30 March 2010

TLGov: Timor-Leste solidifies stability with institutional reforms to the police force (PNTL)

The Secretary of State for the Council of Ministers and Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste Agio Pereira March 29, 2010 Dili, Timor-Leste Timor-Leste solidifies stability with institutional reforms to the police force - (PNTL) One of the most profound contributions to solidifying stability in Timor-Leste was made as the Government announced the National Police Force of Timor-Leste (PNTL) has completed rigorous, comprehensive and vital reforms for the professionalization of the nations’ security sector.

Two independent bodies, the Secretariat for the Promotion of the PNTL led by Dr. Isabel Ferreira and the Commission for the Promotion of the PNTL, an international panel with representatives from Portugal, Australia, Singapore, New Zealand and Timor- Leste, led by Sister Guilhermina Marçal, completed the first meritocratic system for the testing, evaluation, analysis and promotion of police officers into the newly established ranking system mandated under Decree Law 16/2009, of 18 March.

The Decree Law established a twelve tier career regime for the PNTL based on international best practice with clearly defined roles and responsibilities per rank. Testing for the Promotion regime was a three phase process which commenced with a 100 question written exam for general knowledge on policing and human rights administered by independent observers.

Inspectors, sub-inspectors and agents with command experience that received results of 50 percent or higher on the general knowledge test proceeded to the written psychological exam. The process concluded with a one hour interview with the Commission for Promotion of the PNTL.

Some 2,500 PNTL officers received promotions and assumed new ranks based on the testing results.

Upon completion of the process, the Government approved the resolutions recommended by the Secretariat for the Promotion of the PNTL and the Commission for the Promotion of PNTL which included:

1. The Approval of the Promotions for the Transitional Period of the Policia
Nacional de Timor-Leste; which certifies the date of and the promotions and also ensures resolution to pending cases according to the article 38, Decree law Number 16/2009, 18 March

2. Creation of a Commission to support the Process of PNTL Promotion;
which establishes a Commission to provide support in the implementation of the promotions, the resolution of late promotions; the resolution of PNTL cases that have not been assigned positions and to collect and analyze information for key recommendations to the Government on critical aspects of the reform implementation.

3. Review of Decree Law 16/2009, of 18 March, article 11-Promotion Regime
of PNTL which provides a review process for a second phase promotions scheme which would consider promotions for those who performed bravely or have demonstrated exceptional leadership skills such as veterans, senior officers and officers who attended various training courses but were not considered for promotion.

The systems established by the Secretariat for the Promotion of the PNTL and the Commission for the Promotion of PNTL ensured that the process was fully independent, transparent and free from any external or political interference.

Secretary of State Pereira noted “This critical reform to the security sector is one of the most vital initiatives by the Xanana Gusmão Government; a giant step in ensuring our nation remains one of peace, safeguarded by a professional security force with a shared sense of civic responsibility. The sector can now firmly focus on capacity building and modernizing to meet the needs of our people, our young democracy and our developing State.

We congratulate the Secretariat for the Promotion of the PNTL, the Commission for the Promotion of PNTL, the men and women of the PNTL and all those that contributed to this process for their sense of duty to serve. This profound reform is a living testimony that together we can make long lasting change.” ENDS

For More Information Please Contact: Agio Pereira +670 723 0011 E-mail: agiopereira@cdm.gov.tl Or govtlmedia@gmail.com

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