Traffic through Malta Government Notifications Platform triples due to COVID-19 pandemic

by Seasus / 20 Apr, 2020 / Published in | | |

MITA Notifications Platform - A bridge over troubled waters

The Notifications System was developed by Seasus with the purpose of unifying and simplifying communications for the various service providers within Government to consumers of their  services, the citizen. The principal intention behind the need was to make an easy-to-use and reliable interface available to Government by which remote contact can be easily kept with citizens. Readily available communication channels such email and SMS are used as the preferred means of communication.


Technology Details

The Notifications Platform is a low latency, reliable messaging system developed to handle various messaging protocols, message routing and protocol conversion. The service provides connectivity between Government Applications, SMS service providers, email services and other messaging entities. It predominantly focusses on Government service providers. Mobile operators and is capable of handling large volumes of transactions (SMS and email) over multiple connectors.

Bulk SMS and email messaging capabilities are provided to Government Public Services through an Online User Portal as well as APIs facilitating system-to-system software integration. The Notifications Platform also supports messages to a single receiver. predefined group of receivers or specific list of receivers over different channels (SMS,  email, etc.).

The system is designed around several technologies hailing from the commercial and Open Source. By leveraging over a mix of technologies, the Notifications Platform offers its users the best products available on the market.

The Platform has been created from the ground up with the end-user in mind. Consequently, a seamless business-to-consumer Interface is offered. This abstracts the end-user from the technological complexities necessary to connect internal services to those of mobile communication service providers.



The MITA Notifications Platform form Is currently processing an excess of 1M (million) SMS and 400K (four hundred thousand) emails per month. The reliance on the platform is at an all-time high. This abnormal consumption demonstrates how useful for Government this method of communication is. Additionally. This also underscores Government’s reliance on technology to maintain communications open with citizens.

With the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic the dependency on the platform has further increased. The demand more than trebled in the last quarter alone.

The Notifications Platform has gained prominence within the Public Service domain, slowly becoming an essential part of service notification. Due to the prevailing situation, Government entities are resting even more on electronic, instantaneous, communications to keep regular contact with the citizen. Thus, foregoing the need to stop or reduce a service in order to observe health directives.



Although the use of a unified messaging platform is not mandatory within Government operations, an integrated messaging system has proved beneficial to all parties involved. All systems residing within MITA's responsibility are subject to a strict regimen of scrutiny that guarantee safety, availability and integrity. In addition to this end-users and consumers of the services need not worry about the maintenance and upkeep of the underlying systems. Finally, there ls a cost-benefit element too. Each Government entity using the Notifications Platform can benefit from low-cost message pricing schemes made possible through a collective deal done on behalf of Government through MITA.



No one ever expected that a pandemic would further push the Notifications Platfom into the forefront. Thankfully this simple and robust platform has proved itself terms of stability and scalability even under duress. MITA is constantly looklng at how such a service could be enhanced providing new communicatlon channel options. Each new communication channel offers opportunities to reach a wider segment of the population as capitalising on new and emerging technology prospects. Ultimately this will add more flexibility to the platform and encourage a shift towards more electronic Government to Citizen communication, reducing service time, cost and bureaucracy.


By Mario Mallia Milanes
The Malta Independent
Thursday 16 April 2020

Mario Mallia Milanes is a Project Leader with MITA. He currently works within the eGovernment and Corporate Solutions Department and mainly focusses on the maintenance of MITA's Notifications Platform and managing the EU Benchmarking process for MITA. Mario has published numerous articles in the local press and academic papers in journals abroad dealing with Al and how it can be deployed to solve day-to-day problems. He is currently reading for o PhD in Al with the University of Malta.

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