Friday, January 28, 2011
28 January 2011
Cancelling talks with Woodside hurts Timor-Leste's Greater Sunrise objectives
The Gusmao government's apparent decision to cease negotiations with the Australian petroleum company Woodside may undermine efforts to win the right to process gas from the Greater Sunrise field in Timor-Leste, former Prime Minister of Timor-Leste and Secretary General of FRETILIN, Dr Mari Alkatiri, warned today.
Dr Alkatiri said that as the party with the most seats in parliament, FRETILIN continues to support all efforts by Timor-Leste's state institutions to convince Woodside and the Australian government - Timor Leste's partners in the Greater Sunrise project - to agree to build a pipeline to transport gas to Timor-Leste for processing.
At a joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister John Howard in Sydney on 12 January 2006 following the signing of the Treaty on Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea, then Prime Minister Dr Alkatiri said: "Above all (given the comparative distance) Timor-Leste to Australia, (Timor-Leste) is much closer. This is one thing, so of course we keep, not hoping but fighting, to have this plant there and the pipeline to Timor-Leste. We do believe that it is technically feasible and have been trying to get the pipeline there and I hope it will go there."
Dr Alkatiri said today that with the support of FRETILIN and others, he was directly involved in negotiations on the Timor Sea from the outset in 2000 to 2006.
"The then FRETILIN government secured the highly beneficial Timor Sea Treaty which has allowed billions of dollars of oil and gas revenues to flow into Timor-Leste's coffers. My government secured a greater and fairer share of Greater Sunrise than Australia was ever prepared to concede, and treaty terms that give Timor-Leste the best possible chance to exercise its right to develop Sunrise gas onshore in Timor-Leste," he said.
"In July 2005, Woodside acknowledged to me personally that a pipeline to Timor-Leste was technically viable."
However, Dr. Alkatiri said FRETILIN was very concerned by the Gusmao government's announcement - in a media release of 24 January 2011 titled "Greater Sunrise negotiation forces Woodside to halt all operations" - that, "neither Woodside nor regulators will proceed with the proposals until the downstream title issue is resolved. This effectively means that Woodside's operations on Greater Sunrise have been suspended."
Dr Alkatiri said: "This is a negative and counter-productive development that defies logic. To reach any outcome, the doors must remain open to dialogue, not closed at this vital stage of negotiations. It is in both countries' interests to work towards a mutually beneficial outcome.
"This announcement illustrates this de facto government's political and institutional failure. They have failed to convince either Woodside or the Australian government that processing gas in Timor-Leste is the best option.
"The de facto government cannot admit these failures, this lack of negotiating capacity, so it hides behind brash acts such as this declaration of the suspension of negotiations. As usual it finds scapegoats to cover up its incompetence. "
Dr Alkatiri said the Gusmao administration "has turned what are technical negotiations into a highly politicized issue. This may well cement the failure of these negotiations irretrievably."
"It is time the administration explained to the parliament why things have gone so drastically backwards, with potentially grave consequences for the people of Timor-Leste and future governments," Dr Alkatiri said.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT FILOMENO ALEIXO ON +670 734 0383
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Dili, 27 January 2011
TIMOR-LESTE GOVERNMENT RAIDS PETROLEUM FUND IGNORING THE LAW
De facto Government MPs table proposal to increase budget by US$282 MILLION for dodgy and non-transparent Infrastructure Fund. It was in turn accepted without retort by the government, namely the de facto Prime Minister and Finance Minister.
The increase in the budget is allegedly to pay for cost blowouts for two power stations, substations and transmission lines, in turn a result of the procurement fiasco that was the "second hand heavy fuel power stations" from China.
The proposal increases the original budget for the electricity sector investment from US$166.7 million to US$448.7 million. There was no satisfactory detailed justification as to how this money would be spent.
This increase takes the budget in just one day, from US$985 million to US$1.26 billion, an increase of 28% on the budget proposal, and nearly twice in excess of the 3% of the sustainable income estimate under the Petroleum Law.
It also represents 18.3% of the balance in the petroleum fund as at December 2010 of US$6.9 billion.
Without doubt this action has irretrievably eroded the petroleum fund's sustainability.
This breaches the section 9 of the Petroleum Fund Law:
Transfers Exceeding the Estimated Sustainable Income
No transfer shall be made from the Petroleum Fund in a Fiscal Year in excess of the Estimated Sustainable Income for the Fiscal Year unless the Government has first provided Parliament with:
(a) The reports described in paragraphs 8 (a) and 8 (b);
(b) A report estimating the amount by which the estimated Sustainable Income for Fiscal Years after the Fiscal Year for which the transfer is made will be reduced as a result of the transfer from the Petroleum Fund of an amount in excess of the Estimated Sustainable Income of the Fiscal Year for which the transfer is made;
(c) A report from Independent Audit certifying the estimates of the reduction in Estimated Sustainable Income in paragraph (b) above; and
(d) A detailed explanation of why it is in the long-term interests of Timor-Leste to transfer from the Petroleum Fund an amount in excess of the Estimated Sustainable Income.
This proposed withdrawal now exceeds the limit of the value that the government is legally permitted to withdraw from the petroleum fund without providing the detailed justification as set out above. None has been provided.
There is no doubt whatsoever that this was done not just with the knowledge but also at the initiative of the de facto Prime Minister, as he accepted it without the usual retorts.
The fact that this was not ever included in the original proposed budget law that came before the parliament, nor during the committee hearing process. This is a blatant illustration of this government's incompetence in public finance management. As stated in a recent IMF report evaluating Timor Leste's public finance management, "fiscal and budgetary policies lack a solid medium-term perspective," and "the Ministry of Finance lacks the time and capacity for adequate review of rationale, costing and impact of public investment." This raises a lot of questions of this government's programs and projects, especially in the area of infrastructure development.
