The Local Enforcement System scheme groups together up a number of participants including statutory bodies and private agencies. Key Players
Local Enforcement can be divided into two main divisions:
The Ministry for Justice and Local Councils is the Ministry to which the Central Government assigned, amongst other responsibilities, the implementation of the policy of Local Government. As a Ministry it established the general policies and objectives that provided the backbone of the system - a system the implementation of which safeguards the best interest of the public. Local Enforcement was launched in February 2000 in terms of Legal Notice 32 of 2000, following the enactment of the PRIVATE GUARDS AND LOCAL WARDENS ACT (CAP. 389) in 1996.
In terms of the LOCAL ENFORCEMENT SYSTEM COMMITTEE REGULATIONS (S.L. 291.06) "There shall be a Management Committee for the Local Enforcement System that shall be responsible to provide guidelines, the general policy and the local enforcement system function, and there shall also be a Stakeholders Committee that shall be responsible to give recommendations to the Management Committee." Reg. 3 (1).
The Management Committee is composed of a Chairperson and four members who shall be appointed by the Minister (Reg.3 (2)).
The Stakeholders Committee is composed of representatives of Trade Unions, the electronic local enforcement system service provider, Authorized Officers, Local Warden Agencies, the Police and the five Regional Committees, which shall be chaired by the President of the Local Councils Association. (Reg. 3 (5))
The Department of Local Councils is the central point of reference for Local Enforcement queries. It is also responsible for the development of policy options within the framework set by the Minister responsible for Local Councils.
The Department of Local Councils exercises a general administrative supervision over the activities of Local Councils and ensures that Local Councils have the legislative authority required to respond to local needs. It reviews and develops legislation, regulations, operating guidelines and policies.
The Department of Local Councils also has a customer-care branch. If offers a solution to any member from the general public who has any query about Local Enforcement. The Local Council's Help desk may be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org
Local Councils functional responsibilities are determined by the Local Councils Act which sets them up. They are generally responsible:
The Local Councils Association was statutorily constituted in November 1994 by virtue of Legal Notice 153 of 1994. The role of the Local Councils Association is to protect and promote the common interests of all the Local Councils. It is the body that has been involved from the outset in the setting up of the Local Enforcement system. Apart from coordinating all the activities of the Local Councils it also coordinates ongoing discussions to improve the system.
The Regional Committees responsibilities are determined by the Local Councils Act by virtue of Legal Notice 320 of 2011. They are generally responsible:
A Joint Committee refers to a group of Local Councils who decide to get together and discharge their functions jointly. Each Joint Committee is composed of representatives from every Local Council that falls within the boundary of the particular Joint Committee The Authorised Officer acts as the secretary of the Joint Committee.
1. Regjun Centru (The Local Councils which make up this Region are Sliema, San Giljan, San Gwann, Gzira, Ta' Xbiex, Attard, Balzan, Birkirkara, Iklin, Lija, Santa Venera, Msida and Pieta) 2. Regjun Tramuntana (The Local Councils which make up this Region are Gharghur, Mellieha, Mgarr, Mosta, Naxxar, San Pawl il-Bahar, Pembroke, Swieqi, Mdina, Rabat, Dingli and Mtarfa) 3. Regjun Nofsinhar (The Local Councils which make up this Region are Ghaxaq, Gudja, Hamrun, Qormi, Siggiewi, Zebbug, Santa Lucija, Birzebbuga, Kirkop, Luqa, Mqabba, Qrendi, Safi and Zurrieq) 4. Regjun Xlokk (The Local Councils which make up this Region are Fgura, Bormla, Isla, Birgu, Kalkara, Xghajra, Marsascala, Zejtun, Marsaxlokk, Tarxien, Paola, Zabbar, Valletta, Floriana and Marsa) 5. Regjun Ghawdex (The Local Councils which make up this Region are Fontana, Ghajnsielem, Gharb, Ghasri, Kercem, Munxar, Nadur, Qala, Rabat, San Lawrenz, Sannat and Xaghra)
The Executive Secretary is appointed by the Region Committee to administer the said Committee and act as a Financial Head. His/Her duties are:
The Authorised Officer is appointed by the Regional Committee to monitor the operation of Local Warden Services. He or she has the responsibility of preparing the schedule of all the Local Wardens who are on beat within all the localities of the concerned Regional Committees. He/she is expected to ascertain that the optimum level of enforcement is being delivered in the most cost-effective manner.
