MITA or­gan­ises a pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion ses­sion on mo­bile gov­ern­ment

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

MITA, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Of­fice of the Prin­ci­pal Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary, on Satur­day or­gan­ised a pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion ses­sion about in­no­va­tive means through which the gov­ern­ment can in­ter­act with cit­i­zens us­ing mo­bile tech­nol­ogy.

Mark H Bar­tolo de­liv­ered a pre­sen­ta­tion about the ef­fect that mo­bile tech­nol­ogy can have on peo­ple and their daily rou­tine. Peo­ple are hav­ing their on­line needs sat­is­fied less by tra­di­tional per­sonal com­put­ers and lap­tops and more by the mo­bile de­vices of their choice, to the ex­tent that con­sumers have come to ex­pect most, if not all, the ser­vices they re­quire to be avail­able in mo­bile form. Th­ese con­sumer ex­pec­ta­tions ex­tend to all forms of peo­ple’s in­ter­ac­tions, in­clud­ing those with their gov­ern­ment.

The ses­sion was then fol­lowed by two par­al­lel work­shops aimed at dif­fer­ent au­di­ences. One of the work­shops, in­tended for youths and their or­gan­i­sa­tions, an­a­lysed the youths’ in­cli­na­tion to­wards the use of dif­fer­ent types of mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tions, and more specif­i­cally, their pre­ferred chan­nel when in­ter­act­ing with the gov­ern­ment. Youth or­gan­i­sa­tions at­tend­ing this work­shop rep­re­sented stu­dents from var­i­ous sec­tors.

The other work­shop, at­tended by the gen­eral pub­lic and NGOs, ex­am­ined how mo­bile tech­nol­ogy can en­hance two-way com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween cit­i­zens and the gov­ern­ment, as well as in­crease the cit­i­zen par­tic­i­pa­tion in po­lit­i­cal de­ci­sion mak­ing. At­ten­dees also shared their views on which pub­lic ser­vices they would be more likely to use through their mo­bile de­vices.

This pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion ses­sion is one of sev­eral ini­tia­tives planned for the Pub­lic Ser­vice Week which is be­ing or­gan­ised be­tween 27 May and 3 June. The Speaker of the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Anglu Far­ru­gia has at­tended and ad­dressed those present at the third Sum­mit of Speak­ers hosted by the King­dom of Morocco in the port city of Tang­ier.

This year’s Sum­mit of Speak­ers fo­cused on the im­por­tance of sus­tained Mediter­ranean di­a­logue, and the am­bi­tion to build bet­ter in­ter-cul­tural an­chor­age that would gen­er­ate shared devel­op­ment in terms of peace and se­cu­rity. Fur­ther­more, it was also ar­gued that sus­tain­able devel­op­ment needs to take into con­sid­er­a­tion cli­mate change and the pro­tec­tion of the en­vi­ron­ment.

Ad­dress­ing those present, Speaker Anglu Far­ru­gia high­lighted the im­por­tance of re­vi­tal­is­ing the com­mon Euro-Mediter­ranean project, and spoke about Malta’s piv­otal role in the re­gion. Men­tion­ing just a few ex­am­ples, Speaker Far­ru­gia re­called Malta’s Mediter­ranean in­put dur­ing the 1975 CSCE Con­fer­ence, the proac­tive en­vi­ron­men­tal con­tri­bu­tion at a UN level in 1988, and the his­toric meet­ing held be­tween US Pres­i­dent Bush and Soviet Pres­i­dent Gor­bachev in 1989.

Recog­nis­ing that di­plo­matic in­ter­ac­tion is no longer strictly con­fined to the For­eign Min­istry and ca­reer di­plo­mats’ re­mits, Speaker Far­ru­gia un­der­lined the im­por­tance of pro­mot­ing greater in­ter­par­lia­men­tary co­op­er­a­tion at both the bi­lat­eral and mul­ti­lat­eral level. Par­lia­men­tary co­op­er­a­tion acts as an im­por­tant ini­tia­tive with which to bridge po­lit­i­cal dif­fer­ences whilst specif­i­cally tar­get­ing an is­sue of com­mon con­cern and pos­si­ble con­flict. To this end, Speaker Far­ru­gia re­called the pro­posal to ad­dress water de­ple­tion in the Gaza area sub­mit­ted to the Is­raeli Knes­set and Pales­tinian Leg­isla­tive Coun­cil dur­ing a par­lia­men­tary visit last March.

Con­clud­ing, Speaker Far­ru­gia called for a bet­ter co­or­di­nated and more inclusive ap­proach, one that would help trans­form the re­gion from a boil­ing caul­dron of con­flict to a kalei­do­scopic sea of cul­tures and vi­brant so­cial in­ter­ac­tions.

The Mal­tese del­e­ga­tion at­tend­ing the 12th Ple­nary Ses­sion and side Com­mit­tee meet­ings was com­posed of Michael Fal­zon, Sil­vio Par­nis and Ge­orge Pul­li­cino.

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