A comprehensive digital transformation of public services could address many of Malta’s operational weaknesses, the Malta Chamber said on Thursday.

In a statement, it said that, If done well, this will save businesses, citizens and government a lot of time and money that is wasted on duplication of data inputting with various government entities.

It will also render the processes more transparent and less prone to manipulation and clientelism and will ultimately improve the ease of doing business, strengthen governance and enforcement capabilities, improving the country’s attractiveness as a location for foreign investment.

The chamber hoped that it will also help identify waste and free excess human resources for more productive employment in the private sector, where labour shortages are hampering the recovery of several industries.

“There are tough decisions to be made in the coming months, but it is imperative to make them. Given the current international scenario, delaying tough decisions further could backfire badly because energy prices are bound to remain high for a prolonged period and supply chain bottlenecks will not ease before the economic growth of large economies starts buckling under inflationary pressures.

“We have managed to contain a significant portion of the impact on the Maltese economy so far, but we should not be naïve to think that we can do so indefinitely. A judicious approach to public spending is warranted, and a smarter allocation of resources in both the public as well as the private sector is necessary to safeguard our competitiveness and mitigate long-term adverse effects of the current global challenges,” the chamber said.

The statement was issued in reference to announcements made over the past years including the government’s commitment to maintaining stability in energy prices and trimming waste in government spending.

It was also in reference to Tony Sultana’s appointment as Principal Permanent Secretary, which is being seen as a commitment towards the implementation of the digital transformation of the public service that has been on the cards for several years.

The chamber noted that although Malta was one of the first movers on eGovernment, it has been overtaken by many countries in recent years.

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