Fabian Demicoli

GRTU welcomes white paper on improvement of business inspections

During an MCESD meeting GRTU has today welcomed the white paper and said that this is something the GRTU has long been arguing on. The GRTU emphasized that while inspections should ensure compliance and therefore a level playing field between private operators, they are currently working the other way round. Because inspections are carried out on the same businesses and free riders are left undisturbed the abiding businesses not only are suffering from unfair competition because they are carrying the 

burden of taxation and other compliances the free riders, their direct competition, are not, but they are over and above also enduring the burden of inspections. Currently inspections are therefore counterproductive and therefore GRTU welcomes the fact that inspections will be risk based.

In addition GRTU argued that there needs to be a change in mentality. We are all the time saying that SMEs are the backbone of the economy but when Government inspectors come knocking on their door they are not made to feel this way. Inspectors have to change their attitude from one of authority into one that assists businesses. They should never aim at instilling fear and they should go out of their way to reduce the inconvenience caused. The White Paper aims to reduce the bureaucracy involved in the inspection system and to improve the transparency, coordination and clarity of inspections, allowing businesses to schedule several inspections on the same day. It aims to speed up and streamline inspections for businesses, which are currently carried out by 24 separate inspectorates.

Some 70,000 inspections are carried out per year on local businesses, ensuring that standards are kept in aspects such as food safety, environmental health, pricing, employment and health and safety on the job.

The consultation process, lasting six weeks, will allow stakeholders to voice their thoughts on the proposals. The White Paper can be found on www.socialdialogue.gov.mt for public consultation, which will be open until 30 October.


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