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Robert Abela Scraps Anti-Bureaucracy Commissioner’s Office For Good In Change Of Direction

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An office set up by former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to combat excessive government bureaucracy is no more, with his successor Robert Abela deciding to shift this responsibility to the Principal Permanent Secretary. 

“Initiatives to reduce bureaucracy are spearheaded by the Public Service under the responsibility of the Principal Permanent Secretary,” a government spokesperson told Lovin Malta. 

“The decision to proceed in this direction was taken in January 2020, after it was evident that the Public Service has made great leaps forward in its quality of service, as confirmed by public surveys showing the high degree of citizens’ trust.”

“The Office of the Principal Permanent Secretary will keep coordinating with the Permanent Secretaries across the different ministries to implement initiatives which tackle excessive bureaucracy in line with Government’s agenda.”

In its 2013 manifesto, the Labour Party promised to appoint a Commissioner for Simplification and the Reduction of Bureaucracy to monitor excessively bureaucratic processes in government entities and reduce it effectively.

The incoming Labour government appointed PL MP Anthony Agius Decelis as Malta’s first anti-bureaucracy commissioner in 2014, and he was succeeded by PL MP Rosianne Cutajar in 2017.

The office was based at Castille and a temporary Gozitan back office was set up in 2015; photos of this Gozitan back office now crammed with documents and box files did the rounds on social media in recent days.

The current state of the now-defunct Gozitan branch of the anti-bureaucracy commissioner

The current state of the now-defunct Gozitan branch of the anti-bureaucracy commissioner

Government bureaucracy was recently flagged by the Chamber of Commerce ahead of the 2022 Budget, with the business lobby groups urging the government to streamline departmental data.

Cover photo: Left: The current state of the Gozitan back office of the anti-bureaucracy commissioner, Right: Former Anti-Bureaucracy Commissioner Anthony Agius Decelis delivering a speech in 2015 

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Tim is interested in the rapid evolution of human society brought about by technological advances. He’s passionate about justice, human rights and cutting-edge political debates. You can follow him on Twitter at @timdiacono or reach out to him at [email protected]

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