The Ministry for Gozo and the MCCAA signed a Service Level Agreement, leading the Authority to open a branch in Gozo.
Minister for Gozo Justyne Caruana said that the government is determined to offer more job opportunities and job mobility in Gozo. By this agreement, MCCAA Gozitan employees commuting daily to Malta will now work in Gozo. She added that the Ministry is now assessing different options to attract more government departments, authorities, and agencies to open branches in Gozo, hence offering a better quality of life to Gozitan employees commuting daily to Malta for work and also offer more services in Gozo.
Minister Caruana said that the Ministry for Gozo is conducting discussions with the private sector to open branches in Gozo and concluded that these initiatives are part of the Gozo Regional Development Strategy to create more sustainable jobs in Gozo.
Parliamentary Secretary for Consumer Protection and Valletta 2018 Deo Debattista said that the opening of the MCCAA Gozo branch is essential as it will enable the Authority and its services to be closer to the people.
The MCCAA plays a key role in supporting the economic growth of the Maltese islands and the establishment of a market environment where consumers are provided with fair commercial terms, safe products, and quality services. The Authority incorporates a broad range of functions including the Competition Office, the Office for Consumer Affairs, a Technical Regulation Division, and an Institute for Standards and Metrology.
The Authority carries out market surveillance and certification activities in Gozo and employees commute from Malta to Gozo to undertake these activities.
Currently, the MCCAA’s presence in Gozo is limited to offering complaints handling services out of the Ministry for Gozo’s building. By strengthening its presence in Gozo, through the opening of a spacious modern office, the Authority will provide its Gozitan employees with the opportunity to cut down on their daily commute to Malta. It will also offer a one-stop-shop to both consumers and the business sector.
The MCCAA Chairperson Ing. Helga Pizzuto explained that the new office will enable the MCCAA to:
Provide for better information dissemination and interaction with stakeholders and the public in general;
Provide assistance to consumers;
Provide a helpdesk regarding the importation of chemicals, pesticides, and products placed on the market;
Offer services of calibration, certification, and specific testing; and
Provide an office for reporting and organising activities carried out in Gozo and a home base for employees travelling from Malta.
The new office will occupy over 220 square metres at St Elizabeth Street in Xewkija and is envisaged to officially open its doors by the end of this year. The office will offer dedicated areas geared towards meeting specific customer needs and will also provide Gozitan employees with an office to work from Gozo whilst facilitating employment opportunities for Gozitan employees who would like to work for the Authority. A receptionist at the entrance will be on hand to guide the consumers accordingly.