There are no alternatives to a legal challenge to this budget law when the "majority" rubber stamps this budget law, as they will without question or scruples.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT JOSE TEIXEIRA ON +670 728 7080
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
DILI, 25 January 2011
Timor-Leste left in the dark as one billion dollars snatched from its petroleum fund
Without public consultation and in the face of widespread public opposition, Timor-Leste's de facto government is seeking to grab nearly US$1 billion from the country's petroleum fund, of which US$342.3 million will be allocated for a new agency, The National Development Agency to be established by decree and operate without parliamentary scrutiny.
This year’s budget of US$985 million represents 14.2% of the US$6.9 billion fund - virtually Timor-Leste's only source of income said FRETILIN MP and parliamentary party spokesperson Jose Teixeira.
Teixeira said the de facto government was evading its constitutional obligations to treat the budget discussion process in an accountable, transparent and democratic way.
"They are leaving us all in the dark, literally and figuratively. The televised parliamentary debate on the budget is accompanied by frequent power cuts of up to six hours and more, right around the country. This prevents people from following the debate and learning how State funds are being misused.
"We know budget debates attract a wide audience because budget discussions are often interspersed with points of order from MPs from all sides of parliament transmitting complaints from constituents around the country that their power is off and they are unable to continue viewing or listening to the debate.
"All this despite the de facto government spending more than US$219 million since 2007 to allegedly fix the power sector," Teixeira said.
A letter to the International Monetary Fund on 14 December 2010, from the national development watchdog Lao Hamutuk, highlighted the extent of public concern over lack of government transparency. Lao Hamutuk wrote in part:
"The processes of transparency and public consultation have gotten worse than the IMF reports indicate. For example, the many items listed as available to the public in the Summary have not been made available. In fact, until today the Ministry of Finance website did not contain a single document about the mid-year budget that was promulgated last July or about the 2011 budget currently being discussed in Parliament……….the Ministry (of Finance) has been totally uncooperative."
Lao Hamutuk continued: "The amount of information provided in the state budget has declined significantly. In particular, there is no information on costs of new initiatives, and multi-year capital projects are not costed beyond the current year. Although the Government secretly increased the contract cost of the national electricity grid from $367 million to $629 million last September, they did not inform Parliament of this and the budget documents ignore it. The Annual Action Plans in 2011 Budget Book 2 say nothing about the cost of each item, and the Ministry no longer provides a list of multi-annual capital projects which had been Annex 4 to Budget Book 1 in past years."
Jose Teixeira said the de facto government was trying to create two large funds, the Infrastructure and Human Capital Development Fund, totaling US$342.3 million to be managed by a so-called National Development Agency, apparently under the de facto Prime Minister's responsibility and effective control.
"However it is totally unclear at this point how this will occur and whether best practice in management, transparency and accountability will be adopted," he said.
"The government is asking to transfer a huge amount from the petroleum fund to one agency, which has not been legally established as required by the Budget Management Law. We have been told very little about how this agency will be run, or who will run it. The prime minister has provided the scantest of details on it thus far," Teixeira said.
Lao Hamutuk agrees. Its letter to the IMF said:
"The imminent establishment of several new independent agencies (including the PETRONATIL national oil company, the Institute for Petroleum and Geology and the National Development Agency) by decree-law evades budgetary accountability, transparency and democracy, as the budgets for these agencies will be outside the state budget and not subject to Parliamentary approval or oversight. Those in the petroleum sector also contravene the Petroleum Fund by intercepting oil income before it is deposited into the Fund. The expansion of the Decentralized Development Package (PDD) further erodes accountability and oversight. Budgeting and procurement is proliferating both above and below ministries."
Jose Teixeira accused the government of evading dealing with the details and making it up as they go along without proper planning.
He cited a recent IMF report evaluating Timor Leste's public finance management which said "fiscal and budgetary policies lack a solid medium-term perspective," and "the Ministry of Finance lacks the time and capacity for adequate review of rationale, costing and impact of public investment."
Teixeira added: "Our concerns about this very large budget are not being answered. We ask in the committees but no one answers our questions. We then ask in the plenary and our questions are not answered. In the case of the Prime Minister's own Ministry, Defence and Security, he delegates annually his secretary of state for defence to attend committee hearings, but he in turn declines to answer questions because they are matters the minister himself should be answering. But when we ask those in plenary they are ignored. This is not how this parliament or the people of Timor-Leste are used to being treated because former Prime Minister Dr. Mari Alkatiri took great care to come to parliament even during committee hearings to answer parliament's queries and never evaded questions from the plenary. As our democracy develops and we have greater amounts allocated for advisors etc, governments should become more transparent and be more accountable, not less."
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT JOSE TEIXEIRA M.P. ON +670 728 7080
Saturday, January 22, 2011
21 January 2011
Parliament approves budget to fight domestic violence
FRETILIN MP Jose Teixeira welcomed the bipartisan commitment from the Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao for a motion tabled by him, his fellow FRETILIN MP Josefa Pereira Soares, and National Unity Party MP Domingos Mesquita, to provide an adequate operational budget for the Vulnerable Persons Units of the Timor-Leste National Police.
The VPU investigates and prepares prosecution briefs in relation to sexual assault and child abuse cases pursuant to the criminal code, as well as domestic violence pursuant to the Domestic Violence Law approved by the national Parliament last year. The Domestic Violence Law made domestic violence a “public crime” whereby the prosecutorial authorities have a legal obligation to prosecute cases whether or not the victim
wishes to proceed.
The amendment approved by the national parliament to the 2011 national budget today increased the overall budget for the VPU by US$1 million, consisting of US$600,000 for acquisition of vitally needed motor vehicles and US$400,00 operational costs for the VPU.
