Malta government ranking on transparency takes another knock

The Office of the Prime Minister, Auberge de Castille, Valletta.

Since 2016, Malta has dropped a total of six points overall, registering a gradual decrease on a year-by-year basis on access to information, ranking 78 out of 178 countries in the latest assessment by Open Data Watch.

Malta acquired a score of 47/100, in a global average of 38. The country’s consistent decrease in its ranking shows that rather than becoming more transparent in the provision of statistics, the government is becoming more secretive.

The Open Data Inventory 2018/19 is an annual report compiled by Open Data Watch that provides an assessment of the coverage and openness of official statistics in 178 countries.

It analyses a number of factors to help identify gaps in the system, to promote open data politics, and to encourage dialogue between national statistical offices and data users.

While many countries registered an improvement, the report states that data on crime and justice, pollution and energy remain severely under-reported.

Analysis shows that Malta scores better in terms of statistics on the economy, while scoring just 27% on social and 39% on environmental data.

The scores reflect the government’s eagerness to share information on the “success of the economy” while holding back on its performance on social and environmental aspects (areas on which the government is often criticised).

Malta scored badly on its openness on crime and justice, gender and health issues, as well as energy use, but did better on land use and resource use.

The report notes that while there is a right to information law in Malta, there is no national strategy for the development of statistics.

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