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17 July 2008

Frente Revolucionaria do Timor-Leste Independente

FRETILIN

MEDIA RELEASE

13 JULY 2008

FRETILIN demands President, Vice Presidents and Secretaries of Parliament release documents regarding purchase of luxury vehicles for MPs.

FRETILIN parliamentary group deputy leader, Francisco Miranda Branco today demanded that the President, Vice Presidents and Secretaries of the National Parliament (known as the "Parliamentary Administration") provide copies of the contract and Commitment Payment Vouchers ("CPV") for the proposed purchase of luxury 4 wheel drive vehicles for members of the national parliament.

"Despite repeated calls to do so by our party group, and the National Unity Party group, the Parliamentary Administration have thus far failed to divulge to us copies of the contract and CPV documents. This is not a particularly difficult request, nor does it involve matters that are secretive to either them or the ministry of finance. This is the people's money, and it involves money that concern all of us MPs. There is no reason whatsoever not to release the documents we have requested, " said Branco.

According to Branco it is very important for the copies of the documents that were requested to be urgently made public because a public controversy is currently raging regarding this issue, and there have even been demonstratiuons demanding answears to questions like how much these luxury vehicles will cost the state, and where the budget to pay for them exists or will exist.

"It is extremely important to all of us MPs and for civil society to see with our own eyes the details so that we can inform the public of the truth of the matter. Otherwise, this matter will remain a matter of public controversy. Because of this I say it is very important and urgent that these documents be divulged publicly."

"The continued failure of the Parliamentary Administration to provide us with copies of the documents requested has lead many people to conclude that there is no transparency in the management of the parliament's finances. We tend to agree and ask the administration to quickly reform themselves in this regard," Branco added.

This week the national parliament will commence to debate the Revised Budget from the de facto AMP government which seeks to increase the current budget by 122%.

"It is they in the AMP who have defended the purchase of these luxury vehicles. But those of us from the parties who have questioned it are unable to obtain the documents regarding the proposed purchase or the documents filed with the ministry of finance. This shows yet again that the AMP regime is not transparent in its administration and does not have the political will to manage the budget and its expenditure with the minimum of transparency, because they cannot even do something as easy and simple as provide documents that are public and not confidential in any way."

'If they cannot be trusted to show transparency with such a small matter, how can we trust them to execute a budget which is 122% bigger than the existing budget transparently? This is the people's money, not the administrations or the parliament's. Because of this we all have a right as the peoples' representatives to access the detailed information regarding the process of the proposed purchase,' Branco concluded.

For further information contact: Jose Teixeira +670 728 7080

Nilva Guimaraes +670 734 0389

Post sponsored by East Timor Law Journal - Towards the rule of law in Timor-Leste!

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