the construction lobby also wield influence over the decision-making process. A number of protests in 2019 expressed civil society anger against government support for development proposals running counter to the vision of a sustainable economy. Finally, the government’s reliance on direct orders for large purchases, along with allegations of mismanagement in tendering processes, has left it open to accusations of favoritism. In 2013, the government strengthened the fight against corruption by reducing elected political figures’ ability to evade corruption charges, and introduced a more effective Whistleblower Act. The 2017 ombudsman’s report cited the need for legislation to regulate lobbying, a practice that can distort fair competition and has been linked to allegations of corruption, as well as the need for individuals to receive correct and timely information on the government’s activities in order to ensure transparency and equal treatment before the law. In the 2018 report, the Commissioner for the Environment, probably the ministry overseeing the largest number of controversial issues, stated that 62% of the cases opened that year had been closed during the same year. This was mainly due to the fact that during this year, the majority of government entities reduced their response times to an acceptable level, while also improving the quality of replies to queries made by the Commissioner. In addition, all government entities replied positively to the rational recommendations issued by Ombudsman’s Office. Furthermore, the Commissioner for Standards in Public Life has ruled against the practice of members of parliament sitting on government boards. Judicial reviews and EU Commission investigations have frequently given the lie to accusations of bias or wrongdoing, and the government has strengthened its efforts on several scores. However, as in Iceland and Luxembourg, the country’s small size impacts negatively on efforts to ensure bias-free governance.

Citations:
https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20181020/local/possibility-of-state-aid-rules-breach-in-db-groups-its-project-raised.692024
https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20181020/local/possibility-of-state-aid-rules-breach-in-db-groups-its-project-raised.692024
https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20181027/local/we-have-nothing-to-hide-nothing-to-fear-on-pembroke-project.692678
https://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20180828/local/274-million-svdp-deal-was-never-appealed.687770
Times of Malta 26/06/19 Our quarrel is not with Sandro Chetcuti

Adaptability

#23

To what extent does the government respond to international and supranational developments by adapting domestic government structures?

10
 9

The government has appropriately and effectively adapted domestic government structures to international and supranational developments.
 8
 7
 6


In many cases, the government has adapted domestic government structures to international and supranational developments.
 5
 4
 3


In some cases, the government has adapted domestic government structures to international and supranational developments.
 2
 1

The government has not adapted domestic government structures, no matter how beneficial adaptation might be.
Domestic Adaptability
7
The capacity of government structures to adapt to change improved during the period of EU accession and since membership. Malta’s preparations for assuming the EU presidency required further adaption to changing scenarios, especially at the ministerial and bureaucratic levels as well as ambassadorial and consulate levels. It also required the expansion and international training of personnel. Consequently, there is greater awareness of the need to respond to international developments. Better coordination among the bureaucracy has also contributed to improvements. Malta is presently updating certain structures with the aim of improving its regulatory and enforcement capabilities, particularly in the areas of finance and environmental protection.
Departments are required to submit a strategic plan that is linked to their policy objectives, and which makes a contribution to wider national and corporate programs. On this basis, they are then required to submit a business plan specifying the necessary human and budgetary resources (typically in a two-year rolling plan format). These plans are approved and translated into the organizational leadership-performance plan. These are revised and updated every six months to ensure that they remain relevant and suitable to current conditions.
In this way, organizations and their mandates are allowed to evolve gradually so as to remain “fit for purpose.” In addition, the government of Malta uses a number of structured review processes, including spending reviews (led by the Ministry for Finance), and strategic/operational/capacity reviews carried out either by the in-house consultancy firm (the Management Efficiency Unit, or MEU) or external consultants. Similarly, there is a structured internal audit program led by the Internal Audit and Investigations Department (IAID). These latter interventions aim to stimulate significant organization change as needed, and generally focus on specific issue areas.
Parliament has also demonstrated a greater willingness to engage with international forums. This has increased the government’s capacity to address international issues such as climate change, international financial institutions, security policy and humanitarian crises. The recent decision to provide the parliament with greater autonomy and resources is expected to enhance improvements made over these past four years. Furthermore, a debate has finally begun on whether parliament should become a full-time institution. Indeed, the most sophisticated and complex committee in parliament (with the most subcommittees) is the committee dedicated to foreign policy and European affairs.

To what extent is the government able to collaborate effectively with international efforts to foster global public goods?

