PRESS RELEASE BY THE OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER: Speech by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat for the 9QC Quality Conference

The public administration in any country reflects the institutional foundations of how the country is run. It addresses the needs of society and also frames its functioning through structures, processes, roles, relationships, policies and programmes. Public administration shapes economic prosperity, social cohesion and sustainable growth. But not only, it defines public services and moulds the environment for the creation of public value.

Four years ago, our Public Administration took stock of its shortcomings; its deficiencies; indeed even its crisis in its top echelons. Four years ago, the Maltese Public Administration was a national issue. It suffered from ever-increasing layers of bureaucracy and a myriad of administrative measures, which translated into hurdles for those seeking a service. Unfortunately, the concept of quality service was not even defined, let alone conceptualized.

Within this framework, we directed our public service to embark on a silent revolution. As an institution, it took stock of the need to play a fundamental role in setting the right incentives, lowering uncertainty, enabling prosperity in the long run and being more customer oriented. Its design and delivery needed structural reforms, so as to remove barriers and foster innovation and create new job opportunities, both within the public service and also in the labour market.

Within this framework, four main pillars of quality service were identified.

We prioritised on feedback and ideas from our customers and clients. We were not afraid to take stock and implement relevant ideas of how to offer a better service. Indeed, we implemented the IDEA concept. This has now become a mainstay within the public service whereby employees forward their ideas and proposals for better functioning deliverables, and get due credit and acknowledgement for doing so.

This led us to the second pillar: the design of quality service. The drafting of policies and processes aimed to cater for the quality service expected from our clients.

The third pillar encompassed the total package of deliverables. That is to say, the provision of a service in a timely manner; of the highest possible quality; easily attainable and easy to use.

The fourth pillar involved accountability. The mainstay of any public service is that of dealing with people in an honest manner. Accountability is also a measure of loyalty towards users and clients of the public service.

We also felt the need to bring this institution nearer and closer to the community. The setting up of five service hubs in Qormi, Birgu, Paola, Birkirkara and Qawra was the manifestation of all this. These service hubs also enhance Government’s IT strategy, whereby the public can gain access to the Government’s services 24 hours a dayall year round. Moreover, more than twenty mobile apps dedicated to a variety of sectors are also being rolled out. The aim is to allow users access to public services from anywhere and anytime, curtailing waiting time, and excessive bureaucracy.

To attain quality service, however, one has to acknowledge that one needs to instil an equivalent level of quality in the providers of the service. This brought about the management of human resources within the public service under closer scrutiny, leading to a major overhaul of the way we used to do things, and led us to set up a division within the Public Service totally dedicated to focus on these aspects.

During the past four years, this Administration invested heavily in training employees. The Institute for Public Services was set up as a central training organisation to provide employees, to award academic sponsorships, and to undertake research. The increasing emphasis on tertiary-level training, and education for public service employees, is one of the mainstays in the government’s programme to renew the public service.

Part of the renewal of the Public Service included the actual empowerment of its employees. Delegation of power, has started to percolate down the ranks, as has decentralisation of decision-making. However, accountability has remained at the forefront of these initiatives.

To ensure faster decision making within the public service and at the same time taking up more simplified and user-friendly processes, specific directives were brought into play. Directive 8, for example, paved the way for a mechanism to channel on the fast track requests submitted by Government employees for vacation leave and training courses. The bottom line is that if management does not respond within a determined period of time, the request is automatically upheld.

Each year, the National Audit Office publishes a report on governance in a particular year. The tabled recommendation invariably used to fall on deaf ears, or left pending. Over a period of five years prior to 2014, out of 200 recommendations, barely five were implemented. This has changed, radically. In these 4 years, around 500 recommendations have been implemented.

We are proud to say that the public service is fostering a mentality and culture that calls for accountability and transparency. No Government can run a country well without a quality-based; efficient, and effective public administration.

The future, in other words, lies on key performance indicators. Through KPI, the Public Service will have a set of quantifiable measures upon which it will be held to account so as to ensure that goals are met. The first set of KPIs were set up this year, and as from this year the performance of the Permanent Secretaries will be appraised according to the achievement of these KPIs. This is a major shift towards performance management. Clear objectives have been set up. Our creed will be good planning, and keeping to delivery dates.

The past four years saw the birth and the coming-of-age of the renewal of the public service according to the needs of the country and its people. We have started to instil a culture of timely implementation, with accountability and transparency as top priorities.

We shall, without any doubt, continue to put greater emphasis on having the right tools in place to serve a modern, efficient, and effective public service in place, to serve the people according to their needs.

Indeed, our best times lie ahead.

