In March 2020, the National Audit Office (NAO) of Malta published an IT audit report regarding ICT across Local Councils (LCs). This IT audit covered various aspects of IT in Local Councils (LCs) across Malta and Gozo. There are 68 elected LCs, spread over six regions each run by the related Regional Council (RC) and supervised by the Local Government Division (LGD). The National Audit Office (NAO) reviewed 15 of the 68 LCs. The IT aspects considered in this audit included IT management, software applications and IT operations.
The key findings of the report included:
1. IT Staff and IT Budget – Out of 15 LCs reviewed, none had duly qualified IT persons and only
three had an IT budget.
2. Card Payment Facility – None of the 15 LCs reviewed accepted card payments.
3. Accounting System – All 68 LCs and the five RCs have separate installations of
the same accounting system and none are connected to the LGD.
Periodic accounting updates sent by LCs are consolidated manually by LGD.
4. Permits system – Only three of the 15 LCs visited, had a system to issue and keep track of
permits, called ORNIT, whilst another council was about to procure a similar system, which
was being built from scratch by another supplier.
5. Customer complaints and mail tracking systems – Only four out of 15 LCs reviewed had
procured systems to keep track of residents’ complaints.
6. LC websites – Various findings were highlighted whilst reviewing the websites of 42 of the 68 LCs (as listed in Chapter 3 of the report).
7. Live streaming and On-Demand Facility – Out of 68 LCs, 12 had a non-functioning live
streaming system and only 13 implemented the on-demand facility.
8. Data Backup – Out of 15 LCs visited, only three were taking automated daily full backups, whereas others were either taking partial backups or conducting backups on ad hoc or weekly basis. Two LCs were not taking backups at all.
9. LAN – Only four of the 15 LCs visited had a functioning LAN to connect the PCs on site.
The NAO recommended that the LGD, should:
- allocate qualified IT staff at the RCs.
- embark on the integration of systems related to financial reporting, permits issuance and tracking of customer complaints across all LCs.
- conduct a comprehensive review of LC websites, social media and streaming
- embark on the installation of LANs in all LCs that have no such network.
The IT audit report together with this Office’s recommendations, which can be viewed by clicking on this link.
The NAO was informed that since the audit was conducted, the government launched the process for the preparation of a Digital Strategy for Local Government. The Ministry is also looking to introduce systems and solutions whereby the citizen has access and visibility to follow the ongoing work, including access to submitted complaints and actions taken as well as information on larger projects being carried out in the same community.