24 May 2010

Council of Ministers on Extraordinary Session

Wed. May 19, 10:15h - As the Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao is visiting the sub-districts to consult on the National Development Strategic Plan, the Council of Ministers’ meetings did not take place on the usual Wednesdays and thus, on the 10th and 11th of May, the Council of Ministers convened again in an extraordinary meeting.

On the agenda there were issues such as the Private Investment Law, the plan for the establishment of the Timor-Leste National Development Bank, the nomination of the members for the Accompaniment Committee in the Promotion Process of Timor-Leste’s National Police (PNTL) and Timor-Leste’s Commissioner for the Civilization Alliance, the Special Career Regime for Health Clinic Professionals and Medical Assistance Overseas, all which, after the discussions, resulted in approval by the Council of Ministers.

Thus, within a closer analysis, the Private Investment Law, presented by the Ministry of Economy and Development, demonstrates the government’s commitment in regards to the creation of wealth and jobs outside the State’s activities and civil servant structure.

Within the perspective of attracting private investment, it has become necessary to alter the existing legislation for national and foreign investment for new laws that may be applied to investors without distinction of nationality or residence.

The approved legislation establishes the legal framework for an investment environment of simple processing and a single reception to investors and determines the group of rights and basic guarantees for investors in all sectors, regardless of nationality. It clarifies on the benefits and fiscal and customs incentives, as well as the leasing conditions of State property and subsidies for training of national workers.

It is the Government’s intention to promote private investment by individual persons or collectives, independently of being nationals or foreign, as well as local investors, resident or not.

The Minister for Economy and Development also saw the approval of the plan for the establishment of the Timor-Leste National Development Bank, which allows for the beginning of the Bank’s formal constitution process.

Therefore, the Council of Ministers defined the type of bank to establish, the capital to retain and scheduling of the necessary activities for its implementation. This will be a “Class A” Bank, centred on a financing capital for the functioning of medium to large companies, which allows the support of businessmen and attracting private investment.

The process of creating the National Development Bank obeys several requirements of legal, accounting and financial nature. This obligates for the drafting of a Decree-Law for the creation, together with the articles of association, of the Internal Regulations and the approval of legislation that allows the creation of State banking entity and the future sale of participations to third parties, including private Timorese individuals.

The new Bank will have a public-private partnership format with the majority of capital (51%) owned by the State and the remainder 49% by private investors and the Rakyat Indonesian Bank (BRI) who will also give the necessary support for its management.

The nomination of the members for the Accompaniment Committee in the Promotion Process of Timor-Leste’s National Police (PNTL) was another of the Resolutions approved. The List of seven members is composed by the following names and positions: Dra. Isabel Ferreira (president), Sra. Madre Guilhermina Marçal (voting member), Dr. Anacleto Ribeiro (voting member), Comissioner Afonso de Jesus (voting member), Chief-Superintendent Faustino da Costa (voting member), Chief-Superintendent José Soares (voting member) e Sr. Bart Laan (voting member).

Professor Benjamin de Araújo Corte-Real was also appointed as Timor-Leste’s Commissioner for the Civilizations’ Alliance, since he is a personality with recognized merit and prestige. The Civilization’s Alliance promotes, to the international community, dialogue and joint actions between the different cultural universes and defends diversity and tolerance as primordial values for the construction of Peace between nations, a motive that drew the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste to join.

The Ministry of Health saw its Special Career Regime for Health Clinic Professionals that frames these professionals, belonging to the Public Administration, to the Special Career Regime and applies to those that exercise their functions in public health establishments.

The management of these professionals obeys the principle of integration into the National Health Service – so as to obtain a harmony between the organizational needs and the staff – the valuing of the Health Professional – for his acquired knowledge and his effort, with the objective of better applying the human resources in the defence of the Health sector’s public interest – to the stimulus of professional development and the structure of positions and carrers.

The Framework for Health Clinic Professionals is subdivided into 5 groups: medical career, public health career, nursing career, midwife career and diagnostic and therapeutic technician career. Within this framework, two types of careers may be distinguished: hospital career and primary care career.