Source: Government of Malta

PRESS RELEASE BY THE OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER: Speech by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat for the 9QC Quality Conference

The public administration in any country reflects the institutional foundations of how the country is run. It addresses the needs of society and also frames its functioning through structures, processes, roles, relationships, policies and programmes. Public administration shapes economic prosperity, social cohesion and sustainable growth. But not only, it defines public services and moulds the environment for the creation of public value.

Four years ago, our Public Administration took stock of its shortcomings; its deficiencies; indeed even its crisis in its top echelons. Four years ago, the Maltese Public Administration was a national issue. It suffered from ever-increasing layers of bureaucracy and a myriad of administrative measures, which translated into hurdles for those seeking a service. Unfortunately, the concept of quality service was not even defined, let alone conceptualized.

Within this framework, we directed our public service to embark on a silent revolution. As an institution, it took stock of the need to play a fundamental role in setting the right incentives, lowering uncertainty, enabling prosperity in the long run and being more customer oriented. Its design and delivery needed structural reforms, so as to remove barriers and foster innovation and create new job opportunities, both within the public service and also in the labour market.

Within this framework, four main pillars of quality service were identified.

We prioritised on feedback and ideas from our customers and clients. We were not afraid to take stock and implement relevant ideas of how to offer a better service. Indeed, we implemented the IDEA concept. This has now become a mainstay within the public service whereby employees forward their ideas and proposals for better functioning deliverables, and get due credit and acknowledgement for doing so.

This led us to the second pillar: the design of quality service. The drafting of policies and processes aimed to cater for the quality service expected from our clients.

The third pillar encompassed the total package of deliverables. That is to say, the provision of a service in a timely manner; of the highest possible quality; easily attainable and easy to use.

The fourth pillar involved accountability. The mainstay of any public service is that of dealing with people in an honest manner. Accountability is also a measure of loyalty towards users and clients of the public service.

We also felt the need to bring this institution nearer and closer to the community. The setting up of five service hubs in Qormi, Birgu, Paola, Birkirkara and Qawra was the manifestation of all this. These service hubs also enhance Government’s IT strategy, whereby the public can gain access to the Government’s services 24 hours a dayall year round. Moreover, more than twenty mobile apps dedicated to a variety of sectors are also being rolled out. The aim is to allow users access to public services from anywhere and anytime, curtailing waiting time, and excessive bureaucracy.

To attain quality service, however, one has to acknowledge that one needs to instil an equivalent level of quality in the providers of the service. This brought about the management of human resources within the public service under closer scrutiny, leading to a major overhaul of the way we used to do things, and led us to set up a division within the Public Service totally dedicated to focus on these aspects.

During the past four years, this Administration invested heavily in training employees. The Institute for Public Services was set up as a central training organisation to provide employees, to award academic sponsorships, and to undertake research. The increasing emphasis on tertiary-level training, and education for public service employees, is one of the mainstays in the government’s programme to renew the public service.

Part of the renewal of the Public Service included the actual empowerment of its employees. Delegation of power, has started to percolate down the ranks, as has decentralisation of decision-making. However, accountability has remained at the forefront of these initiatives.

To ensure faster decision making within the public service and at the same time taking up more simplified and user-friendly processes, specific directives were brought into play. Directive 8, for example, paved the way for a mechanism to channel on the fast track requests submitted by Government employees for vacation leave and training courses. The bottom line is that if management does not respond within a determined period of time, the request is automatically upheld.

Each year, the National Audit Office publishes a report on governance in a particular year. The tabled recommendation invariably used to fall on deaf ears, or left pending. Over a period of five years prior to 2014, out of 200 recommendations, barely five were implemented. This has changed, radically. In these 4 years, around 500 recommendations have been implemented.

We are proud to say that the public service is fostering a mentality and culture that calls for accountability and transparency. No Government can run a country well without a quality-based; efficient, and effective public administration.

The future, in other words, lies on key performance indicators. Through KPI, the Public Service will have a set of quantifiable measures upon which it will be held to account so as to ensure that goals are met. The first set of KPIs were set up this year, and as from this year the performance of the Permanent Secretaries will be appraised according to the achievement of these KPIs. This is a major shift towards performance management. Clear objectives have been set up. Our creed will be good planning, and keeping to delivery dates.

The past four years saw the birth and the coming-of-age of the renewal of the public service according to the needs of the country and its people. We have started to instil a culture of timely implementation, with accountability and transparency as top priorities.

We shall, without any doubt, continue to put greater emphasis on having the right tools in place to serve a modern, efficient, and effective public service in place, to serve the people according to their needs.

Indeed, our best times lie ahead.

Source: Government of Malta