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Increasing the use of eGovernment services through local councils

Publication Date: Jun 25, 2015
MITA is currently hosting a seminar for local council officials on how technology can be used to support their work in servicing the public.  The seminar is part of the Public Services Online project which aims at enhancing knowledge and take-up of eGovernment services.  The officials were addressed by Hon. Stefan Buontempo - Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government and Hon. Jose Herrera - Parliamentary Secretary for Competitiveness and Economic Growth.

The Public Services Online project is co-financed through the European Social Funds and is being coordinated by MITA together with other stakeholders including CDRT, various Ministries and Digitaliseringsstyrelsen (the Danish Government Digital Agency).

Local councils play a very important role in their respective localities as more often than not they act as the first port of call for many citizens.  MITA’s Executive Chairman, Mr Tony Sultana said that local councils can also positively influence the take-up of eGovernment services by guiding citizens to these services that are easy, efficient and convenient.  

“This is why as part of this project, 100 local council officials from various localities in Malta and Gozo are currently undergoing training aimed at providing them with the necessary tools and information to be in a better position to guide and encourage citizens to use online services,” explained Mr Sultana.  “This seminar comes at a time when just two days ago the European Commission issued its Benchmarking Report on eGovernment which placed Malta as the leader amongst 33 countries. However, the report also shows there is room for improvement regarding the take-up of these services,” said Mr. Sultana. 

As part of the project a market research was conducted to find the reasons that are negatively impacting the take-up of e-services by citizens.  The third component of the Public Services Online project is a promotional campaign to raise awareness about the different e-services available.

Hon Buontempo said that such initiatives simplify work and reduce bureaucracy and also empower local council officials as they can offer a more effective service to residents. “Technology can help consumers in getting served more efficiently and thus time and resources can be allocated for other work required by the local council,” said Hon Buontempo.

Hon Herrera emphasized that through eGovernment it is possible to strengthen democracy and facilitate ease of access for various government services. “Government wants to increase the participation of citizens and businesses and wants them to interact more with all levels of Government. We believe that we can achieve this through eGovernment.” Hon Herrera also announced that financial support will be given to a number of local councils to enhance their ICT facilities by purchasing new computers that will be made available for the public.

For more information about the Public Services Online Project, visit gov.mt      ​