11 November 2008

Timor-Leste Corruption Indicators based on the performance of previous Government

Democratic Republic of East Timor Press Release 11 November 2008 The Spokesperson of the IV Constitutional Government The Secretary of State for the Council of Ministers
Timor-Leste Corruption Indicators based on the performance of previous Government

Today was announced the assessment criteria used to determine the ranking of Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2008 and other key performance indicators were based on information compiled during the time of the previous Government (2006/2007).

Over the past month, Fretilin has launched a campaign against the IV Constitutional Government quoting the 2008 Transparency International Corruption Performance Index ranking, and other international assessments, which had deteriorated significantly; however, all these rankings can be attributed to the performance of the former Government.

Transparency International confirmed that three of the four sources used for ranking Timor-Leste were compiled in 2007 using evidentiary and anedoctal findings from surveys conducted the previous two years from the date of compiling. Assessments used to evaluate Timor-Leste included The Asian Development Bank, Country Performance Assessment rating (compiled in 2007), The World Bank’s Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (compiled in 2007) and the World Economic Forum (compiled in 2007).

The AMP Government is also facing similar difficulties in their bid for the MCC, a US Government corporation designed to work with some of the poorest countries in the world to reduce global poverty.

Elegibility for MCC financial assistance is dependent on seventeen independent and transparent policy indicators, under three core principles including ruling justly, investing in people and economic freedom.

In December 2007, the MCC Board of Directors selected Timor-Leste as a 2008 MCA elegible country; however, the data which will be used to assess elegibility this year is also based on the previous two years of data going back as far as 2005/2006.

The official spokesman for the IV Constitutional Government and Secretary of State for the Council of Ministers, Agio Pereira, pointed out that “while these scores have been manipulated, wrongly used as a reflection of the performance on the AMP Government, it is important to understand these scores were based on the performance of the previous Government over a five year period”.

“It is also important to recognize the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index is based on perception. It is cited that it could take up to five years to transform the national psychology from when anti-corruption initiatives are launched. Unfortunately, the former Government did not address corruption with any initiatives or implementations that could change public perception during their administration. These scores reflect that”.

During the period of the previous Government, the World Bank funded two anti-corruption experts to submit proposals on possible anti-corruption implementations, one conducted in 2003 by Patrick Meagher and one in 2005 conducted by Shane Cave. The Fretilin Government did not act on either of the experts recommendations. Shane Cave has been invited back by the AMP Government to contribute to the establishment of an Anti-Corruption Commission which is now before parliament.

Pereira closed by saying that “the IV Constitutional Government is serious about fighting corruption. Both the Anti-Corruption Commission and the Civil Service Commission are initiatives that will fight corruption at every level. We take this issue very seriously and over time these initiatives will gain public confidence and every confidence perception will change”.

“What is important now is that we work for progress and development”. ENDS

Contact: Agio Pereira +670 723 0011; E-mail: agiopereira@cdm.gov.tl

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

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