The Maltese embassies abroad have invested in a new Consul On The Move (COTM) toolkit through an investment of around €250,000 from the Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade.
The COTM programme caters for Maltese communities living abroad by providing government services closer to their home, such as new applications/renewals of passports, applications for citizenship and registrations of birth/death/marriage certificates. This service is undertaken in five countries: Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada.
The new state-of-the-art COTM toolkit consists of a tablet which includes a camera, fingerprint reader, passport scanner, signature pad, barcode scanner and lighting. It incorporates all the 6 pieces of hardware that were previously used into one unit weighing only 4kgs, in contrast to the previous toolkit that weighed 15kgs. This improvement means that the toolkit is now more portable, easily handheld, and occupies far less space when required to be set up on a desk, facilitating the travel and set-up process for the consuls on duty.
Due to the increase in demand for these services, and upgrades in the information system available for officials carrying out such visits, the Ministry felt it necessary to change the COTM toolkit to a more practical device that optimises the programme in terms of efficiency and usability. The new toolkit is also equipped with the improved latest software updates and comes with a Wi-Fi feature. A sim card installation feature is additionally available for 3G use. This offers the functionality of remote support as well as the ability to issue passports when off-site.
The COTM programme is an essential service offered by the ministry that conforms to the government’s vision to have governmental services closer to its citizens. With this new equipment, the ministry aims to further improve the quality of service that is provided through the COTM programme, whilst increasing efficiency and simplicity in its application.