“The VPU is grossly under equipped to do its current work, little lone begin its work enforcing this new domestic violence law. We acknowledge that the de facto Prime Minister’s support for improving the capacity of the VPU, but do not understand why an adequate budget had not been approved by the Council of Ministers in the first place, obviating our having to do it ourselves. However, we are nonetheless thankful for the support and flexibility from the de facto Prime Minister in consenting to this amendment, thus resulting in its approval, otherwise, I am certain the PM’s MP’s would have blocked it. We are grateful to him for this display of bipartisanship on this issue of great importance to us all. It is very welcome to know we can agree on issues that are beyond and above party politics.
“We also welcome his input during the debate in the parliament that the budget should be allocated to his office as minister for defence and security, to ensure these resources in fact make it to the VPU and its work. We accept that by placing this budget allocation in his office, the vehicles and other financial resources will not be diverted for use by senior ranking police officers as their personally designated vehicles including for private use, but for investigation and preparation of these sexual assault and domestic violence cases as intended. We urge the de facto Prime Minister to keep a tight reign and watch on the use of these funds. We certainly will do that from parliament,” Teixeira told journalists.
Teixeira also said that other proposals were also passed by the parliament today providing funding for office and other equipment to enable the unit to perform its functions adequately, although he acknowledged this was only a start and much was still left to be done before resources and outcomes could be described as adequate in this area of policing and law enforcement.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT JOSE TEIXEIRA ON +670 728 7080
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
PARLAMENTU HASAI OSAN "REDUSAUN POBREZA" HUSI PRESIDENTI REPUBLIKA; LA TUIR KNAAR KONSTITUISAUNAL PRESIDENTI NIAN
Komunikadu ba Imprensa
Dili, 19 Janeiru 2011
PARLAMENTU HASAI OSAN REDUSAUN POBREAZA HUSI PRESIDENTI REPUBLIKA; LA TUIR KNAAR KONSTITUISAUNAL PRESIDENTI NIAN
Parlamentu aprova ho votasaun bot atu hasai US$1 milhaun Fundu Redusaun Pobreza neebe iha tina kotuk aprova montante hanesan atu Presidenti Republika nian bele halau nia promesa politika atu fo liman ba kiak iha Timor-Leste.
Deputadus husi bancada oioin, inclui mos bancada partidu sira neebe apoia governu de facto, vota 44 votos a favor, 3 contra no 12 abstensaun hodi apoia porposta husi deputadu FRETILIN Arsenio Bano atu hasai osan US$1 milhaun husi orsamentu iha Gabinete Priemiru Ministru, neebe tintinan alokadu iha orsamentu maibe reservadu ka comprometido kedas ba task force ida iha gabinete Presidente Republika.
“Iha tinan 2008 bancada FRETILIN halo petisaun ba Tribunal Rekursu neebe deklara inkonstitusional fundu redussaun pobreza neebe aloka iha gabinete Presidenti Republika iha tempu neeba ho montante US$250,000. Maske hetan deklarasaun inkonstitusional iha tempu neeba, osan gasta tiha hotu. Too ohin loron la iha ema ida neebe responsabiliza ba osan neebe fakar hotu maske inkonstitusional. Ikus mai iha preokupasaun balun kona ba gestaun fundus nee, liliu iha Gabinete Presidenti Republika nian,” deklara Xefe Bancada FRETILIN nian deputadu Aniceto Guterres.
Preokupasaun neebe hamosu proposta atu elimina osan US$1 milhaun neebe PR nia gabinete usa atu nia task force halau atividade ho naran “redusaun pobreza” halau fali servisu tuir interese politiku partidu kiik balun nian.
Komissaun C Parlamentu nasional nian mos rekomenda iha numero 5, pagina 78, iha sira nia relatorio kona ba proposta OGE 2011 atu elimina montante ida nee.
Deputadus barak liu mak koalia katak maske la iha violasaun ona ba constituisaun bainhira hatama osan hirak nee iha orsamentu gabinete PM nian, no depois mak hodi selu projetus neebe hetan rekomendasaun husi gabinete PR nian, mekanismu ida nee sei viola nafatin prinsipiu separasaun poder ezekutivu neebe iha governu nia liman ho knaar presidenti nian tuir konstituisaun. Tuir konstituisaun PR la iha knaar ida ezekutivu kona ba atuasaun politika social hanesan halakon kiak.
“Bancada FRETILIn felicita deputadus hotu neebe apoia proposta eliminasaun ida nee tamba iha interese atu tau buat hotu iha ita nia estadu nia funsionamentu iha nia fatin tuir lei no konstituisaun. Ita hotu hakarak halakon kiak iha ita nia rain, maibe ita hotu hare osan neebe usa liu gabinete PR nian nunee la iha impaktu ba halakon kiak. Maibe bancada FRETILIn sei ezigi mos atu iha investigasaun se iha gestaun ba osan ida nee ema ruma envolve iha hahalok abuso poder ka ma gestaun iha tinan orsamentu rua liu ba,” informa Xefe bancada FRETILIN Aniceto Guterres ba media nasional.
BA INFORMASAUN TAN DERE BA DEPUTADU ARSENIO BANO 741 9505
Saturday, January 15, 2011
FRETILIN PARLIAMENTARY GROUP
SPEECH BY LEADER IN THE NATIONAL PARLIAMENT
CLOSING OF DEBATE ON FIRST READING OF 2011 BUDGET LAW
14 January 2011
Mr. President of the National Parliament,
All Visitors to this noble parliament,
To begin, we think it is worthwhile to take in what the Bishop of the Diocese of Baucau Dom Basilio Nascimento said when asked what he thought of the proposed 2011 national budget:
“……as a citizen, I am await it, when so much is spoken of , then there should be some results for Timor, that is all I am asking.”
“Every year we talk about it, the opposition screams, the people scream, the experts scream, but it is like trying to eat buffalo hide because nothing comes of it, so I await to see how this money will be used, if it is for the stealing then go ahead and steal it, if it is to waste it then waste it.”
