The Aula Magna at the Old University in Valletta today saw 260 public officers graduate from courses offered by the Institute for the Public Services (IPS). This was the second graduation ceremony for public officers and today’s graduates exceeded last year’s by 73.

The courses successfully completed by today’s graduates were the National Public Procurement Regulations (156 graduates) and the Public Management Toolkit (104 graduates).

This year there are 3764 students attending courses at the IPS, which was set up a year ago by means of a partnership between the Public Service, the University of Malta and MCAST. Of these 3764 students, 1675 are males and 2089 are females.

In a speech prior to distributing certificates, the Principal Permanent Secretary, Mr Mario Cutajar, said that the IPS was established in order to be part of the vision for the Public Service, which is more outward than inward looking to be able to deliver an excellent service to its clients.

Mr Mario Cutajar and Professor Alfred Vella at the graduation ceremony  

Mr Cutajar said that training is the framework for the renewal process that the Public Service has been going through during the past four years. In a country where the economy is growing at such a fast rate, the Public Service cannot but be the motor by means of which results are achieved.

The Principal Permanent Secretary spoke of the need for citizens to have faith in the delivery of services by the Public Service. Thanks to the renewal process for the Public Service, citizens may now access all forms online or, if preferred, they may seek assistance at the five hubs in the community, which will continue to increase in number. The same concept of these hubs was used for the Business 1st building, which is a one-stop-shop for businesses and was inaugurated this week.

Mr Cutajar said that this year was a fine showcase for the Public Service which, in spite of the Maltese Presidency of the EU Council as well as a general election, went on with its regular work.

Mr Mario Cutajar speaking at the graduation ceremony 

Mr Cutajar also spoke of the need for public officers to continue with their studying and training throughout their career. He said that the IPS is planning to be involved in more research through increased student placements. Next year will see the introduction of new courses for technical and industrial grades so that these employees may also benefit from more career opportunities and deliver a better service.

The graduation ceremony was also addressed by Dr Silvio De Bono, President of the MCAST Board of Governors, and by Professor Alfred Vella, Rector of the University of Malta. Dr De Bono said that, as a strategic partner in the IPS, MCAST is organising two important courses which were meticulously planned and which have attracted a very good participation. On his part, Professor Vella emphasised the need for lifelong learning, and for research to be an integral part of the work of the IPS.