Embassies invest in toolkit to bring government services closer to Maltese expats

Maltese embassies abroad have invested in a new Consul On The Move (COTM) toolkit thanks to an investment of approximately €250,000 from the Department of Foreign and European Affairs and Trade.

The COTM program caters to Maltese communities living abroad by providing government services closer to home, such as new passport applications/renewals, citizenship applications and birth/death/ wedding. This service is provided in five countries: Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States and Canada.

The new state-of-the-art COTM toolkit consists of a tablet that includes a camera, fingerprint reader, passport scanner, signature pad, barcode scanner and lighting . It integrates all 6 pieces of hardware that were previously used into a single unit weighing only 4 kg, unlike the previous toolbox which weighed 15 kg. This improvement means that the toolbox is now more portable, easily portable and takes up much less space when it needs to be installed on a desk, making the moving and installation process easier for consuls on duty.

Due to the increase in demand for these services and the upgrades to the information system available to officers conducting such visits, the department found it necessary to transform the COTM toolkit into a more practical device that optimizes the program in terms of efficiency and user-friendliness.

The new toolkit is also equipped with the latest and improved software updates and comes with a Wi-Fi function. A SIM card installation function is also available for 3G use. This offers the functionality of remote assistance as well as the ability to issue passports offsite.

The COTM program is an essential service offered by the ministry that is in line with the government’s vision to have government services closer to its citizens. With this new equipment, the ministry aims to further improve the quality of service provided by the COTM program, while increasing the efficiency and simplicity of its application.

Ashley C. Reynolds