Fabian Demicoli

GRTU Council meets Mario Cutajar, Principle Permanent Secretary

Yesterday the GRTU Executive
Council was very pleased to officially meet Mr Mario Cutajar as the new
Principle Permanent Secretary since the change in Government. GRTU President
Paula Abela welcomed Mr Cutajar and took the opportunity to congratulate him in
person on behalf of the Council on his appointment.

GRTU is pleased the Prime
Minister chose a person with a long experience in representing a large group of
people. From experience we know that those that have never been in the position
of representing find it hard to understand the positions we take and the work
we do and how important listening and understanding civil society is.

Mr Cutajar thanked the
Council for its warm welcome and their thoughts and he reminded us that he has
also worked under the other administration and through the experience he has he
is introducing changes which he feels will improve the environment we live and
work in. He stated he believed in listening and that the grass roots are very
important. Reforms in the public sector have also started, Mr Cutajar said that
every public servant has to understand that they have a client to service and
that their systems are there to assist them in carrying out their work and not
vice-versa. The Management and Efficiency Unit, which existed under the
previous administration falls now directly under his responsibility but now
they are given the importance they deserve and being assigned to the different
Ministries. Mario Cutajar also said that he is a great believer of MCESD and he
was always very active in MCESD.

GRTU's Director General
Vincent Farrugia mentioned that the topics for MCESD have to be chosen
carefully, there are other important committees where certain discussions would
be more appropriate. GRTU is particularly looking forward of starting Budget
discussions at MCESD.

GRTU complained with Mr
Cutajar how the MGSS (a scheme providing grants for individuals carrying out
masters) is being badly administered in a way that the individuals that have
applied for the grants will only be informed when the course starts. Mr Cutajar
stated Government is aware of the problem as is seeking to address it.

GRTU informed Mr Cutajar
that the 5.5M EU funded ERDF Solar Energy Scheme administered by Malta
Enterprise was very important for our members suppliers in order to be approved
as installers. So much so that 39 companies applied however disappointingly
only 6 were accepted. GRTU complained of the lack of assistance in applying and
they should not be disqualified for frivolous reasons. Mr Cutajar confirmed he
will look into it.

GRTU also brought up the
issue of lotto receivers where they are having problems because of an agreement
which was signed between Government and the private operator, an agreement
which specifically mentions them, but they have no access to it, not even to
the specific clauses that mention them. This we feel is unjust. Mr Cutajar said
he will ask the Permanent Secretary to look into it.

GRTU also brought up the
important topic of Crafts which is not given enough importance in Malta. We
need a law covering Crafts in Malta. The Ta` Qali Crafts Village is once again
dragging and we do not know what are the Government's intentions.

GRTU supplied Mr Cutajar
with a document containing the most important pressing issues GRTu is currently
dealing with.

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