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Malta: Next Generation eGovernment Platform Launched
Source: http://www.epractice.eu/en/news/5322601
Source Date: Friday, December 23, 2011
Focus: Citizen Engagement, Internet Governance
Country: Malta
Created: Dec 23, 2011

On 30 November 2011, the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Communication Austin Gatt launched the next generation eGovernment platform. This is considered to be the evolution of the Government's electronic services with the main aim of promoting citizen centricity.

The next generation eGovernment platform intends to give citizens and businesses greater transparency, more personalised services, more influence over service design and delivery and a greater level of trust.

Minister Gatt said that eGovernment started 12 years ago and the results garnered in the last years are very clear: "Government's vision to deliver its services electronically has evolved into an executable plan which now is delivering services which have positioned Malta as the leader within the European Union in terms of eGovernment." For Malta to remain in the leading position, the minister said that it needs to change and exploit technological developments and understand how citizens are using technology. "With eGovernment 2.0 we are giving citizens and businesses the access they want in the format they want whenever, wherever," he concluded.

Besides allowing citizens to get the service they want when they want it, the next generation eGovernment platform will also be available through a diversity of devices, such as computers, mobile devices and digital TV. In addition, all information will be presented clearly and if the service citizens want requires the inputs of several entities within the Government, they simply need to apply once, and their process goes from one entity to the next automatically. Citizens will also be able to see the progress and status of their form in real time.

Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA) Chairman Claudio Grech said that the next generation eGovernment platform is to provide citizen-centric services which will fundamentally transform customer experience and also deliver seamless, cross border and pan-European services.

"A major breakthrough from the conventional eGovernment is that with the new platform, all Government entities will be able to effectively deploy services as they need them in a short time. We want to reach a stage where all services offered by Government will be available electronically through a self-service window," added Mr Grech.

The rapid, just-in-time deployment of services is possible through the eForms (electronic forms) technology which allows entities to utilise a centralised library by which they can create their own forms without always having to go through MITA. However, the central governance of standards and administration of forms will still be handled by the agency to ensure high quality and secure services.

"Up till today we had 93 electronic services and today we're launching another 55 new services [available at eForms]. We aim to have a total of 70 services by the end of this year, 150 by mid-next year and 350 services by the end of 2012," said Mr Grech.

Dr Godwin Grima, the Principal Permanent Secretary and head of the Public Administration said that Government entities no longer need to request official documentation from citizens which any other Government entity already possesses (e.g. copies of ID card, birth certificates, etc.), thus decreasing Government bureaucracy. "Remaining leaders in eGovernment does not only mean that we can continue to provide a high standard of service to local citizens and businesses but also makes Malta more competitive in the global market," added Dr Grima.

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