Principal Permanent Secretary Mario Cutajar listened to the experiences of public officers who are also university students enrolled in courses held jointly with the Institute for the Public Services. This was the first dialogue of its kind ever held during Public Service Week.
Themed 'The role of the University of Malta in the professionalism of public officers', the dialogue commenced with a welcome speech by Dr Emanuel Said, Dean of the Faculty of Economics, Management and Accounting. Dr Mario Thomas Vassallo, Head of the Public Policy Department, then gave a detailed overview of the current collaboration between the University of Malta and the Institute for the Public Services.
Students who are also public officers then shared their experiences of how the courses they are following are helping them in their respective line of duty at work. Their courses are M.A. Public Policy Leadership, B.A. (Hons) Public Administration, B.A. (Hons) Public Management, and B.A. (Hons) Public Sector Accounting.
Mr Keith Bartolo, Principal of the Institute for the Public Services, then outlined the Institute's support towards the professionalism of public officers.
The dialogue came to an end with reflections by Mr Mario Cutajar, who expressed his satisfaction at the way the discussion developed and his hope that similar dialogues are held in future. He spoke of the vacuum that has been filled by the Institute for the Public Services with regard to various forms of training for public officers. Training that leads to better processes within the Public Service, through research, study, observation and analysis. Since the Institute was set up, the great need for it has been constantly confirmed, so much so that it will continue to grow and has also been strengthened from a managerial aspect.
Mr Cutajar said that, along with servizz.gov, the Institute for the Public Services was one of the pillars underpinning the renewal and the strengthening of recent years in the Public Service. He also stressed the importance of the Student Scheme, whereby those who successfully complete their course at the Institute become full employees of the Public Service, after being given the opportunity to combine study with work throughout the course.
The Principal Permanent Secretary added that the Public Service relies on the Institute for the Public Services not only for the teaching and training of its employees but also from the research aspect. The latter plays a crucial role because the Public Service can rest assured that research by public officers following courses at the Institute is conducted in areas where the need arises within it, and not randomly.