“I will be happy when I see good roads, electricity available, when there is food for everyone.”
This statement by the Bishop of Baucau to the Timor Post soon after the Council of Minister’s approved the 2011 National Budget, was an expression of his concern, and the concern of many Timorese with this national budget.
As a citizen and a leader of the Timnor-Leste Catholic Church, Bishop Dom Basilio Nascimento has the moral obligation to his congregation, to speak out, to say something, especially for those who for one reason or another are the voiceless, to speak up for what is really happening, tell it the way the people see it and how they feel about the direction of the development of this nation.
As the de facto opposition, very year during the budget debate FRETILIN has continued to raise its same concerns because the large amounts of money that have been proposed in annual budgets has not brought any significant change for the better in the lives of the bulk of our people.
During this period of governance by the AMP, from 2007 to 2010, the de facto government has spent US$1,8 billion on funding programs and trying to fulfill its many promises made:
1. to reduce poverty;
2. to fight corruption;
3. to erect infrastructure such as; electricity throughout the whole of Timor-Leste, roads to every suku and village, running water for everyone;
4. to fix education, health, agriculture, transport and communications;
5. to reform the public administration, public finance management and budget management;
6. to bring in large investors and create jobs for our young people. Many other promises.
But there have been no significant results in these areas because the Government does not have an integrated or consistent plan to govern for the five years of their mandate; it does not have an annual plan with clear objectives to implement the state budget to improve the lives of our people, resulting only in projects without quality. Budgets destined merely to be wasted arbitrarily. This government only knows how to throw money out. They know how to spend money without properly implementing the budget programs. There is no fiscal discipline; they only know to move money around in an ad hoc manner with all sorts of “packages” (with the parliament approving money for one thing today, but tomorrow the government doing something else with that money), which in the end makes it very difficult for the parliament to exercise oversight of the budget implementation.
For four years they have been crowing about the same successes, the have solved the problem of the internally displaced, paid pensions to veterans and ex-combatants which has been full of collusion, corruption and nepotism, and that the have resolved the problem of the petitioners with money, but as we have all recently heard again the petitioners are starting to mobilize themselves again, including mobilizing their claim that they are still members of the F-FDTL.
Annually they bring the budget to the national parliament with macro economic projections that are not solid because they are based on statistics that are not credible or are overtaken.
Annually they boast about 12% economic growth, but fail to explain the quality and substance of this growth. Which sectors contribute to this growth and how much? What regions enjoyed this growth? The AMP government misrepresented the World Bank report that there has been a reduction in poverty, boasting and publicizing incorrect information that poverty had reduced 9% in Timor-Leste.
The reality of the economic situation is this. This economic growth has not created real long-term job prospects for our young people. There have only been a small number of work places created from temporary employment from the private sector as a result of public infrastructure projects. There is no foreign direct investment, but all investment is dependent on public investment, but investment in the productive sectors such as agriculture and education is low.
There is almost no domestic production whatsoever. Our petroleum revenues come out of the Timor Sea and all flies out into the seas in the North of our country. The cost of domestic public works projects are artificially inflated beyond their real cost values and are extremely costly. Because of inflation the price of everyday commodities are expensive and rising constantly, and the government has no idea how to contain imports. In 2007 Big Brother Xanana promised that the price of a small packet of noodles would be five cents, but now it costs 25 cents. The price of a sack of rice has risen to US$20, but the Minister for Tourism, Commerce and Industry says it is normal.
Despite injecting a lot of money into the market through public investment, because there is no absorptive capacity by the domestic economy, most of the public investment moneys fly straight out of the country to other countries (as Ms. Emilia Pires has stated 70% of each dollar spent in public investment all goes out). Meanwhile, our people continue to live in abject poverty, whilst a small group in our society who have access and know how to take advantage of the system or know how to steal, have and are becoming much richer and fatter each day. There are many public investment projects but the money mostly goes upwards and very little ever trickles down to the people. This has increased economic inequality in our country.
The consistent increases in public spending have fuelled inflation with the price of commodities in the market rising, whilst the purchasing power of our people has fallen because their average incomes have remained the same if not fallen.
Although it has been four years, the AMP has failed to meet many of the promises made by Big Brother Xanana. Lots of money has been dissipated, but most of our people continue to complain, because they do not have access to water, the roads are bad an getting worse, and now there is a new promise that on the 28th of November 2011 electricity from the power stations using heavy fuel oil will be available, but the people already know that the AMP are full of just that promises. Tractors and all manner of other equipment have been distributed yet agriculture has gone backwards, with production falling. The quality of the education system is poor, and the health system is deteriorating more and more. Free medication for the sick is not available.
Corruption is flourishing within the government. Members of government, directors general, directors and civil servants are accumulating personal extraordinary wealth beyond their income capacity. Reforms have become a euphemism for wildly and spontaneously changing from one policy and system to another, these always being referred to as innovative measures or initiatives. Ultimately, the result is the same, no progress.
People of Timor-Leste,
In 2011 the Xanana government has asked for even more money than before for the national budget, a global sum of US$985 million, split into two portions: one, called a consolidated fund or functional budget, for $642.7 million, and two, Special Funds totaling $342.3 million. This global amount still does not include funds from Timor-Leste’s development partners of $195 million. This means that in 2011 the amount of money to be poured out will total US$1,18 billion.
It is clear from the pattern of budget implementation for previous years that the government has been incapable of spending the moneys allocated in the budget especially in the category of capital development, yet the most worrying thing for FRETILIN is precisely this category in the proposed 2011 budget and the proposal for the creation of two special funds.