There is constant communication between the Authorised Officer and the Local Wardens Contracts Manager. Apart from discussing the behavior of the Local Warden on the field, the Authorised Officer also inspects the records of the Warden Contractors in relation to all work being carried out in the provision of the Local Warden services.
The Prosecutor is a person who is appointed by the Regional Committees to prosecute on their behalf against those offenders who have been accused of having committed a contravention within the boundaries of that particular Regional Committee.
The Prosecutor prosecutes all the offences that are brought before the Local Tribunal. He or she prepares each case and makes sure that he or she has all the necessary evidence at hand. All prosecutions are carried out with fairness and all the people who are summoned to appear before the Local Tribunal are given equal treatment.
The Prosecutor may also lodge an appeal before the Court of Magistrates as a Court of Appeal in those instances where the Prosecutor is dissatisfied with the Tribunal judgment.
Before the introduction of Local Enforcement, enforcement fell exclusively within the competence of the Malta Police Force. However, Local Enforcement saw the introduction of other Enforcement Officers - the Local Wardens through the Warden Agencies. The logic behind this increase in the number of Enforcement Officers is to ensure that every district in Malta is constantly being patrolled by these Officers.
There are three service providers involved in the management of the Local Enforcement System:
1. Warden Agencies (Guard & Warden, Sterling Security and Aurelia Asset Protection Ltd.)
2. Datatrak IT Services Ltd
3. Licencing and Testing Department
The Warden Agencies ensure that all Local Wardens are properly trained before they are made available on the field. The Warden Agencies manage the allocation of wardens for the contracted services. They receive the scheduled route from the Authorised Officer and makes sure to assign wardens to the scheduled shift.
Datatrak IT Services Ltd is the service provider which provides the service and support requirements of the LES system. It is the body responsible for the overall operation of the LES system and provides the technical infrastructure and support to sustain the process management.
The Licensing and Testing Department has a crucial role in local enforcement. It ensures that no road licence is renewed if there are any outstanding payments in respect of fines and penalties awarded by the Local Tribunal. The Licencing and Testing Department is notified immediately upon delivery of a 'guilty' judgment and a restriction is attached to the registration number of the vehicle involved in the contravention at hand. The owner of the vehicle cannot have his road licence renewed unless he has previously paid amount due in settlement of a fine or penalty awarded by the Local Tribunal.
The Local Tribunal is an extension of the Courts of Law. It is that building where the Commissioner for Justice holds the sittings to consider any charge brought before him in terms of the Commissioners for Justice Act.
The Local Tribunal was set up to ensure that the fundamental right to a fair hearing is given to every person who has been booked for a contravention. For this reason the Local Tribunal has been entrusted with a specialized competence - it adjudicates only in respect of delegated contraventions. Furthermore appointment of cases takes place within a relatively short period and there are no lengthy proceedings involved. The cases are dealt with summarily.
In all there are eight Local Tribunals. There is at least a Local Tribunal for every Regional Committee. Therefore all the cases in respect of contraventions which have been committed within the boundaries of a particular Regional Committee will be brought before the Local Tribunal of that group of localities.
The role of the Commissioner for Justice is to consider and deliver judgment on every charge that is brought before him for hearing. He or she hears any statements that both the offender and the prosecuting party might wish to make. He or she also hears any witnesses that either party might have brought. After also taking into consideration any documentary evidence, He or she will proceed to deliver the judgment.
The Tribunal Clerk is the person chosen to act as a deputy registrar of the Local Tribunal. The person appointed to this position is responsible to take down in writing all the instructions handed down by the Commissioner for Justice. He or she is also responsible to note down the judgment as delivered by the Commissioner for Justice in respect of every case brought before the Tribunal.