The Malta Statistics Authority (MSA) was established by Parliament Act XXIV of 2000, which came into force on 1 March 2001. This was by no means Malta’s first endeavour into the compilation of statistics since the Central Office of Statistics as it was previously known had been in operation since March 1947. However, Malta’s ambitions to join the European Union in the mid 1990’s and consequently abide by the statistical requirements of the Acquis Communitaire would require a new body of legislation.
Thus, the MSA was born with the prime mandate of exercising a regulatory function concerning the collection, compilation, and publishing of official statistics, and to make provision with respect to the matters thereto or connected therewith. At the helm of the Authority is the MSA Chairman who is appointed by the Minister within central government responsible for official Statistics. It is his duty to convene the MSA board at least twice every calendar quarter. In accordance with the law, the Director General of the National Statistics Office (NSO) – the executive arm of the MSA, must also sit on the MSA Board. The board is made up of a further six members, one of whom must be a representative of the Central Bank of Malta (CBM), one must come from the University of Malta, one must represent the trade union movement while another the business community. The remaining two members are appointed by the Minister and must be professionals in the field of statistics. Article 5 of the MSA Act precisely dictates how the board should be composed.
The first Chairman of the newly founded Malta Statistics Authority in 2001 was Mr Reno Camilleri, a veteran of the public service and former Principal Government Statistician. Upon his retirement in 2013 he was succeeded by Prof. Albert Leone Ganado who held the post until June of 2022. Under the lead of Prof. Ganado, the MSA Secretariat was instated and the MSA Governance board also stared being held regularly. The third persons to hold the post of MSA Chairman and who is currently in office is Dr Carl Camilleri, an economist by profession and head of the economics department at the University of Malta.
While the person heading the MSA has changed over time, the functions of the authority remain indelible and are enshrined in Article 7 of the MSA Act. According to this article, the functions of the authority are: