30 March 2010

Pakote Referendum Timor-Leste: Exclusive Major Government Document Leak

Sunday, 28 March 2010 Pakote Referendum Timor-Leste: Exclusive Major Government Document Leak - In a major leak of Government documents Tempo Semanal can now reveal the details of over $31,140,000 million USD of Pakote Referendum funds covering 704 projects in 11 Districts across Timor-Leste.

Tempo Semanal was not able to obtain relevant documents for Ainaro and Aileu Districts. But Tempo Semanal can reveal the details of
1. Baucau,
2. Bobonaro,
3. Viqueque,
4. Oecusse,
5. Manufahi,
6. Manatuto,
7. Liquica,
8. Dili,
9. Ermera
10. Lautem
11. Cova Lima
In August 2009 the Government of Timor-Leste announced that it would create the Referendum Package (or Pakote Referendum) to be funded from Ministry of Infrastructure budget. The initiative was designed to procure public works projects on a massive scale in an extra budgetary method not approved by the National Parliament, going around the Finance Ministry in a "direct procurement" method executed by political allies of the Government of Timor-Leste. There have been many allegations that the project funds have been manipulated, not implemented, or implement far below standard.

Shortly after announcing the Pakote Referendum approximately 75 million USD - nearly 12% of the national budget in 2009 was transferred into the bank accounts of "AECCOP". Headed by the Julio Alvaro (godfather of one of Prime Minister Xanana's children and President of the Forum Empresario de Timor-Leste) AECCOP is the the structure set up to 1) select which companies would be awarded contracts under this new scheme and 2) oversee its execution across the country with both a National and 13 District structures.

All projects signed off on 24 September iha tinan 2009. Julio Alvaro mak assina sira hotu with Domingos Caeiro, Secretary of State Obras Publicas, Jose Manuel Carrascalao Vice Minister Infra Estruturas, Pedro Lay Ministru Infra Estruturas.

This new scheme appears to operated outside of the procurement laws which govern how public money is supposed to be spent in Timor-Leste. The Parliamentary Opposition and many in civil society have alleged whole scale corruption.

Once again it would appear that the World Bank Public Financial Management Capacity Building (PFCBP) is either entirely toothless in executing its tasks in achieving good financial management in Timor-Leste, or is possibly complicit as the Worldbank has not spoken out about the issue. Jeffrey Sachs Former Worldbank official and now senior Economic Adviser to the UN Secretary General will be in Dili in two weeks. Will he comment on the matter?

Tempo Semanal will let readers including Aderito de Jesus Soares of the new Anti Corruption Commission (KAK) view the documents for themselves so make their own conclusions.
Baucau District Pakote Projects - $2,280,000
Bobonaro Pakote Projects $3,463,000
Cova Lima Pakote Projects $3,226,000
Dili Pakote Projects $6,690,000
Ermera Pakote $1,780,000
Lautem Pakote Projetu $2,180,000
Liquica Pakote Projetu $1,413,000
Manatuto Pakote Projetu $2,365,000
Manufahu Pakote Projetu $2,384,000
Oecusse Pakote Projetu $2,413,000
Viqueque Pakote Projetu $2,946,000

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