10
 9

The government can take a leading role in shaping and implementing collective efforts to provide global public goods. It is able to ensure coherence in national policies affecting progress.
 8
 7
 6


The government is largely able to shape and implement collective efforts to provide global public goods. Existing processes enabling the government to ensure coherence in national policies affecting progress are, for the most part, effective.
 5
 4
 3


The government is partially able to shape and implement collective efforts to provide global public goods. Processes designed to ensure coherence in national policies affecting progress show deficiencies.
 2
 1

The government does not have sufficient institutional capacities to shape and implement collective efforts to provide global public goods. It does not have effective processes to ensure coherence in national policies affecting progress.
International Coordination
4
Malta does not have the institutional capacity to actively shape a wide range of international efforts. However, Malta has sought to do this within its immediate Mediterranean region and increasingly within the EU. Since 1975, Malta has been a rapporteur of the U.N. Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. It continues to support good-governance efforts in Libya and Tunisia and co-operates closely on refugee and migration issues with neighboring countries. Malta accepts more asylum-seekers per capital than almost all other countries and was one of the few EU countries to honor in full the EU relocation program by taking in its full quota. In 2018 and 2019, with the assistance of the EU Commission, Malta coordinated the redistribution of a number of migrants stranded in Mediterranean ports to other EU states, while also taking up part of the relocation quota on its own. During the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting hosted in Malta in 2015, the country contributed toward the setting up of a fund to assist small Commonwealth island countries in adapting to climate change and in the fight to eradicate polio. Preliminary discussions also took place in preparation for the climate change summit in Paris. In October 2015, Malta hosted an EU-Africa migration conference, the Valletta Summit on Migration. It has pressed for the implementation of agreements reached at the summit. In December 2015, it facilitated talks between Libya’s rival factions in support of a U.N. peace plan. Malta’s progress in this sphere has also been demonstrated by its success during the EU presidency. Malta has also contributed to the creation of a strong international regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. As a net importer of labor, Malta is presently working with governments in the Middle East and North Africa region, focusing initially on Tunisia with the aim of providing employment to skilled Tunisians. In 2019, Malta also increased the financial contribution it makes to support global issues. In June 2020, Malta will officially launch its bid for a non-permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council for the 2023 – 2024 term.

Citations:
Galustain, R., Libya Mediation via Malta, Times of Malta 01/11/16
Malta representative in Palestine visits PLO dignitaries in Ramallah foreignaffairs.gov.mt
Trade between Malta and Tunisia still below potential Times of Malta 05/01/19

Organizational Reform

#12

To what extent do actors within the government monitor whether institutional arrangements of governing are appropriate?

10
 9

The institutional arrangements of governing are monitored regularly and effectively.
 8
 7
 6


The institutional arrangements of governing are monitored regularly.
 5
 4
 3


The institutional arrangements of governing are selectively and sporadically monitored.
 2
 1

There is no monitoring.
Self-monitoring
6
The government has stepped up its efforts to monitor wide-ranging aspects of government work, especially from within the PMO. The Office of the Principal Permanent Secretary bears primary responsibility for this. However, ministers everywhere seek from time to time to avoid such monitoring; this sometimes becomes evident when the central government fails to respond to questions on some ministry action because the action was taken unilaterally by that ministry. EU supervision of most aspects of governance has also led to a need for greater monitoring; however, Malta has today resolved many of its outstanding issues with the European Commission. The NAO and the Ombudsman also continue to provide essential monitoring functions. In 2019, the government announced the creation of a new entity to monitor public-private partnerships. The PMO is currently overseeing an overhaul of procedures in a number of ministries and public organizations, following recommendations made by Moneyval, the Venice Commission and GRECO.

Citations:
Over 450 employed in government positions of trust The Malta Independent 20/12/15
Positions of Trust: A Constitutional quagmire Malta Today 22/06/16
Unconstitutional Jobs Times of Malta 07/10/16
The number of people in positions of trust is not excessive Times of Malta 16/03/18
Public Service Commission Times of Malta 24/01/17
Government to set up entity overseeing and monitoring public private partnerships Maltachamber.org.mt 28/01/19
Times of Malta 17/01/2020 Venice Commission Reforms without delay, Robert Abela

To what extent does the government improve its strategic capacity by changing the institutional arrangements of governing?

10
 9

The government improves its strategic capacity considerably by changing its institutional arrangements.
 8
 7
 6


The government improves its strategic capacity by changing its institutional arrangements.
 5
 4
 3


The government does not improve its strategic capacity by changing its institutional arrangements.
 2
 1

The government loses strategic capacity by changing its institutional arrangements.
Institutional Reform
7
There can be little doubt that the government’s determination to ensure that Malta retains a strong position within the EU structures has had an impact. The administrative service’s strategic capacity has improved greatly, and the continued focus on training and development in collaboration with tertiary institutions is paying dividends. This collaboration has helped place greater focus on what the service needs in terms of human resources and capacity-building. The PMO is currently overseeing an overhaul of procedures in a number of ministries and public organizations, following recommendations made by Moneyval, the Venice Commission and GRECO.

Citations:
https://publicservice.gov.mt/en/institute/Pages/About/aboutips.aspx
https://publicservice.gov.mt/en/institute/Documents/IPS_PROSPECTUS.pdf
https://investinginyourfuture.gov.mt/project/public-administration/developing-the-maltese-public-sector-capacity-to-implement-better-regulation-37060628
Malta Today 17/01/2020 Rule of Law and good governance are at the top of the country’s agenda, Malta PM tells ambassadors
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