Apart from providing for the establishment of a new central authority (the “MDIA”), the MDIA Bill also outlines the minimum governance arrangements of the MDIA and its overall objectives and policies.
Composition and Governance Arrangements of the MDIA
Once established, the MDIA shall be a body corporate with a distinct legal personality and shall be capable of entering into contracts, of acquiring, holding and disposing of property for the purposes of its functions and may sue and be sued. The legal and judicial representation of the MDIA will be vested in the Chairman.
The MDIA will be managed by the Board of Governors which shall be composed of the Chairman and a maximum of eight other members who shall be selected by the Minister responsible for Digital Economy. The Board of Governors shall meet as often as necessary but at least once a month.
Objectives and Policies of the MDIA
The MDIA shall be responsible for the certification of technology arrangements and the registration of their service providers, and shall have the power to cancel, suspend or vary any certification or registration issued. Apart from such responsibility, the MDIA shall also strive to achieve its objectives and policies which may be summarised into the following:
to promote utilisation of Distributed Ledger Technology (“DLT” or commonly referred to as “Blockchain”) within the systems of the government and in the private sector;
to establish and educate ethical standards in the use and creation of the DLT;
to protect the reputation of Malta in the area of Innovation and Digital Economy;
to protect users and consumers including data protection;
to promote legal certainty in the application of laws and legal principles in the area of DLT; and
to promote transparency and auditability in the use of DLT.
The MDIA, which shall be the competent authority in terms of the Technology Arrangements Bill and shall act independently and not seek any instructions from any other body or person. The Minister may give directions in writing to the MDIA in relation to matters that affect the public interest.
The MDIA shall have the power to request information relevant to the discharge of its duties from any person. The MDIA may also appoint inspectors, issue directives, exercise right of entry, impose administrative penalties and issue public statements as to the person’s misconduct.
Every decision taken by the MDIA is subject to an appeal within twenty days from the date the decision was notified. Any decision pending appeal decision shall stand and be adhered to by all parties, unless the tribunal suspends in whole or in part such decision until the final decision of the appeal is given.