The Public Administration’s Policy Making Process

​The objective of this process

This Policy Making Process is a generic guideline for the Public Administration that outlines the key steps of stakeholder involvement in policy making.  It lays out good practice in stakeholder involvement while allowing flexibility to cater for specific legislative provisions.  To this end, it may undergo further development and refinement.

The purpose of policy making

The primary aim of policy making is to improve the wellbeing of citizens and businesses by identifying their needs and subsequently fulfilling them through appropriate actions and services.  Through the process of creating, implementing, and strengthening policy, the Public Administration is a key catalyst in the socio-economic development of Maltese society.

A high-level view of the general process of policy making

As part of the policy making process, the Public Administration adopts an inclusive and proactive approach by reaching out to all stakeholders, including the public, at all stages of this process.  The process is made up of a number of general steps that are intended to provide transparency and explain how the different actors can contribute to the plan of action.

  1. Triggering and agenda setting

  2. The policy making process is typically triggered by the political vision and objectives that are laid out in the manifesto of the government of the day, or normative factors that lead to outcomes that are desirable or beneficial to society.
    Accordingly, the policy making agenda may include subjects or issues that have become very important to society.  Social partners and stakeholders typically engage with government to put those issues that they deem important, or of concern, on the agenda of political actors and government.

  3. Policy formulation, participation, and adoption

  4. Participation, transparency, and political negotiation are important to shape policy that stakeholders may comfortably own and adopt, and policy makers are always encouraged to engage in dialogue and find ways of incorporating ideas and feedback from key stakeholders.

    This ensures that public officials seek to bring together the requirements of economic, social, and sectoral partners, as well as those of citizens, with the public declaration of policy and the aims of the government of the day.

  5. ​Public consultation and decision​-making

  6. Channels used for consultation include meetings with stakehol​ders, written submissions, and on-line mediums.

On-line consultations are conducted through the public consultations website .  This is a dedicated platform that is used to encourage the general public, civil society organisations, trade unions, business organisations, political parties, governmental institutions, and all other interested parties to contribute to the process of policy design and formulation by serving as a central point of contact for public consultation.

Interested parties may select from a list of government ministries and subscribe to be notified when consultations that are of interest to them become available.

Upon subscription, subscribers benefit from:

  • Immediate notification of the publication of relevant public consultations
  • The opportunity to participate in the consultation.

The on-line public consultation platform is administered by the Department of Information as part of its remit to provide the public with up-to-date, comprehensive, and meaningful information on Government policies, services, and activities, and matters that are of public interest.

Public consultation is not intended to replace the government’s decision-making responsibility but allows for the decision-making process to benefit from the widest range of views while providing extensive dissemination of information on a particular issue.