Education Ministry’s Permanent Secretary finally resigns after Bogdanovic scandal

As the turmoil within the Ministry of Education continues, Dr Frank Fabri has resigned as the Education Ministry’s permanent secretary in the wake of a scandal involving a contract granted to former footballer Daniel Bogdanovic. This latest resignation is just a few weeks after Minister Justyne Caruana had also resigned.

An official statement said that the Permanent Secretary within the Ministry of Education Frank Fabri had resigned.

A teacher by profession, Fabri had served as permanent secretary under four different education ministers – Evarist Bartolo, Dr Owen Bonnici, Dr Justyne Caruana and the incumbent Dr Clifton Grima. Minister Grima became Caruana’s successor as Minister of Education, notching a record of 4 Ministers in one legislature for a sector so important to Malta and its children.

However, his fate was sealed after he signed a €15,000 three-month contract with former international footballer Daniel Bogdanovic, that Caruana is understood to have had a romantic relationship with.

Dr Caruana resigned after the Commissioner for Standards in Public Life, Dr George Hyzler published a damning report found that the award of this contract had led to a breach of ethics and called on the police to open a criminal investigation.

Matthew Vella

A government statement stated that Fabri’s successor is Matthew Vella, who was appointed Permanent Secretary in December 2020 in the  Ministry for Senior Citizens and Active Ageing and in the Ministry for Inclusion, Social Wellbeing and Voluntary Organisations.

He studied at the University of Malta where he was awarded a Bachelor of Honours in Social Work, followed by a Masters qualification in Family Studies. His areas of specialisation include social planning and auditing, community development and services, regulations and policy development.

As from 2018, Mr Vella has served as Chief Executive Officer of the Social Care Standards Authority, and previously from 2015 as a Director of Corporate Services in the Ministry for Economy, Investment and Small Businesses. His career within the Public Service started as a social worker in Children Services.

Recent contributions within the Public Service are the establishment of the Social Regulatory Standards for Social Welfare Services and the Strategic Vision 2020-2027 Striving for Excellence: Driving Social Innovation through Regulation.