We are concerned because the moneys to be allocated for development capital and human capital development will be transferred from the line ministries and centralized in special funds, that will be under the power and control of the office of the prime minister and administered through a National Development Agency as the administrative council for the funds. This will be the replacement of the function and responsibility of the respective ministers and secretaries of state in the management of projects and centralize them in the office of the PM. Ministers and secretaries of state will be like directors general who will merely exercise managerial functions. In this way His Excellency Mr. Xanana can be come the supreme commander again as he was during the guerilla period. This will retard the development and maturation of good governance and decentralization of powers and functions in the public administration of our state.
This trend to centralization in this and previous budgets can also be seen in the allocation of other expenditures. There is a large proposed increased in the budget for the Office of the PM and the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, the secretaries of state and ministries who are dependent on the office of the Prime Minister himself. Together with the special funds, the total amount allocated directly under the control of the PM is close to 50% of the total national budget. Just in terms of development capital, 92% of this development budget will be under the control of the PM.
What does this trend say to us? 1. Distrust and the removal of responsibilities from ministers and secretaries of state, as well as from the other AMP parties; 2. It shows a failure or the weakness of the AMP government; 3. It is clearly a policy of establishing a CNRT Investment Fund for the 2012 elections, which is just a year away.
This government exists because of an alliance but with each party having its own separate policy programs, its own interests and objectives. Each minister or secretary of state does as he wishes, and there is no coordination within the government. This is the principal problem with this AMP government. The ineffectiveness and absence of synergy in the activities and projects of the government, stems from the dysfunctional policy base of and the way the alliance itself is managed. If the issue is that the ministries, departments and component services are too bureaucratic, this must refer to the result of the so called administrative reform that the AMP has been boasting about for years, which has in fact been a total failure.
Despite having extreme doubts about the capacity to execute, FRETILIN understands why the de facto government ‘s intent in proposing the creation of these two funds. Above all it is to support the National Strategic Development Plan (NSDP). But we think it is utterly premature to create these funds in the national budget thus compromising future governments, and it should not become a tool for anyone or any group to renew their promise of miracle making, which have previously been made but not delivered on.
If it is to support the NSDP, the special funds must also have their own detailed investment plan, with their specific cost benefit analysis, included projected economic and or social returns, not a case of merely providing a list of projects. It will be the only way of bringing credibility to this national budget and avoid ad hoc and arbitrary transfers, or for another package such as the referendum package to emerge from these funds.
According to the Public Finances Management Law number 13/2009, funds can only be established through legislative authorization by way of a law of the national parliament, not just by the national budget of the state law.
Over and above the legal question, these funds also fly in the face of good practice established by law 13/2009 such as the principles of specifying clearly budget allocations and their objectives encompassing all the state’s appropriations and expenditures.
The general budget of the state is unique and is one legal instrument that encompasses all of the entities and services of the state and all their revenues and expenditures. Most importantly it has to detail specifically all items of revenue and expenditure according to article 145, number 2 of the constitution of the republic.
Otherwise, this government will be in breach of the constitution and will not be a proper budget, but just a wish list or a shopping list. This will be another disaster for public finance management in this country, and this is what is worrying FRETILIN. Because of this the proposed budget for 2011 will not have the support of the FRETILIN parliamentary group.
People of Timor-Leste,
It is because of this danger that some of FRETILIN’s MPs tabled a proposal two days ago that this parliament return the proposed budget law to the government, giving it the opportunity to amend it and return it to the national parliament for its approval. The proposal was tabled with the intention of repairing the budget, through dialogue and discussion before resorting to legal options. However, perhaps because the president of the parliament failed to understand our intention, he refused to accept the tabled proposal or to allow debate of the proposal that was tabled.
We have now registered the opinions expressed and suggestions from AMP MPs and the de facto government that FRETILIN should take all questions of legality and constitutionality to the constitutional court instead of raising them in the parliament. However, we ask that when FRETILIN does take this matter to court and there is a favorable ruling for FRETILIN, we ask the AMP MPs and the government not criticize FRETILIN for having taken it to court, nor the courts for their decision as has previously occurred.
Just as FRETILIN has shown consistently its desire to reject violence and promote peace and stability, FRETILIN will also do all within its powers to advance the development of our nation and people.
Thank you Mr. President.
Parliamentary Leader of FRETILIN
Friday, January 14, 2011
BANCADA PARLAMENTAR FRETILIN
INTERVENSAUN IHA ENCERRAMENTU
DEBATE IHA GENERALIDADE BA OGE 2011
DILI, JANEIRO 20011
Sr. Presidente Parlamento Nacional,
Bainaka sira hotu iha Uma fukun ne’e,
Povo Maubere tomak,
Atu hahu, ami hanoin interesante tebes atu halo apresiasaun ida ba Amu Bispo Baucau, D. Basilio Nacimento nia reasaun konaba OGE 2011 nian hanesan tuir mai ne’e:
“….mai hau hanesan sidadaun hein deit, dehan osan barak hanesan ne’e, halo diak netik ba Timor, ida ne’e deit mak hau husu.”
“Ne’ebe, tinan bain loron ita koalia iha ne’e, opozisaun hakilar, povo hakilar, tekniku sira hakilar, maybe buat ne’e hanesan han hadau ba karau kulit be buat ne’e la lao, ne’ebe hau hein deit dehan katak atu uza osan ne’e oinsa-oinsa, atu naok ba mos naok ba, atu halo osan ne’e naben mos naben ba”.
“Hau kontetente se hare ona luron diak, se ahi tama ona, se hahan iha ona ba ema hotu.”
Lia fuan hirak ne’e mai hosi Bispo Baucau, wainhira hatan ba jornal Timor Post hafoin Konselho Ministro aprova OGE 2011, hodi expressa nia preokupasaun, no ema sarani iha Timor-Leste nia preokupasaun, konaba orsamentu geral estadu ne’ebe tinan-tinan sae, no bot ba bebeik, maibe realidade seidauk hatudu rezultadu ka buat diak ruma.
