A top former civil servant who directly oversaw the entire hospitals debacle as the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry for Health is to be removed from his position on the Board of Directors of APS Bank, days after it emerged that he will be facing criminal charges for his role in the scandal.

Joseph Rapa is one of three permanent secretaries facing charges of fraud, making fraudulent gains and misappropriation. He will also be charged for having committed crimes he was duty-bound to prevent.

He was appointed Permanent Secretary in 2013, shortly after the Labour Government swept back into power, and remained in the role until 2022.

Mr Rapa was then appointed to serve as a Director on the Board of Directors of APS Bank, a majority Church-owned financial institution. He was nominated by the Diocese of Gozo.

The same diocese, on Wednesday (yesterday), formally withdrew the nomination to re-appoint Mr Rapa to the role during the bank’s annual general meeting taking place today.

The withdrawal was described as “temporary,” with the bank informing the market that further updates will be communicated as and when necessary.

“The Bank now wishes to inform that it is in receipt of a letter dated 8 May 2024 whereby the Diocese of Gozo, as a Qualifying Shareholder, has decided to temporarily withdraw the re-appointment of Mr Joseph Rapa as Director.”

APS Bank’s website notes that Mr Rapa started his career in 1990 at the Economic Policy Department within the Ministry of Finance.

“In 2012, he was appointed Director General, responsible for leading teams providing technical, economic, and financial analysis, including advice to the ministry on macroeconomic management, fiscal policy and on macroprudential issues.

Between March 2013 and May 2022, he served as Permanent Secretary at the Ministry for Health and was responsible for general management functions within the ministry, with responsibilities for human resources management, strategic management, financial budgeting/planning, and management, as well as for the exercise of internal control.”

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Robert Fenech

Robert is curious about the connections that make the world work, and takes a particular interest in the confluence of economy, environment and justice. He can also be found moonlighting as a butler for his big black cat.