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NAME | Marlene Attard

DESIGNATION | Head, Development Control Commission Secretariat

MAIN RESPONSIBILITIES | Co-ordinating the work within the Development Control Commission


HOBBIES | Reading, travelling, playing chess and dining out

You are employed within MEPA’s DCC. Can you explain what your role entails and what your main areas of responsibility are?

I co-ordinate the work within the Development Control Commission, which involves the planning and management of DCC Board agenda, the decision process and the post decision process that is involved after the DCC decision. The management of the bank guarantees with regards to extensions and releases also form part of my work, as does the compilation of data for statistical purposes.

Could you describe a typical  day within your role?

Due to the variety of the work itself, a typical day at the office is difficult to outline! I usually deal first with the work that requires immediate attention which may vary from an internet query to a detail in a permit document. Generally, a major part of the day requires direct contact with customers, either personally or over the phone, endorsement of decision notices and administration duties that are required out of the genre of my job itself.

What have the highlights of your career at MEPA been so far?

Since my move to the  DCC section in 2001, the type and the variety of work has changed in line with market demands. I consider the fact that the DCC Secretariat managed to change its work practices, to encounter the increase in the demand in the issuance of decision notices and to update old and established work practices that proved to be outdated, to be a highlight in my career within this section.

This achievement also gives me satisfaction since this accomplishment requires the input of the DCC staff, all of who have experience in the work. With the participation of all, we achieved a healthy team spirit that makes the changes required a continuous and natural process rather than a one-off effort.

What is the main motivation  that keeps you dedicated to delivering a top quality service within your role?

Delivering continuously excellent customer care is my main focus. When this is kept in perspective, then one is able to 'design' the work in a way that good customer care is almost effortless and continuous. Through work experience and knowledge that is gained over time, one may always be in a good position to give guidance in response to enquiries from the general public.

What challenges have you faced within your role?

Maintaining team motivation, team spirit and team development. These are all favourite topics that we all learn about in management books, yet putting these into practice and applying them with success to target and achieve various or particular goals, can be a tough exercise. Each organisation has its own culture which cannot be kept out of the equation when implementing change. Being resilient in your ideas, yet receptive to the changes and messages that the team is conveying, is key to achieving what you set out to achieve.

What, in your opinion, have your main contributions to society as a whole been through your responsibilities within MEPA?

I like to believe that the guidance I give through the queries that arise from the general public are considered as valid and trustworthy.  MEPA employs a lot of people that are highly knowledgeable in their field of specialisation and I often seek advice from them before I reply to queries that might be 'new' or 'external' to my existent knowledge or job duties. At other instances, I also direct arising enquiries to the responsible person within MEPA when I perceive that the public will be better served.