The head of the state IT agency will be the next boss of the civil service, Times of Malta is informed.  

Current MITA executive chairman Tony Sultana is expected to be appointed the new Principal Permanent Secretary (PPS) in the coming weeks, replacing Mario Cutajar, who announced his retirement on Friday

Government sources said the name is expected to be put to a vote at a Cabinet meeting next week before the appointment is formalised. 

The role of PPS is arguably the most powerful in the public service, with the holder even sitting in on Cabinet meetings.  

Sultana is expected to continue chairing the MITA board.

Boasting a long career in the public service, Sultana has been executive chairman of MITA for the past nine years.  

During his time there he is credited with ushering in investment to upgrade the protection of the government’s IT infrastructure from hacking attempts.

Sources said the choice of Sultana signalled the government’s intention to focus on the digital transformation of the public service in the coming years. 

Sultana has already worked on information systems in the public service in the past, including Malta’s taxation system which is currently being reworked.

Meanwhile, announcing his retirement, Cutajar on Friday said that last September he had informed Prime Minister Robert Abela about his intention to retire. 

He said Abela had asked him to see through the last legislature and help a new government get things in order. 

“I feel that now is the time to leave this post to the next pair of hands,” he said. 

Abela later said Cutajar will be retiring at the end of May.

A former deputy general secretary of the General Workers’ Union, Cutajar has been the public sector's boss since 2013, appointed on the same day Joseph Muscat was sworn in as prime minister. 

In the past, he worked in the private secretariat of prime ministers Dom Mintoff and Karmenu Mifsud Bonnici and was a parliamentary assistant to Labour MP Glenn Bedingfield when he served as an MEP.

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