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Malta

Strengthening Commission for Domestic Violence (MT0017)

Overview

At-a-Glance

Action Plan: Not Attached

Action Plan Cycle: 2018

Status: Active

Institutions

Lead Institution: Local Government Department Commission for Domestic Violence

Support Institution(s): Commission For Domestic Violence Local Governments’ Department

Policy Areas

Capacity Building, Gender, Justice, Legislation & Regulation, Public Service Delivery, Subnational

IRM Review

IRM Report: Malta Design Report 2018-2020

Starred: Pending IRM Review

Early Results: Pending IRM Review

Design i

Verifiable: No

Relevant to OGP Values: Civic Participation

Potential Impact:

Implementation i

Completion: Pending IRM Review

Description

Strengthening Local Government and the Commission for Domestic Violence in
Malta – Commitment Number 5
January 2019 – December 2021
Lead implementing
agency/actor
Local Government Department
Commission for Domestic Violence
Commitment description
What is the public
problem that the
commitment will
address?
This Commitment will address the Difficulties faced by society in the
areas of local government and domestic violence. It will also strengthen
important areas in society being; Domestic violence and Local
Government’s Accountability through a reform that will bring Local
Councils closer to the citizens.
What is the
commitment?
This Commitment consists of several facets. One focuses on
empowering and strengthening the role of the Commission for Domestic
Violence in Malta. Another facet focuses increasing Local Council’s
accountability and operations.
How will the
commitment
contribute to solve
the public problem?
This commitment is aimed at strengthening various important areas of
society by the following means:
• Strengthen the Commission for Domestic Violence through
dedication of more resources.
• Identify the needs of Local Councils to ensure their sustainable
future and more in touch with the citizens. This is being done
through the publishing of a white paper that address this reform.
This White Paper has been launched for public consultation.
This Commitment will address the implementation of this reform
with consideration to the feedback received from the public
consultation.
Why is this
commitment relevant
to OGP values?
Through this commitment, Domestic Violence will be strengthened
through a new strategy. On the other hand, through the Local
Government reform, the relationship between local government and
society will be strengthen and accessibility increased to the benefit of
the whole society. This reform aims not only to ensure that citizens
receive a better service and as a result have a better quality of life, but
also to identify ways whereby Local Councils can be brought closer to
the residents. The White paper launched will also ensure a higher
degree of accountability.
Additional
information
• White Paper – Local Government Reform October 2018
https://meae.gov.mt/en/Public_Consultations/MJCL/Document
s/Riforma%20Booklet%20EN.pdf
• Commission for Domestic Violence Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/stopviolencemalta/
Milestone Activity
with a verifiable
deliverable
Start Date: End Date:
Strategy to
strengthen the role
of the Commission
for Domestic
Violence.
2019 2020
Accountability of
Local Councils is to
be ensured if they
are to have a
sustainable future.
With this in mind, a
White Paper aimed
at reforming Local
Government in
different areas is
being launched.
2019 2020
Contact information
Name of responsible
person from
implementing
agency
Mr. Hector Gatt
Title, Department Principal, Ministry for European Affairs and Equality
Email and Phone hector.gatt@gov.mt
Other
Actor
s
Invol
ved
State actors
involved
Commission For Domestic Violence
Local Governments’ Department

IRM Midterm Status Summary

5. Strengthening Local Government and the Commission for Domestic Violence in Malta

Language of the commitment as it appears in the action plan:

“This Commitment will address the Difficulties faced by society in the areas of local government and domestic violence. It will also strengthen important areas in society being; Domestic violence and Local Government’s Accountability through a reform that will bring Local Councils closer to the citizens.

This Commitment consists of several facets. One focuses on empowering and strengthening the role of the Commission for Domestic Violence in Malta. Another facet focuses increasing Local Council’s accountability and operations.

This commitment is aimed at strengthening various important areas of society by the following means:

  • Strengthen the Commission for Domestic Violence through dedication of more resources.
  • Identify the needs of Local Councils to ensure their sustainable future and more in touch with the citizens. This is being done through the publishing of a white paper that address this reform. This White Paper has been launched for public consultation. This Commitment will address the implementation of this reform with consideration to the feedback received from the public consultation.”