Nudar sidadaun no lider igreja katolika iha Timor-leste, Bispo D. Basilio Nacimento iha duni dever moral perante ninia sarani sira nudar povo, atu koalia ka hatutan lian, liliu lian husi ema sira ne’ebe labele koalia tanba sirkunstansias oioin, tuir realidade ne’ebe iha, oin sa povo nia hare no sentimentu konaba desenvolvimentu no progresu iha estadu ida ne’e.
Nudar opozisaun de Facto, iha debate OGE tinan-tinan Bankada FRETILIN koalia fila-fila ona hato’o preokupasaun hanesan tanba, tau osan barbarak iha OGE maibe la iha mudansa signifikativa ba povu nia moris.
Durante AMP nian Governasaun husi 2007 to’o fins de 2010 Governu de facto gasta ona osan hamutuk $ 1, 874 biliaun, hodi finansia programas no atu kumpri promesas oioin ne’ebe halo:
1. atu hatun kiak;
2. atu kombate korupsaun no KKN;
3. atu hari’i infraestrutura hanesan: eletrisidade ba Timor laran tomak, luron ka Estrada atu tama to’o suku no aldeia, be mos ba ema hotu-hotu;
4. atu hadia sistema edukasaun, saude, agrikultura, transportes no komunikasaun;
5. atu halo reforma iha administrasaun publika, gestaun finanseira no orsamentu nian;
6. atu lori tama investidor bobot no loke servisu ba joven sira. No sst.
Maibe la iha resultadu signifikante, tanba Governu laiha planu integradu ida konsistente ba tinan lima atu kumpri sira nia tempu ukun, laiha planu ba tinan-tinan atu esekuta ho objetivu klaru orsamentu estadu atu hadia povu nia vida, la iha projetus ho kualidade. Buka deit fakar osan narnaran deit. Hatene deit maka gasta osan maybe laiha kapasidade atu halo exekusaun orsamental. La iha disiplina finanseira, halo deit transferensia adhok ho pakote oioin, (ohin Parlamentu aprova osan ba buat ida, aban Governu halo fali buat seluk), ke no fim difikulta parlamentu halo fiskalizasaun.
Durante tinan 4 ona, susesu maka nafatin deit, resolve problema deslokadus, pensaun ba ferik no katuas, pensaun ba veteranus no kombatentes maske nakonu ho KKN, no resolve problema petisionarius ho osan maybe iha foin dadauk ita rona fali ona katak petisionarius sira komesa halo mobilizasaun no halo movimentasaun maka’as hodi reklama sira nia estatutu nudar membru F_FDTL.
Tinan-tinan, lori orsamentu mai apresenta iha parlamentu nasional ho projesaun makro ekonomika ne’ebe la solidu tanba baseia deit ba dadus ne’ebe la fiavel no ultrapasadu. Sira tinan-tinan gaba’an ho kresimentu ekonomiku 12 %. Maibe la esplika oinsa kualidade no substansia kresimentu hirak ne’e? Seitor sa ida deit maka kontribui no kada tinan ida hira? No iha distritu ne’ebe deit? Gov. AMP le’e sala dokumentu Banku Mundial ne’ebe hatete previzaun pobreza bele tun, hodi gaba’an no fo sai informasaun ne’ebe la los katak kiak iha TL tun 9%.
Realidade situasaun ekonomia maka ne’e. Kresimentu hirak ne’e la hamosu servisu ka empregu ba joven sira. Iha deit empregu temporariu husi seitor privadu ne’ebe mai husi investimentu publiku iha projetus infraestrutura. Investimentu husi rai liur laiha, no depende total ba investimentu publiku, maibe investimentu iha seitores produktivu hanesan agrikultura no edukasaun menus liu. Produsaun rai laran minimu liu ka laiha. Osan minarai nian tama hosi tasi mane sai fali hotu liu hosi tasi feto. Kustu obra ida-ida iha rai laran bot liu valor real no karu tetebes. Sasan folin iha merkadu karu tetebes no sae ba bebeik, tanba inflasaun , no Governu lahatene halo kontensaun ba inportasaun hodi kontola. Supermi nia folin ne’ebe maun xanana promete iha 2007 atu tau ba 5 sen, agora 20 sen ona. Fos nia folin sae maka’as to ona 20 dolares, maibe Ministro MTCI dehan sei normal hela.
Maske injeta osan barbarak ba merkadu hodi halo investimentu publiku, maibe tanba laiha kapasidade atu absorve, no osan barak liu halai hotu ba rai liur (hanesan sr. Emilia Pires hatete 70 % hosi kada dolar ida ba hotu liur), maioria povo kontinua kiak, enkuantu grupu kiik oan ida ne’ebe iha asesu no hatene aproveita ka hatene naok, maka sai riku matak no bokur ba bebeik. Iha Projetu barbarak maibe benefisia deit ba leten, la tun ba kraik. Ne’e aumenta desigualdade.
Kuantu mais aumenta injesaun osan, signifika aumenta tan inflasaun tanba folin sasan iha merkadu sae, enkuantu poder de kompra tun tanba rendimentu real povu nian nafatin hela. Ne’e mos kria desigualdade no bele halo situasaun pior liu tan.
To’o ona tinan hat AMP la kumpri promesas oioin ne’ebe mau Xanana halo. Osan barbarak fakar tia ona. Maibe povu barak liu sei halerik nafatin, tanba be mos la iha, estradas at no at ba bebeik iha fatin-fatin. Eletrisidade kontinua mate lakan maske fakar osan la para. Tinan-tinan promete ahi lakan 24 horas iha timor laran tomak maibe realidade laiha, agora iha promesa foun fali ona katak 28 de Novembru 2011 ahi hosi sentral elektika oleo pezadu atu laka ona, maibe povo hatene ona AMP ne’e maka Ami Mesak Prometedor. Fahe trator no ekipamentus oioin maibe agrikultura lao fali kotuk, produktividade menus liu. Sistema edukasaun no kualidade ensinu, no sistema saude at liu tan. Aimoruk ba ema moras menus liu. Korupsaun iha Governu laran buras ba bebeik. Membrus governu, diretores gerais, diretores, no funsionariu publiku sira nia riku soin sae extraordinariamente kompara ho sira nia vensimentu. Halao reforma maibe koko ba koko mai ho buat ne’ebe sira temi medidas ka inisiativas inovadoras. Ikus mai, resultadu maka nafatin deit.
