The Malta Independent 15 July 2024, Monday
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Evaluation plan to improve country's security on the agenda of inter-ministerial meeting

Monday, 25 February 2019, 17:14 Last update: about 6 years ago

Home Affairs and National Security Minister Michael Farrugia together with Principal Permanent Secretary Mario Cutajar presided over an inter-ministerial meeting discussing the planning of the Home Affairs ministry's work.

Farrugia spoke of the importance of continuous collaboration between all disciplinary corps, something which he said was evident during the weekend's record-breaking stormy weather.

The minister said that the home affairs ministry was working on an evaluation plan so that the country's security can continue to improve and so, among other things, a national strategy for the police force.  Farrugia said that a few ago a project combining police databases with databases of other entities such as the MFSA had been announced to fight economic crimes, which were on the increase despite the 7% overall reduction of crime reported in 2018. He said that a lot of investment which, for security reasons, could not be shared with the media was being made.

Farrugi said that the Armed Forces of Malta needed more human resources so to strengthen themselves and be able to continue providing their exceptional service to the country. The Civil Protection Department, he said, needed similar strengthening in the human resources bracket, but also needed investment in its infrastructure. There is a plan spread out over seven years which will see all stations rebuilt and be earthquake-proof, he said before adding that a legal notice regulating fire regulations was also in the works.

He said that the ministry was evaluating the first draft of the Prison Brief so that as soon as it is finished it will be complemented by a design plan which will serve as the basis for all future plans. Farrugia also noted the importance of the country's critical infrastructure which assures changes in the infrastructure for essential services so that this department can remain pro-active.

Principal Permanent Secretary Mario Cutajar meanwhile also praised civil protection workers, police and armed forces members for their work in keeping up with the weekend's storm.

He lauded the coordination between government entities, and said that this type of concise effort had to be replicated in any eventuality.  He said that one of the most important Key Performance Indicators for the government is that protocols for any type of emergency are made - Cutajar in fact noted that there is strong investment so that emergency forces are prepared for every eventuality.

Speaking on the theme of the meeting, 'Coordination and Teamwork, Cutajar said that the Home Affairs ministry had attained a number of successes over the past years, citing the recent collective agreement signed for members of the police force and the process ongoing for collective agreements for other corps as examples.

Cutajar said that in 2013 the public service had a leadership and delegation problem which resulted in decisions not being taken. He mentioned how the flexibility of public service had been used to strengthen internal structures and adopt more effective concepts and systems.

Cutajar also noted that at the moment there is a 40 million euro IT investment being carried out to prepare the public service's infrastructure for the future and so that public administration can swap to a once-only principle wherein the public only needs to provide the government with their information once.

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