Career progression follows the Regimen for Careers and Directorate and Management positions for Public Administration.

The Decree-Law that regulates medical assistance abroad, as prescribed in the Health System Law, was presented by the Ministry for Social Solidarity, together with the Ministry of Health.

The approval of the Decree-Law is in line with the Program of the IV Government, which foresees the revision and approval of legislation in the Health sector, aiming at the promotion of equality in health care access.

The project assumes that the Ministry of Health approves a guide where all essential treatments, interventions or diagnosis exams are described and which, by material or human impossibility, cannot be performed in national health establishments and where the guide itself must indicate the foreign institutions where the referred health care may be delivered with quality and at reasonable costs.

Besides the approved items, the Council of Ministers also had the opportunity to analyse the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Organic Law, a Study on Quality of Service Evaluation (ordered by the Ministry of Finance), the summary of the Reintegration Plan of the 465 medicine students that return this year to Timor-Leste (presented by the Ministry of Health) and also the Professional Statute of Prison Guards and on the Careers of Conservators and Notaries, by the Ministry of Justice.

The proposal to change the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Organic Law intends to clarify the attributions and competencies of the Ministry’s services.

It is the Ministry’s understanding that it is necessary to improve, increase and adapt the Service’s organization, including diplomatic missions and consular posts, and at the same time promote professionalism, efficacy and rigour of these services.

The Ministry of Finance presented the result of the Evaluation of the Quality of Services that it ordered to Asia Foundation. The evaluation took place on the first two months of the current year and was based on user perception. This was the chosen periodic reporting mechanism with the intent of helping the service improvement processes of the Ministry of Finance.

The study reveals a more frequent interaction with the customs process, indicates a lower level of satisfaction since they consider it more complicated. On the other hand, the use of dispatchers proved advantageous and necessary.

In regards to Taxes, the results show that the fiscal information delivered is good. In regards to Procurement, the level of satisfaction and confidence is low highlighting that it is also necessary to improve the quality and access to information regarding tenders.

In general, it was concluded that there must be a continuous collection of information on the reactions from users while at the same time evaluating the reforms and improvements to the process. The availability and access to information must be improved, as well as capacity building (with training and external work sessions) to increase qualifications, internal capacity and give incentive to performance.

The Members of the Council of Ministers also viewed the Reintegration Plan of the medical students that are currently in Cuba, and that total 465 medicine students.

The Reintegration proposal is framed within the Health Human Resources Development Program but its costs are not contemplated in the 2010 General State Budget.

Therefore, the MS presented a budget that it considered necessary for the implementation of the respective Plan proposal, which takes into consideration: travelling, training in the Districts, construction and rehabilitation of District headquarters, office equipment and materials, teaching staff, furniture equipment, transport, accommodation, laboratory equipment and medical equipment, amongst others.

The Professional Status of the Prison Guards was also subject of analysis, where the Ministry of Justice believes it is necessary to approve a special career for prison guard staff that recognize the specificity of their functions, limitations, restrictions, responsibilities and enhanced risk to which they are subjected daily.

The same ministry submitted, for appreciation, the Decree-Law that approves the Careers of Conservators and Notaries and which defines their status, integrating the recruitment regime, inclusion in their career, nomination, progression and remuneration.

In summary

Approved:

- Public Investment Law;
- Plan for the establishment of the Timor-Leste National Development Bank;
- Nomination of the members for the Accompaniment Committee in the Promotion Process of Timor-Leste’s National Police (PNTL);
- Nomination of Timor-Leste’s Commissioner for the Civilization Alliance;
- Special Career Regime for Health Clinic Professionals;
- Medical Assistance Overseas.

Delayed:

- Ministry of Foreign Affairs Organic Law;
- Reintegration Plan Synthesis for the 465 medical students;
- Professional Statute for Prison Guards;
- Careers of Conservators and Notaries by the Ministry of Justice.
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