Milestones:

5.1. Strategy to strengthen the role of the Commission for Domestic Violence.

5.2. Accountability of Local Councils is to be ensured if they are to have a Sustainable future. With this in mind, a White Paper aimed at reforming Local Government in different areas is being launched.

Start Date: 2019

End Date: 2020

Editorial note: For the full text of this commitment, see Malta’s action plan 2018-2020: https://www.opengovpartnership.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Malta_Action-Plan_2018-2020.pdf

Context and Objectives

The commitment has two distinct and unrelated objectives: a) strengthening the role of Malta’s Commission for Domestic Violence (CDV), and b) bringing local councils closer to citizens. By allocating more resources to the CDV and publishing a white paper to ensure the reform and sustainability of local councils, the commitment aims to “address domestic violence and to improve local councils’ accountability”.

The White Paper for Local Government reform was published prior to the start of the commitment, in October 2018. The paper offers a series of proposals and aspirations “to bring the residents closer to their Local Council”. Over the past 25 years, local councils have gained importance in the lives of the citizens of Malta. Because of this, Silvio Parnis, Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government and Communities, expressed in the foreword to the White Paper that governance reform is “expected to result in increased operational efficiency, as well as more transparent processes, accountability and good governance with due regard to citizen expectations”. [15]

As written, this commitment is relevant to the value of civic participation as one of the concrete proposed activities involves launching the White Paper for consultation to consider citizens’ feedback in the implementation of the local councils’ reform. However, this commitment does not specify how feedback will be collected or used.

Overall, this commitment is verifiable. It is possible to determine the completion of the commitment by analysing if more resources were allocated to the CDV, and if the reforming White Paper was published for public consultation. However, the milestones could be more specific, particularly since the White Paper was published prior to the action plan, and there is already a strategy in place to prevent gender-based and domestic violence. [16] Overall, the commitment text and planned activities are not specific enough to determine if the potential impact will be higher than minor. It could, however, strengthen the role of the CDV and the strategy currently in place, and ensure compliance of the ongoing local councils’ reform.

Next steps

The IRM recommends the following actions during the implementation:

  • Clarify milestones during the implementation to ensure proposed activities have not been accomplished and that they can complement ongoing government activities;
  • Ensure the participation of social organisations in the development and monitoring of the commitment. In particular, the Local Councils’ Association, the Confederation of Women’s Association and the Malta Catholic Youth Network, could all be invited to help implement the commitment.

Given the importance of the issue of domestic violence, the next action plan could include a commitment that addressed this issue while also relating to OGP values of access to information, civic participation or public accountability. For example, the CDV could disclose information on gender-based and domestic violence at the local level. The development of a unified information system for data on violence against women and reporting systems for gender-based violence, such as the ones established in Brazil, could strengthen the role of the CDV in Malta. [17] Moreover, observatories on gender-based violence, such as the ones established in Uruguay, could be helpful. [18]

 

[16] The Gender-Based Violence and Domestic Violence Strategy is the first national framework to ensure legislation, policies and services address victims’ needs holistically and as a societal concern. This Strategy is also in line with the policy recommendations included in the Council of Europe Convention on prevention and combatting violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention)1, which Malta ratified in 2014, https://meae.gov.mt/en/Documents/GBV_DV%20Strategy%20and%20Action%20Plan%20publication.pdf 

Commitments

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  3. Investing in Technology

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  4. Industrial and Employment Relations Improvements

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  5. Strengthening Commission for Domestic Violence

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  6. Participation of Women in the Public Service

    MT0008, 2015, Capacity Building

  7. Public Servant Knowledge Sharing

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  8. e-Services Online

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  9. Public Access to Information

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  10. Social Dialogue

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  11. Having Cleaner Beaches

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  12. Construction of Safer Roads

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  13. Environment

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  14. Transparency in Public Spending

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  15. Taxation and Benefits Abuses

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  16. Procurement

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  17. One-Stop Shop for Citizens

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