23 March 2012

Council of Ministers Meeting from March 14, 2012

SECRETARIAT OF STATE OF THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS - PRESS RELEASE - