Prime minister reneges on commitment to forbid government CEO dual roles

In a bizarre contract seen by The Shift following a Freedom of Information request, the new executive chairman of Enemalta “is not considered an employee of the company”.


Prime Minister Robert Abela’s appointment of Ryan Fava as the new executive chairman of Enemalta has breached his own commitment to limit the number of roles executives of government entities can occupy.

Upon his appointment as prime minister, Robert Abela had stated he would ensure that CEOs and executive chairpersons of government entities would not be allowed any other job or remuneration, even part-time, outside their official role.

Fava has another full-time job as the president of the Malta Dockers Union.

Abela said this was a good governance measure to avoid conflicts of interest, insisting CEOs were paid enough to expect their full-time attention to their government role.

But the prime minister has not stuck to his word.

Following the sacking of Enemalta CEO Jonathan Cardona last year, the Enemalta Board, on the direct instructions of the Office of the Prime Minister, abolished the role of CEO and amalgamated it into the role of chairman.

Engineer Ryan Fava was made responsible for all the operations of the State energy provider and paid €150,000 a year.

However, since Fava already held another job and was not ready to move away from it, Abela, through the Enemalta board, allowed Fava to keep both jobs.

In a bizarre contract, seen by The Shift following a Freedom of Information request, Fava “is not considered an employee of Enemalta”, even though he is entirely responsible for all day-to-day operations of the company and all the decisions to be taken.

This clause seems to have been inserted so Fava could continue his role at the Malta Dockers Union.

Sources close to licensed port workers, who describe Fava as highly competent, said the union did not want to let Fava leave for a temporary political post.

When contacted, Fava confirmed that he was still being paid as the president of the Dockers Union while occupying the post of executive chairman at Enemalta.

“What I am doing at Enemalta is very different from my role at the Dockers Union, and I don’t see a conflict,” he told The Shift.

According to the Malta Dockers Union statute, its president is elected by licensed port workers and paid directly for the role.

Energy Minister Miriam Dalli, responsible for Enemalta, has also broken the rules by appointing the disgraced former CEO of the Malta Financial Services Authority, Joseph Cuschieri, as CEO of Project Green.

While receiving a €96,000 package from taxpayers, he continues his work as a private business consultant.

The Shift asked the OPM whether the directive on CEOs and double roles still stands. No reply was received by the time of publication.


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Joey FAlzon
Joey FAlzon
1 month ago

The shift should also investigate the role of the new FMS CEO….has he given up his role at Mater Dei and his private practice? These are questions that warrant serious answers!!!!

1 month ago

150k for what? We hardly ever see him at Enemalta. And whenever he turns up, its for a few hours in the afternoon. The employees have no sense of direction and the company is going straight into a brick wall. You also forgot to mention that he has another private business in the petrol station sector, in direct conflict with Enemalta interests. He is often heard saying that he wants to help someone because it is his client.

saviour mamo
saviour mamo
1 month ago

A prime minister who doesn’t keep his word is wasting our time.

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