Fabian Demicoli

Prime Minister obliges Government Entities to Consult

Obliging Government Entities to consult with Stakeholders and draw up Impact Assessment Reports prior to grant approval for the issue of new Regulations.

GRTU News Release

Malta Chamber for Small and Medium Enterprises

Obliging Government Entities to consult with Stakeholders and draw up Impact Assessment Reports prior to grant approval for the issue of new Regulations.

1. GRTU: – Malta Chamber of Small and Medium Enterprises – through its associates, EuroCommerce and UEAPME has been very active in the SME’s campaign against bureaucracy and in favour of the implementation of the European Charter for Small Businesses. GRTU has been militant over the last years to ensure that the Malta Government adopts the recommendations of the EU Council and forward them to heads of Governments of member states to implement effective measures to reduce bureaucracy and adopt impact assessments exercise prior to the introduction of new regulations.

2. In Malta, GRTU’s lobbying found the enthusiastic support of the Parliamentary Secretary for Small Enterprises the Hon Edwin Vassallo and, since his election as Prime Minister, the effective support of the Prime Minister, the Hon Dr Lawrence Gonzi. Unfortunately not all members of Cabinet were convinced that the time was ripe for effective action that ensured that Legal Notices do not continue to flow without hindrance and the result has been that over the last six months the number of regulations imposed without prior consultation with stakeholders and without the necessity to establish first a professional economic Impact Assessment rather than diminishing, has in fact mushroomed.

3. GRTU is now happy to report that the Prime Minister has issued instructions to all Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Heads of Departments and Chairmen and CEO’s of Public Corporations and Authorities and Regulatory Bodies that;

· Prior clearance is required from the Prime Minister before any Legal Notice can be published.
· The procedure which is being imposed on all Ministries, Public Entities and Authorities is not optional.
· The Attorney General must approve the all legal drafting and translation.
· Ministries, Public Entities and Authorities must clearly explain and convince the Prime Minister of the objectives and scope and also list the compelling reasons for the issue of the new Regulations.
· Ministries, Public Entities and Authorities must declare that they have consulted the stakeholders and they are obliged to identify each and every stakeholder consulted including social partners and the general public. They must also define the form of consultation effected and report on the feedback of the stakeholders to the proposed regulations.
· Ministries, Public Entities and Authorities are held responsible to hold Impact Assessments and to define how the Impact Assessment was established and to list the findings of the assessment exercise.
· Ministries, Public Entities and Authorities must particularly assess the Impact of the Regulations on the Private Sector.
· Ministries Public Entities and Authorities must clearly list any envisaged new or increased burdens on the private sector. They must also identify and measure the impact and identify who will suffer the additional burden.
· Ministries, Public Entities and Authorities must define what procedural or administrative systems exist for the continuous assessment of the impact of the proposed regulations once enacted.
· Ministries, Public Entities and Authorities must also measure the impact of the newly proposed regulations on other Ministries, Departments and Authorities. These assessments must include what additional financial, procedural and administrative additional burdens are being imposed on other government entities.
· Ministries Public Entities and Authorities must define the impact the regulations will have on specific government policies and on mainstream policies. Particular emphasis is placed on the impact on the economy, employment, education and social development.
· Ministries, Public Entities and Authorities must also list the expected negative outcomes and not merely the expected positive outcome
· In the case of negative impact Ministries, Public Entities and Authorities also list what planned mitigation measures are being implemented together with the regulations.

4. GRTU accepts these instructions of the Prime Minister as fulfilling the request made by GRTU in its main-stream policy document ‘THINK SMALL FIRST’ and considers these obligations on Ministries, Public Entities and Authorities as an implementation of the Action Plan recommended by the EU Commission in the Policy Paper on Entrepreneurship.

5. GRTU is now expecting the Prime Minister to ensure in the most severe form that every Ministry, Public Entity and Authority performs according to these obligations. GRTU now expects that serious steps will be taken against whoever is in breach of these procedures or invents new forms of excuses to justify puerile or non-existent consultation with social partners. Similarly GRTU is now expecting the Prime Minister to ensure that the Impact Assessments expected under these obligations will not be superficial or empty but real and capable of standing to publication, transparency and professional evaluation.

6. GRTU is setting up a special Monitoring Team that will follow-up the implementation of these new procedures and will report directly to the Prime Minister all cases of infringement. GRTU is expecting that through a correct adherence to these obligations owners of small enterprises and the public will not continue to suffer from grossly unacceptable ways in which regulations were being imposed on a regular basis without consultation and without any consideration whatsoever on the impact on the private sector, on the economy and on employment and enterprise in particular.

20th January 2005

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