Povo Timor-Leste tomak,
Ba tinan 2011, Governu Xanana tau nafatin osan barak liutan iha OGE ho montante global 985 milhoens, ne’ebe fahe ba rua : Ida, hanaran Fundu Konsolidadu ka orsamentu funsional, ho montante 642,7 milhoens, no rua, Fundus Especiais hamutuk 342,3 milhoens. Montante global ida ne’e seidaulk inklui osan ajuda rai liur hosi parseirus desenvolvimentu hamutuk 195 milhoens.
Nune’e osan ne’ebe sei fakar iha Timor-Leste iha tinan 2011 deit, hamutuk hotu US$1,180 milhoens ka 1 miliar 180 juta dolar.
Hare ba Dados konaba gastus no resultadu hosi tinan hirak ba kotuk ne’ebe hatudu inkapasidade exekusaun liu-liu iha kategoria kapital dezenvolvimentu, orsamentu bot ba 2011 preokupa duni bankada FRETILIN, sobretudu fundus espesiais.
Preokupa tanba, osan ba kapital dezenvolvimentu no desevolvimentu kapital humano hosi kada ministeriu nian sentraliza hotu ba fundus espesiais, ne’ebe sei hetan tutela ka kontrolu diretu husi gabineti PM liu hosi konselho Admnistrativu fundo nian no ADN (agencia Desenvolvimentu Nasional). Ne’e hanesan esvasiamentu kompetensia no responsabilidade ministru no sekretariu estadu sira ba gestaun projectus sira hodi sentraliza iha Gabineti PM. Nune’e ministrus no sekretariu estadu sira sai fali hanesan diretores gerais ne’ebe apenas halao funcao de gestaun korente. Ho ida ne’e, Sua exelensia Sr. Xanana bele sai fali komandante supremo ida hanesan uluk iha tempu funu. Ne’e, la diak ba amaduresimentu ba boa governasaun no gestaun desentralizada iha administrasaun publika estadu nian.
Fenomenu sentralizasaun ida ne’e ita hare mos iha alokasaun despezas por ministeriu. Iha aumentu bot ba iha gabineti PM no Presidensia CM, no sekretaria estadu ka ministeriu hirak ne’ebe dependente ba Gabineti PM nian. Nune’e, se sura hamutuk ho valor husi fundus espesiais, dotasaun global ne’ebe tama iha kontrolu direto PM nian besik 50% OGE. Se hare deit ba kapital desevolvimentu, 92% osan ba desenvolvimentu iha hotu PM nia kontrolu.
Fenomenu, ne’e hatudu saida? 1. Deskonfiansas e Desresponsabilizasaun ba ministrus no sekretariu estadu, ka partidus membru AMP nian; 2. Hatudu failansu no frakasu Govenu AMP nian; 3. Hanesan politika atu hakiak fundu investimentu CNRT ba eleisoens 2012 ne’ebe hela deit tinan ida ona.
Governu ida ne’e moris iha aliansa ida maibe programa idakidak nian, intereses no objetivu mos ida-idak nian. Ministru no sekretariu estadu ida-idak halo tuir nia hakarak, no laiha kordenasaun. Ne’e maka problema klasiku Governu AMP nian. Tanba ne’e, atu hadia inefisiensia no la iha sinergia iha aktividades projetus, tenke hahu husi politika no gestaun ba aliansa ne rasik. Maibe, se kestaun maka, Ministerius, departementus no servisus kompetentes, maka burokratiku liu, ne’e signifika reforma administrative ne’ebe AMP sira gaba bebeik ne’e, gagal total.
Apesar de iha duvida bot ba kapasidade exekusaun, Bankada FRETILIN apresia Governu de Facto nia intensaun atu harii fundus hirak ne’e. Sobretudu tanba atu suporta PEDN. Maibe, prematura liu atu inklui kedas fundus hirak ne’e iha OGE hodi kompromete futurus governus, sem aprovasaun hosi PN ba PEDN. PEDN tenke hetan aprovasaun duni, atu nunene bele sai duni planu nasional ida ne’ebe vinkula partidus ka governu sira atu mai, no labele sai fali hanesan instrumentu ba ema ka grupu partidu ruma atu renova sira nia promesa halo milagre, ne’ebe uluk sira halo tia ona maibe la konsege.
Se atu suporta PEDN, fundus espesiais tenke iha planu investimentu ne’ebe klaru, ho nia cost benefit analisis, retornus ekonomikus no sosiais, laos apenas simples lista de projectus deit. Nune’e, bele garante kredibilidade OGE, no evita transferensias adhok, ka mosu tan tipu hanesan pakote referendum.
Tuir Lei Gestao finanseira no.13/2009 , so bele estabelese fundus kuandu hetan autorizasaun hosi lei propria ida husi Parlamentu Nasional, la to’o ho deit lei orsamentu geral do estadu.
Alem de kestaun legalidade, Fundo ne’e mos kontra prinsipius boas pratikas ne’ebe estabelese ona iha Lei no.13/2009 hanesan prinsipiu unidade, universalidade, no prinsipiu atu halo espesifikasaun.
Katak OGE hanesan uniku no iha dokumentu legal ida deit, tenke abrange servisus estadu nian hotu-hotu ho sira nia reseitas no despeezas hotu. No inportante liu tenke halo diskrimunasaun ba rubrika hotu-hotu konaba reseitas e despezas tuir artigu 145 no.2 konstituisaun da Republika nian haruka.
