MCESD 15.04.23

Public Procurement and National Skills on the MCESD Agenda

Today MCESD was hosted for the first time by one of its social partners the General Workers’ Union.

As has become customary, MCESD today addressed two priority matters for the country with the help of expert research and analysis (1) the value expected to be extracted for Maltese citizens through Public Procurement and (2) the expected reshaping of National Skills to drive national economic ambitions.

The National Audit Office (NAO)‘s perspective on public procurement in Malta was presented to the social partners by the Auditor General, Mr. Charles Deguara who highlighted the significance of the steps that need to be taken to strengthen good governance in public procurement.  The Auditor General referred to the content of the two most recent NAO reports, titled: An evaluation of performance audits in the public sector: Common Audit Findings 2017–2020 and Report by the Auditor General on the Public Accounts 2021 (Dec 2021). Mr. Deguara’s main recommendations covered transparency, equal treatment, value for money, and control. He also addressed the citizens’ right to know what is being spent in the public sector.  The National Audit Office looks forward to extending the cooperation on many fronts within the MCESD.

The presentation on the perspective on Public Procurement in Malta from the NAO, can be accessed from here.

The meeting then followed to hear and consider research, analysis and recommendations on Malta’s Public Procurement system developed by The Malta Chamber of Commerce through its CEO Dr. Marthese Portelli.  The presentation emphasised the significance of transparent and accountable public procurement in the interest of ethical business and the tax-paying citizens. The presentation included a series of tangible and strong proposals for reform that include the strengthening of the Department of Contracts. The presentation contained a number of strong and concrete reform recommendations, one of which was to strengthen the Department of Contracts with enough knowledgeable staff with skills that span drafting to post-award scrutiny with established KPIs.

The presentation on the perspective on Public Procurement Reform from the Malta Chamber of Commerce, can be accessed from here.

The social partners made a number of observations and recommendations on this very important subject, including the significance of transparency, the importance of employees’ rights, and the aspiration that small enterprises should receive greater support and consideration.

The second part of the meeting focused on the actions to be taken to improve National Skills. The social partners were given a presentation by the director of the National Skills Council (NSC), Ms. Ruth Debrincat. During this presentation, the social partners were given information about the mission and vision of this new council to define and support the skills necessary to support Malta’s ambitions.  To achieve this, the social partners requested improved engagement and continuous communication, especially now that the NSC has become an executive council.  The MCESD will support and contribute to the work of the NSC by enabling an improved definition of the social and economic ambitions of the country.

The presentation on the National Skills Council, can be accessed from here.