Maltawinds is informed that last week there were more resignations at the Malta Financial Services Authority. The nature and reason for their resignation is not known. However, one of the employees that resigned seems to have been working on the issuing of penalties and fines to companies. Maltawinds in the last weeks revealed that some 50 thousand penalties were wrongly issued.
As already noted, approximately half of the IT department has resigned leaving this department unequipped to handle this scandal and other issues the MFSA has. The MFSA has given a direct order to an ICT company in order to solve the issues it has in the registry. It seems however, that the issue was due to the software supplied by the ICT company itself. If this is the case, one wonders whether ICT company will be paid to solve a problem that was due to their own software.
MFSA has to date not denied the problem with the penalties sent wrongly to companies. Companies remain perplexed on how they will be refunded, if they will be refunded and why they had to get to know that they overpaid through the Media.
The IT system at MFSA needs a substantial investment as it is outdated and not up to the standard of a regulator in 2016. Too many times there is reliance on physical files. It is becoming evident that lost documents and mistakes are becoming more frequent in the authority. Certainly one cannot say that there is a money issue at the authority.
The MFSA has money to spend on expensive consultants for the Chairman and other projects not strictly related to the MFSA role such as BREXIT and EU Presidency together with projects such as the renovation of the President’s Palace. If MFSA has funds for such projects than it must have the funds to spend on essentials such as providing the necessary tools for its own employees to work. However, it seems that the employees are not well equipped technologically. This is becoming more and more evident even by the output of work. One can analyse apart from the work of the registry the work of carried out on compliance. Parliamentary Questions are evidence of the low number of compliance visits carrying an average of 10 percent over 8 years.
The reputation of the MFSA is being tainted by the lack of proper investment in basic things.