The Malta Independent 23 January 2020, Thursday

Malta IT Agency To replace MITTS

Malta Independent Saturday, 5 July 2008, 00:00 Last update: about 7 years ago

MITTS is to become MITA in the “next logical step” of developing an ICT policy in Malta, the Infrastructure, Transport and Communications Ministry announced yesterday.

MITTS, the Malta Information Technology and Training Services company, is to be subsumed by the MITA, the Malta Information Technology Agency, which has just been set up.

According to a government statement yesterday, the MITA will drive the implementation of the national IT strategy. The new organisation will absorb into it the operations of MITTS Ltd and a range of functions previously carried out directly by the IT ministry.

The government felt the need for a permanent agency to drive IT within the public sector itself and the wider community to ensure continuity in the effort which has since 2000 been led and managed directly by the minister responsible for information technology.

The absence of a permanent structure within the public sector to manage this important policy area was a threat to the development of these policies in the long term, the government said.

As part of this effort, the government has also decided to empower the Malta Communications Authority to take over from the ministry the direct implementation of the efforts to upgrade Malta’s external ICT environment, to eliminate the digital divide and to promote e-Commerce.

The two organisations – the MITA and the MCA – under the leadership of the IT and communications ministry, “are expected to build on the successes achieved so far by the eMinistry that has led the transformation of Malta into a world-class model of excellence in the area, a magnet for international investment and a genuinely e-inclusive society.”

The primary functions of the MITA as set out in its statute are to:

• Serve as the central driver of information and communications technology policy, programmes and initiatives in Malta;

• Deliver and manage the execution of all programmes related to the implementation of information technology and related systems in the government with the aim of enhancing public service delivery;

• Provide efficient and effective information and communications technology infrastructure services to the government as directed by the minister from time to time;

• Proliferate the further application and take-up of information and communications technologies in society and the economy; and

• Promote and deliver programmes aimed at enhancing ICT education and the use of ICT as a learning tool.

The government said the new Malta IT Agency will become the sole shareholder of MITTS Ltd and will eventually absorb that organisation as its operational arm. That process will be completed when the Public Administration Bill, currently being debated in Parliament, becomes law and the MITA becomes an agency in terms of that law. MITTS Ltd does not trade in the market and there are therefore no reasons to retain the limited liability company structure in the new agency.

Following the Cabinet’s approval, the minister yesterday appointed Claudio Grech, current chief executive officer of SmartCity Malta Ltd, as non-executive chairman of the agency.

All other former directors at MITTS Ltd have been confirmed as directors of MITA with the addition of Juan Borg Manduca, director of the ICT Institute at MCAST. The rest of the board of MITA is composed of Godwin Grima (principal permanent secretary and Cabinet secretary) who will be MITA’s deputy chairman, John Aquilina (CEO of the Management Efficiency Unit), and Joanna Genovese, director of the Staff Development Office.

The board of directors will also serve ex officio as the board of directors of MITTS Ltd.

Minister Austin Gatt thanked the outgoing chairman of MITTS Ltd, David Spiteri Gingell, for his sterling service to the organisation. Mr Spiteri Gingell resigned his position to pursue a career in the private sector consultancy field.

Commenting on the establishment of the agency, Dr Gatt said “this was the next logical step in the further development of ICT policy in Malta.

“With these moves we are significantly strengthening the policy development and programme execution capacity aspects of our agenda to ensure that the country does not miss out on the opportunities which this vibrant sector will present in the coming years.

“The upgrade of MITTS Ltd into the first national IT agency is a clear vote of confidence which the government is making in the workforce of MITTS, in line with the government’s declared objective in the SmartIsland strategy to upscale the organisation towards the provision of higher value added services to the government.”

Dr Gatt said that “although we have attained excellent results in this area, we want to keep on re-inventing ourselves in our bid to make our country the smart island.

The roadmap was set in December 2007, when we launched the National ICT Strategy for 2008-2010. Today we have set in place the vehicles to deliver the plans we have set out for ourselves.”

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