The Minister for Finance Prof. Edward Scicluna held a meeting with the Head of the Public Procurement unit at the OECD Public Governance Directorate Mr. Paulo Magina who presented a copy of the OECD report commissioned by the Government of Malta entitled ‘Re-engineering the Department of Contracts’.
In 2016 the Government of Malta had instituted a new regulatory framework which transposed the 2014 EU Directives covering Public Procurement Concession Contracts and Utilities Contracts, which were intended to increase effectiveness, transparency and accountability.
Following this significant movement forward in the regulatory landscape a raft of changes in the organisational and operational areas pertinent to public procurement followed suit. Major improvements continued in the area of e-procurement and also through decentralisation of the public procurement processes with the establishment of Ministerial Procurement Units (MPUs), similar to other European countries, like Portugal. The European Single Procurement Document (ESPD) was also introduced and good progress was made in the areas of environmental and social procurement.
Looking to the future the commitment to organisational and operational change is strong. There is a recognition that the public procurement workforce capability will play a key role in the future success of public procurement in Malta and there is a commitment to put in place strategies to improve the current state.
Most of the reforms undertaken to date are aligned with the abovementioned EU Directives, but some reforms such as the establishment of MPUs fall under the discretionary power of the Member States.
To achieve the desired improvements in Malta’s public procurement efficiency and effectiveness it is acknowledged and recognised that a concerted and planned programme of change will be able to accelerate and enhance the programmes already underway.
This report is a result of a joint initiative of the Government of Malta, OECD and European Commission.
The Finance Minister was accompanied by his Chief of Staff, Dr. Paul Debattista and Permanent Secretary, Mr. Joseph Caruana.
6th March 2019