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Government Statement to Parliament: Retirement of Darren Grech as Chief Secretary - 889/2023

December 21, 2023

The Chief Minister, the Hon Fabian Picardo  KC MP:


Almost two months ago, just after the General Election he so ably oversaw, the current Chief Secretary wrote to me in relation to delicate personal circumstances, which required him to spend more time with his family.

Since then I am happy to report that the complicated surgical procedure undergone by his daughter at Guy’s Hospital has been successful and that Gabriella is making a speedy recovery.

Notwitwstanding, when life throws you these circumstances it really does make one think where your priorities lie and about the debt of time one has with the core family.

I entirely empathise.

Darren has, therefore now asked to step down from his role as Chief Secretary and proposed to me a different pathway working in a supportive capacity in Education and reporting directly to me on a number of initiatives, which can only be interpreted as absolutely beneficial for Gibraltar.

Given Darren’s experience in the field I have wholeheartedly agreed to this believing he has earned the right to determine his own future.

I recruited Darren from Education following his sterling work in transforming the schooling landscape and having observed his innate ability in dealing with people and investing in them.

I must remark at this stage he initially declined the offer and only eventually acceded after immense insistence from me. He put the greater good of Gibraltar over and above his love of education.

During his 6 years as CS Darren’s contribution has been exceptional despite certain unpredictable events having taken centre stage and which in a way derailed the civil service transformation journey we embarked upon.

The Brexit and Covid challenges hit us all and he and me both at the top of our respective parts of the administration.

it took its undoubted toll and yet the civil service rose up to the occasion with sterling leadership and apposite guidance from Darren.

We are now back on track.

Darren precisely realised what was needed to take the service to the next level in terms of building team capacity with a number of significant others who possess the right skills to take the torch forward.

Darren in selfless in this respect and has always put the good of Gibraltar first and foremost.

I thank him here today for his sterling service to Gibraltar.

His last day as Chief Secretary will be the 31st December 2023.

Madam Speaker, given Darren’s decision to step-down, it is incumbent on me to appoint a new Chief Secretary.

As the House will know, the posts of Chief Secretary, Chief Technical Officer and Financial Secretary, as well as our representatives overseas, are the Chief Minister’s directly appointed posts.

Given I have announced that I will be stepping down in coming years, I think it is essential, in Gibraltar’s interests that I should appoint someone who will hold the office for longer than the time I will be in post.

It is for that reason that I have sought to appoint a person to the post who will transition from one Chief Minister to another.


Appointment of Glendon Martinez as Chief Secretary


Given the qualities he represents and the longevity he can give to the post, I have made the easy decision to appoint GLENDON MARTINEZ to the post of Chief Secretary as from the 1st of January 2024.

Glendon possesses extensive experience in both the public and private sector.

As a former CEO of an international business specialising in e-commerce, sales, and managing large teams, he brings a wealth of knowledge.

He initially joined the Public Service to spearhead the modernisation of the Royal Gibraltar Post Office.

Under his guidance, the department achieved numerous successes such as the digitisation of mail, next day delivery service and the first postal service in the world with a full electric fleet of vehicles.

Subsequently, he was appointed Head of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Department.

In this role, he successfully managed the digitisation of services and eradicated the backlog caused by the lockdown, achieving record-low waiting times.

Additionally, Glendon played a pivotal role in assisting the Gibraltar Maritime Administrator.

He helped promote Gibraltar as a leading red ensign flag for international ships post-Brexit, significantly increasing turnover.

His efforts included implementing new green incentives, revising fees, and improving working practices.

After achieving various objectives, I, along with the Chief Secretary, recruited him to work at No6.

There, he has been instrumental in assisting the Chief Secretary and my team.

His work includes overseeing and continuously enhancing various departments within the civil service and leading negotiations with key stakeholders such as unions, business organizations, and private entities collaborating with the Government.

I am confident that Glendon will be an exceptional Head of the Civil Service.

His experience at the core of government and his leadership abilities make him ideally suited for this vital role, especially in the context of modernising the Civil Service.

I look forward to seeing Glendon flourish in his new role, and the public sector flourish with him at its head.

I do worry though, Madam Speaker, that I can now count on the fingers of one hand those at No6 who are older than me!

I commend this statement to the House.