The Secretary of State for the Council of Ministers and Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste Agio Pereira November 5, 2010 - Díli, Timor-Leste Timor-Leste’s ranking in Transparency International’s Corruption - Perception Index leaps 19 countries as newer data is utilized. Transparency International’s recently released Corruption Perception Index (CPI) reports Timor-Leste has improved 19 places in country rankings from 146 in the 2009 CPI to 127 in the 2010 CPI. The 2010 CPI is the first to capture the impact of the Xanana Gusmão Government’s reformist agenda.
Last year’s 2009 CPI was compiled from sources which included the Asian Development Bank (2008), Global Risk Services, the World Bank (2008) and the World Economic Forum (2008/2009); assessing prior data not indicative of the reforms of the Xanana Gusmão Government.
It is expected subsequent CPI indices will continue in an upward trend, with improvements reflecting the Gusmao Government’s policies and national agenda; implimenting major reforms to strengthen the institutions of the state, professionalize the civil service, increase transparency in Public Finance Management and ensure good governance.
Playing a significant role in ensuring the integrity of the Civil Service, the Civil Service Commission, an independent body established in 2009, is now exercising it’s responsibility to ensure a politically neutral, impartial and merit based Public Sector with a clear code of conduct and provisions for disciplinary recourse.
The Gusmão Government has been resolute within its’ mandate to establish a comprehensive authority to counter corruption. The Anti Corruption Commission is now established with a broad authority to investigate and pursue criminal investigations into corruption offences as set out in the criminal code and conduct education and public outreach programs.
Placing the nation at the forefront of best practice in the petroleum sector, in July, the Xanana Gusmão Government announced that Timor-Leste was only the third country in the world to be granted full compliance status by the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), the international oversight mechanism to ensure transparency and accountability in resource rich nations.
Reforms to Public Financial Management in tandem with the World Bank have put the first legally compliant system in place in accordance with the Budget and Financial Management Regulation Section 39.1. Checks and balances now ensure all State budget expenditure is qualified independently; with auditors reports submitted to National Parliament.
A stronger justice system is vital to discourage corruption. In its’ recently released Human Rights Report on Timor-Leste titled “Facing the Future” the United Nations identified a number of significant improvements made in strengthening the justice sector. The report noted advances including the establishment of new training programs, an increase in personnel within the sector, improvements to rural facilities and the passage of domestic violence legislation. The 2010 budget cleared the way to double the number of judicial actors (judges, prosecutors and public defenders) and simultaneously the legal framework setting the conditions for the judicial actors was approved. After the release of the Fourth Human Rights Report on East Timor, the United Nations cited Timor-Leste now as having the potential to be a regional and global human rights leader.
Secretary of State Pereira noted “We welcome the improvement in Timor-Leste’s ranking in the Corruption Perception Index and consider this 2010 report to be the first to begin to reflect the anti corruption reforms of the Gusmao Government. However what matters to us is the identification and prosecution of actual practices of corruption by our strong and independent authorities and the consolidation of structures and processes that limit opportunities for corruption whilst encouraging a high standard of professional conduct. In these matters this Government has acted with determination.”ENDS
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