The Department of Information is playing an important role in the battle against coronavirus by providing constant communication updates to the general public. The Department is co-ordinating all official press releases and updating its Facebook page in real time. It is also working hard to reply to hundreds of questions, providing accurate information. Daily, the DOI is electronically publishing a buletin on Covid-19 with a round up of news, measures, initiatives and information about helplines. This bulletin is on Facebook and the puboic service intranet. The Department is co-ordinating closely with the Department of Health Promotion for the latest disseminations.

Hereunder please find a general interview about all the other work of the Department.


As a Department within the Public Service, what is your main role?

Our main role is to provide the general public with updated and comprehensive information about Government services and activities and other issues that are in the public interest.


When was the Department of Information set up and what were its milestones?

The first Information Office was set up by the British Government in 1939. The office acted as a centre of information during the Second World War and was closed in 1945 when the British Ministry for Information was dismantled.

Eventually, a Public Relations Office was established and within three years it was amalgamated with the Government Tourism Office. In 1955 the Information Office was re-established and replaced the Public Relations Office. Its main aim was that of incorporating and centralising all information services. By 1957, the Office had expanded so much that it became its own Department -- the Department of Information and Tourist Services. Within a few months, information services separated from the tourism sector and became the DOI as we know it today. The DOI has an active role in national and international events happening in Malta. National events include the general and local elections, state visits, informal meetings, swearning in ceremonies and state funerals.

Within international fora, the DOI is involved in the accredetation of foreign journalists and dissemination of information. Such events include Independence, Republic and Freedom Days, Papal and Royal visits, the historic summit between Bush and Gorbachev and Commonwealth meetings.


How can one establish contact with DOI and what can we find on its website?

Contact with the DOI can be made in various ways. Persons can walk into the department at 3 Castille Place, Valletta, phone 2200 1701-03, email or visit the Facebook page The DOI website is divided into various sections to easily enable the public to browse up to date information. This includes information from the Office of the Prime Minister, other Ministries and entities, press releases, job opportunities, tenders, the Government Gazette, Court advice and information about road closures. Other information that can be found on the website includes the use of Malta flags, national symbols and national emblem and how they are used, according to protocol. The website also provides links to other Government services, media resources and information about media briefings.


How many years do the DOI archives go back? Is this archive available to public officers or general public?

The DOI’s archive goes back to 1959 and includes a big number of photos and film footage shot by DOI employees. It holds photo negatives and original reels. The DOI also has some photos and footage that originates from before the department was established. The archive can be viewed by coming to the DOI and being guided by staff. There are a big number of films that are being transferred onto DVD. They will be made available to the public once the digitalisation process is complete. Apart from photos and films, the DOI also holds an archive of Government Gazettes printed from 1813 until today as well as other Department publications such as “Ir-Review”, “Pajjiżna” and “MaltaToday”, which are available to public officers.


What is the reason for the Government Gazette, and when was it established? Are there other publications issued by the DOI?

The Government Gazette used to be called the Journal de Malte and was divided into two columns, one in French and the other in Italian. During the French period, there were 10 editions of the Journal de Malte.

The first edition of the Gazetta del Governo di Malta was published on 27th October 1813 so, in effect, the Government Gazette has been published for more than 206 years. On 7th August 1816, the gazzetta started to be called the “Malta Government Gazette” while in 1930, the first Maltese edition was published, together with English and Italian.

From 21st September 1964 onwards, the Government Gazette was printed in Maltese as the primary language and English as the second language. The name of the gazette became “Gazzetta tal-Gvern ta’ Malta.”

In 2015, the Department of Information decided to ditch the published paper edition due to paper and printing costs and made the gazette available online on Today only 25 copies are made of every edition; these are kept as a record at the DOI and the National Library.


How is the DOI shaping itself to keep in touch via social media?

Due to the DOI Facebook account gaining popularity, the need was felt to have a whole section dealing with online platforms. The DOI is now writing content especially for Facebook, which is precise and concise, and includes more visual information. Focus is on research and the various ways to get information across better. Planning is on a weekly basis. In this regard, in 2019, the DOI was given a Twiplomacy recognition. Twiplomacy is a webiste which gauges the use of social media by governments. According to Twiplomacy, the Department gives an efficent and timely service which does not take more than 15 minutes. In fact the DOI facebook page has the digital badge of “Very Responsive”. The DOI has also been asked to prepare a blog post in a study called “World Leaders on Facebook”, sharing our best practice with other governments and entities. ​