Skip Navigation
Malta

Public Access to Information (MT0011)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Malta, Second Action Plan, 2015-17

Action Plan Cycle: 2015

Status: Inactive

Institutions

Lead Institution: Office of the Prime Minister - Centre for Development Research and Training

Support Institution(s): NA

Policy Areas

E-Government, Public Participation, Right to Information

IRM Review

IRM Report: Malta End-of-Term Report 2015-2017

Starred: No

Early Results: Did Not Change

Design i

Verifiable: No

Relevant to OGP Values: Access to Information

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion:

Description

The commitment will increase public access to information, by providing the public with up-to-date, comprehensive and meaningful information on Government policies, services and activities as well as on matters of public interest on a constant basis by ensuring government portals are updated periodically.

IRM Midterm Status Summary

Commitment 4. Public access to information

Commitment Text:

The commitment will increase public access to information, by providing the public with up-to-date, comprehensive and meaningful information on Government policies, services and activities as well as on matters of public interest on a constant basis by ensuring government portals are updated periodically.

Milestones:

Information available on websites will be uploaded periodically.

Ensuring more cooperation between different government departments by nominating a contact point from each department.

Creating easier access to information from a central platform.

Responsible Institution(s): Office of the Prime Minister – Centre for Development Research and Training

Supporting Institution(s): None specified

Start Date: 1 January 2015 End Date: 31 December 2017

Commitment Aim:

This commitment’s main objective is to improve public access to government information by ensuring government websites provide updated and accurate information.

Status

Midterm: Limited

This commitment had limited completion by the time of the midterm report. The IRM researcher analysed the websites of all government ministries, in particular pages presenting news or policy updates, in order to examine whether their content was relevant and of interest to the general public, and also to ascertain update frequency. This research revealed that some of the news updates were available prior to the implementation of this commitment but in a different format, and that information of public interest and links were either inconsistently presented or not working properly. The researcher’s queries relating to the ‘central platform’ and to the appointment of ‘contact points’ were not answered by the Ministry for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties.

End-of-term: Limited

As noted in the progress report, the Ministry websites incorporated substantial amounts of information, including policy documents and activity-related information. The websites’ news sections were updated as a result of this commitment, providing information on recent activities undertaken by the different Ministries. However, there are still some problems regarding the accessibility of the information, as locating information on the websites is not ‘user-friendly’ for the citizen. For example, at the time of writing this report, useful links under the section ‘News and Services’ on the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Energy and Water’s respective websites could not be accessed by the IRM researcher.[Note18: Maltese government website, https://energy.gov.mt/en/tenders/Pages/, and Maltese government website, https://www.gov.mt/en/Government/Government%20of%20Malta/Ministries%20and%20Entities/Pages/Ministries%202017/MEDE-Portfolio.aspx] Neither the government, nor CSOs provided the IRM researcher with sufficient evidence to assess if department contact points and a central platform were established. The IRM researcher contacted the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development (MCESD) in order to receive comments on this commitment but received no answer by the time of writing this report.[Note19: MCESD representatives were contacted via email and phone in April and May 2018. ]

Did It Open Government?

Access to Information: Did not change

As a result of the research on government websites, the IRM researcher found that the information on news and ministry activities—albeit in a limited manner—was up to date. However, it was not possible to assess whether these changes had happened as a result of the implementation of this commitment and whether there are any changes in government practice as compared to the publishing of information prior to this commitment. The government did not implement a central platform for citizens to access information and did not nominate contact points for each department. Thus, the researcher believes the commitment did not change government practice.

Carried Forward?

The researcher recommends carrying forward this commitment into the next action plan, due to its potential to improve access to government information. Nonetheless, the IRM researcher recommends: a) specifying the nature of the information that will be made publicly available on government websites; b) establishing a uniform publication format that guarantees ease of access for citizens; c) creating an accessible central information platform; and d) establishing a clear schedule of updates and publications.


Commitments

  1. M-Government

    MT0013, 2018, E-Government

  2. Integration of Maltese Islands

    MT0014, 2018, Capacity Building

  3. Investing in Technology

    MT0015, 2018, Capacity Building

  4. Industrial and Employment Relations Improvements

    MT0016, 2018, Capacity Building

  5. Strengthening Commission for Domestic Violence

    MT0017, 2018, Capacity Building

  6. Participation of Women in the Public Service

    MT0008, 2015, Capacity Building

  7. Public Servant Knowledge Sharing

    MT0009, 2015, Capacity Building

  8. e-Services Online

    MT0010, 2015, E-Government

  9. Public Access to Information

    MT0011, 2015, E-Government

  10. Social Dialogue

    MT0012, 2015, Capacity Building

  11. Having Cleaner Beaches

    MT0001, 2012, Environment and Climate

  12. Construction of Safer Roads

    MT0002, 2012, Infrastructure & Transport

  13. Environment

    MT0003, 2012, Environment and Climate

  14. Transparency in Public Spending

    MT0004, 2012, Oversight of Budget/Fiscal Policies

  15. Taxation and Benefits Abuses

    MT0005, 2012, Oversight of Budget/Fiscal Policies

  16. Procurement

    MT0006, 2012, Open Contracting and Procurement

  17. One-Stop Shop for Citizens

    MT0007, 2012, Public Service Delivery