Se laos hanesan ne’e, maka Governo viola ona konstituisan no halo fali Desorsamentasaun, dala ida tan Desorsamentasaun!!! Ne’e perigo bot ba gestaun finansas publikas iha Timor-Leste, e ne’e maka preokupa tebes Bancada FRETILIN. Tanba ne’e projetu OGE ida ne’e la merese hetan aprovasaun hosi Bankada FRETILIN.
Povu Timor-Leste tomak,
Tanba perigu ida n’ee, maka grupu deputadu ida hosi Bankada FRETILIN iha loron rua liu ba apresenta rekerimentu ida, husu ba PN atu haruka fila projeto OGE 2011 ba Governu atu hadia antes de lori hikas mai PN hodi hetan aprovasaun. Rekerimentu ne’e halo ho intensaun ida hakarak hadia tuir dalan normal, dialogu no diskusaun antes de halo rekursu ruma tuir dalan legal nian. Maibe, karik intende sala intensaun ida ne’e, maka meja PN la admiti, ka indefere tiha, hodi la hetan diskusaun iha plenariu ne’e.
Nune’e, ami regista opinioens ka sugestoens hotu liu-liu hosi deputadus bloku AMP no Governu de Facto, ne’ebe fo dalan ba Bankada FRETILIN atu lori kestaun ilegalidades no inkonstitusionalidades ne’e ba tribunal. Maibe, wainhira FRETILIN hola duni dalan ba tribunal, no karik Tribunal kokonrda ho FRETILIN nia opiniaun, Sr Deputadus AMP nian no Governo labele soe todan fali ba FRETILIN, hanesan mos ba Tribunal sira.
Hanesan hatudu ona, FRETILIN rejeita violensia no defende paz no estabilidade, FRETILIN sei haka’as an atu defende mos Dezenvolvimentu Nasional.
Maka ne’e deit. Obrigadu,
Thursday, January 13, 2011
The debate over Timor-Leste's national budget for 2011 began in the national parliament yesterday.
The following is an excerpt from de facto PM Xanana Gusmao's speech during his presentation of the 2011 national budget in parliament yesterday (excerpt below). His reference to "Norwegian virus" is a new term to all of us. Norway has been an example in the design, not a template, and the management of Timor=Leste's petroleum resources transparently and in a manner that ensures "inter-generational equity", and sustainability in all its forms.
Clearly, Mr Gusmao has faced some criticisms from experts in this area, with whom we agree, that the sustainable and transparent management of Timor-Leste's petroleum fund is at grave risk from government behaviour as well as the proposed amendments to the laws. The necessarily prudent but flexible approach to what is a very small and vulnerable sovereign fund in the current legislation due to the institutional/other constraints that exist in Timor-Leste, is under challenge in what is nothing but an irresponsible money grabbing exercise to undertake government projects that have been ill-conceived and ill-planned.
Mr. Gusmao has slammed Norway's world renowned transparent and sustainable petroleum sector governance, a model for good governance in this area, as a "virus". It demonstrates that he is allergic to criticisms of his policies and regards good governance approaches in petroleum revenue management as a "virus" to him and his government. Good governance is a "blessing", not a "virus". This illustrates his approach that he knows all, to the exclusion of anyone else, even those experienced for nearly a century in utilizing their petroleum revenues sustainably, transparently and for socially responsible purposes.
His reference to "Norwegian virus" underlies tensions arising from dissatisfaction by experts with this policy direction and his frustration that he cannot get his own way. It is most of all unfounded and unfair, because it was precisely building a strong social welfare system that Norway did, whilst sustainably managing its main revenues for many years, its petroleum revenues.
It is counter-productive to keep deriding what are sound policies simply for short term political gain as Mr. Gusmao is doing, despite his rhetoric that it is all for the benefit of the people. The absence of benefits flowing to the people from nearly US$2 billion worth of spending in 3 years demonstrates very clearly these policy failures.
FRETILIN will hold Mr. Gusmao accountable for these irresponsible policies, and highlight the bad governance in this and other sectors during this budget debate.
Excerpt for English translation of his speech:
"Estimated Sustainable Income (ESI) is estimated at 734 million in 2011, which means an increase of 232 million in relation to 2010. This increase is mostly due to a change to the methodology of how the ESI is calculated, or in other words, previously the ESI calculation was made based on the forecast of WTI (West Texas Intermediate) using the low scenario estimate of oil prices the Energy Information Administration (EIA) provided in its annual report, which was considered overly conservative.
For the 2011 ESI calculation, an average of low estimates referenced by the EIA was used such as the WTI oil price as a reference for the ESI calculation. The average of two EIA scenarios is well within the confidence interval of 68 percent of medium term prices, and significantly below the average of future prices. Our Independent Auditor of the Petroleum Fund has certified these calculations and confirmed that they are being made in accordance with the requirements of the Petroleum Fund Law. Oil price predictions according to the WTI is for $68 per barrel in 2011 and $71 in 2012, increasing to $ 110 per barrel in 2024. This review of the methodology is testament to the competence of the Ministry of Finance, and after 5 years of the ESI existence, critically reviewed the whole process and found that overly cautious can undermine the credibility of the ESI calculations. Any opinion defending this overly cautious forecast method, suffers from the Norwegian virus, forgetting that Norway itself took many decades to adopt it ... after Norway had become economically and socially developed, without worrying about support for mothers, the elderly and veterans, or that teachers and midwives are still few, or with malaria and tuberculosis, or the lack of desks and chairs in schools, or with water and sanitation, or electricity, or subsistence agriculture, or the nascent private sector, among many other challenges that Timor- Leste has to solve."
Jose Teixeira - FRETILIN Parliamentary Spokesperson
Member of the National Parliament of the
Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
Mobile: +670 728 7080