Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government and Communities Silvio Parnis and Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds and Social Dialogue Aaron Farrugia launched a training project, for those involved in the local governance sector, about principles of Good Governance, Transparency and Accountability. The budget for this project is €200,000 and it is co-financed by the Norwegian Funding Mechanism Regime. This project is being implemented by the Local Government Division in collaboration with the Local Councils Association, the National Association for Executive Secretaries of Local and Regional Councils and the Norwegian Association for Local and Regional Authorities.
Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government and Communities Silvio Parnis said that the aim of this project is to improve the skills of all those involved in the local governance sector so that they will be able to offer a better service to the communities. These skills will be improved through training for all those elected within the local council and even for the administrative staff, team building activities, study visits opportunities in Norway and even internships with several institutions in our country. The Parliamentary Secretary also said that the first training session for the executive secretaries and the local councils’ administrative staff has already taken place today. The main matters discussed were work ethics, integrity during the performance of duty and the necessary audits as a verification tool.
Parliamentary Secretary Aaron Farrugia said that through this training programme and exchange of best practices, the principles of governance, transparency, and accountability are being taken on a regional and local level following negotiations between the Maltese Government and Norway.
“Our country is currently in the process of implementing new reforms and measures, including the Venice Commission recommendations. But governance, transparency, and accountability are spread across different levels in what we call ‘multilevel governance’, which begins at the European Union level, carries on to member states, and descends to the level of regions and local councils. On the EU level, we also know that a number of initiatives and reforms are being implemented”, Parliamentary Secretary Farrugia said.
The Parliamentary Secretary said that European funds are being used to help countries reach higher standards in governance, also through the financing of such projects. “Through these projects, we are ensuring that Malta continues to be an example for other countries in running our local councils, while continuing to embrace the principles which are important for the proper functioning of our localities and our country.”