East Timor Legal News 11 Nov 2011 Source: The Independente - By: Manuel da Silva - 11/11/11 DILI: Education Minister Joao Cancio Freitas has recognized that monthly salary payments are still being made to teachers who have died.
But he declined to reveal who was collecting the wages on behalf of the deceased. Mr Freitas said payments were made to dead teachers because there was no law to regulate them.
“We, in the Education Ministry, have (made payments for dead teachers) since the first constitutional government. We have some professors who are called ‘the dead soul professors’ – the names are there but those people have died,” the minister told INDEPENDENTE yesterday.
In parliament last week, FRETILIN demanded Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao address the issue.
Mr Freitas said his ministry had asked the office of the Public Function Commission to investigate the problem.
While there is no law in effect governing the payment of salaries for teachers who have died, the current government has developed a career regulation for teachers that will regulate their rights to a salary once it is implemented.
This regulation will end the payments to dead professors, Mr Freitas said.
There were 2000 professors on the Education Ministry’s payment list, he said.President of Parliament Commission C Manuel Tilman asked the government to control the salaries of public servants in 2012.
“(The government) must control (payments to) those who have died and (do) not work in the state institutions. (It) must look at it … (and) not pay,” Mr Tilman told the government during the 2012 general budget discussion between the parliament and the government led by Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao yesterday.
Head of the FRETILIN parliamentary group Aniceto Guterres said on Friday that the public was aware that some ministers and directors employed their relatives and those with the same political affiliations as advisers and office staff. Mr Guterres said his party had asked the Public Ministry to investigate this issue.