24 April 2009 DILI - Donor funds designed to prevent corruption actually help it - Recently the FRETILIN Parliamentary bench made allegations of Nepotism in the recruitment of advisers, some of whom are Australian citizens, to work in the Office of the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Finance responded by denying the allegations through a press release, Tempo Semanal has made an investigation into this case.
As Agusto X. DC. Costa a university Student in Dili comment on Tempo Semanal's finding regarding to the issue as said, “Since 2000 public finance institutions have been full of international advisers from various nationalities whose salary is paid by donors. These advisers are here to assist in building these institutions as well as to peform line functions in making sure the government's budget is executed carefully.”
“However as a new nation in this new Millenium TL receives a lot of support from donors especially Australia. Australia wants to help limit and eradicate corruption in Timor-Leste, but Australian tax payers money is actually assisting to increase corruption in Timor-Leste.”
“According to the Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC) report Timor-Leste has a “red: record with regards to corruption.”
A Portuguese citizen named Joao Saldanha an Adviser to the MCC and now in the Minister Finance Office, together with some other Timorese, Australians and other foriegners are paid huge salaries through donors to be transparent, develop good governance and safeguard Timor-Leste's public finances. “It would seem the opposite it true. They are promoting corruption by remaining quiet when they see it in the Ministry because they do not want to speak out and lose their huge salaries.”
He then questioning futher, “ The Australian government, the Worldbank and the international community know all about the corruption because their advisers are facilitiating it, and yet they remain silent. What would Australian taxpayers think of this fraud?”
Note: Please see the below to find out how much Australian and other taxpayers are paying to help the Government of Timor-Leste hide, at best, and promote at worst, a corrupt administration of Timor-Leste finances.
More details on Tempo Semanal Edisaun 136 27 April 2009.