Freedom of Information
Office of the Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations
Description of the department/directorate/entity’s structure
The Office of the Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations (OCVO) is made up of four directorates, namely:
- Annual Returns and Annual Accounts, and Compliance
- Enrolment, Investigations, Monitoring, Services, Finance and Administration
- Legal Services
- Strategy and Support
Moreover, the Office also has a Programs and Policies Implementation Unit.
Description of the department/directorate/entity’s functions and responsibilities
The purpose of the OCVO is driven by the recognition of the importance of voluntary organisations as a key pillar within society and the economy, and with the ultimate mission of the Commissioner’s office being to enable this socio-economic pillar to deliver social, civil and community benefits. At the same time, as the sector’s main regulatory body, the Office of the Commissioner encourages and enforces the governance of voluntary organisations and their activities to strengthen and protect the function of volunteering.
The Commissioner’s office is committed to give more visibility to the voluntary sector as well as to guarantee transparency and accountability of the organisations that compose it in the carrying out of their important work.
In view of this, the Office of the Commissioner is also the regulatory body responsible for this sector with the aim of monitoring and supervising the activities of these organisations as well as supporting them.
OCVO’s directorates ensure the smooth running of the Office on an internal but also external basis. The function of some of these directorates, concentrate on assisting voluntary organisations with enrolment with the OCVO, ensuring that they are all compliant and have submitted their annual returns, also investigating and monitoring entities in general. The legal directorate is engaged in various legal services required by the Commissioner and the other directorates. Other functions of other directorates include, Human Resources, IT, Research, Finance, Administration, procurement and general operations.
The Programs and Policies Implementation Unit is intended to support the Commissioner, in carrying out and successfully implementing a major reform within the voluntary sector at large, whereby the sector shall be viewed and treated as one of the main socio-economic pillars of Maltese society.
General description of the categories of documents the department/directorate/entity
holds (including exempt documents)
The Categories of Files held by OCVO are the following:
- Accounts / Finance
- Charity Shops
- Public Collections
- Voluntary Organisations’ Files
- Human Resources
- Information Technology
Description of all manuals and similar types of documents which contain policies, principles, rules or guidelines in accordance with which decisions or recommendations are made in respect of members of the public (including bodies corporate and employees of the public authority in their personal capacity)
Standard Operating Procedures
Code of Good Governance, Practice and Ethics for Administrators of Voluntary Organisations
Protecting Your Voluntary Organisation from Abuse (a toolkit for voluntary organisations)
Statement of the information that needs to be available to members of the public who wish to obtain access to official documents from the public authority, which statement shall include particulars of the officer or officers to whom requests for such access should be sent
The FOI officers of the Office+- of the Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations may be contacted by e-mail email@example.com or by telephone 27440388
FOI Requests may be submitted by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, through the FOI Portal www.foi.gov.mt via the e-ID or through the online form.
Details of Internal Complaints Procedure
An applicant whose request for information is refused, or who is otherwise not satisfied with the information provided, its format or the extension of the deadline for the submission of the notification indicating whether a request would be met or not, may address a complaint to the OCVO.
The complaint should be addressed to the OCVO’s FOI Officer, who shall bring the complaint to the attention of the officer responsible. The officer responsible shall reply to the applicant within 10 working days from the receipt of the complaint. The applicant shall also be informed that he or she may appeal the decision or otherwise address a complaint to the Information and Data Protection Commissioner in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (Cap. 496 of the Laws of Malta).
The officer responsible shall inform the applicant of the decision taken with respect to his or her complaint, and in the event of confirmation of a decision not to release the pertinent information, shall explain the reasons thereof. Whenever the applicant’s complaint is related to the format of the information provided or to an extension of the deadline for the submission of the notification indicating whether a request would be met or not by the OCVO, and the original decision is upheld, the applicant shall be given an explanation as to why his or her complaint cannot be positively addressed.
An applicant may also make use of the Internal Complaints Procedure to report failure to meet deadlines or to send notifications. In those cases where the request for information can be met but has not been met within the deadlines specified by the Act, the officer responsible shall waive any applicable fees for the submission of information.
Further information with regards the Freedom of Information Act can be found on www.foi.gov.mt.
Public Authority Contact Details
Office of the Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations
Sajjan Lane, National Road,
Hamrun, HMR 1680,
General Telephone number: 27440388
Generic e-mail address related to FOI requests: email@example.com
OCVO’s Generic e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org