Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has expressed his full confidence in the Chairman, Chief Executive and entire Board of the Financial Services Authority, MFSA, and insisted it is an independent and autonomous institution.
Questions were put to Dr Muscat on this issue after Dr Joe Brincat, who sits on the MFSA Board, in recent days presented an official letter against the Authority’s Chief Executive, in which he is insisting Mr Joe Cuschieri should not give golden handshakes from public funds to any employee of the Authority.
This morning the Prime Minister addressed a conference at the start of Public Service Week, with the theme “Towards a service of excellence”, and with Principal Permanent Secretary Mario Cutajar stating the public service has started working towards forecasting clients’ needs and services with the help of artificial intelligence.
The Prime Minister told heads of departments and Government entities that the public service has undergone a radical change over the past six and a half years, and had played a major part in implementing Government’s vision to prepare Malta for the future, and in the implementation of ambitious measures like the energy reform, childcare, tablets and free transport for schoolchildren.
“In simple terms, Government cannot run the country without its right hand, without you,” the Prime Minister stated.
Dr Muscat declared it would be useless to have a strong economy and good budgets, if the people are not served efficiently when they have recourse to Government services, including on the servizz.gov website which is visited by over 42,000 persons per month, and with the 153 telephone service being among the most important telecommunication tools.
“This service got an average of 48,000 calls per month since it has been set up, and the servizz.gov email service receives about 500 emails every month, nearly as much as I receive every day,” the Prime Minister pointed out.
Dr Muscat added that the five regional hubs in Vittoriosa, Birkirkara, Ħal Qormi, Paola and Qawra jointly offer 250 services, so much so that during the first six months of the year nearly 20,000 persons used these centres, and there are also four hubs whose speciality is taxes, education, trade and the family.
“All this translates into one thing in the civil service mindset – that it is a service for the people and not detached and lost in internal bureaucracy,” the Prime Minister reiterated.
Principal Permanent Secretary Mario Cutajar stated that from a service of quality, the next step is a service of excellence, with the use among others of the latest artificial intelligence technology.
“Today one looks up services when one needs them; we have to reach a stage when through technology we can forecast one’s needs, and this is the luxury which AI can provide, meaning that what is today improved upon by humans will tomorrow start being made better by machines.”
Mr Cutajar added that as part of Public Service Week, for the first time ever recognition will be given to departments in the form of a quality mark for initiatives, improvement in processes and the excellent service they provide. Besides, a considerable number of activities for all the family will be held at St George’s Square in Valletta on Saturday 28 September, and at Għammieri on Sunday 29 September.