Civil service head passes on Cabinet secretary role to Ryan Spagnol

Principal Permanent Secretary will not be Cabinet secretary in new separation of traditionally fused constitutional role

Ryan Spagnol
Ryan Spagnol

Principal Permanent Secretary Tony Sultana has announced the appointment of two new Permanent Secretaries and a Cabinet Secretary, after these nominations were approved by the Public Service Commission.

Ryan Spagnol would be serving as Cabinet Secretary. Jonathan Vassallo has been appointed permanent secretary for European Funds, within the ministry for economy. He was previously director-general. And former director-general for economic research Godwin Mifsud is now permanent secretary in the transport ministry.

This will be the first time that the head of the civil service will not lead the Cabinet, despite that role traditionally being filled by the head of the civil service.

Spagnol graduated from the University of Malta with a Master’s in Public Policy and currently works at the Office of the Prime Minister as a policy coordinator.

The Cabinet secretary is a constitutional role with the holder tasked with coordinating all Cabinet work across the government. The government’s Internal Audit and Investigations Department (IAID) also falls under the Cabinet secretary’s responsibilities.

Spagnol was installed as a senior manager at Identity Malta, the national identity agency, in 2015, responsible for residence permits.