MITA organises a public consultation session on mobile government
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.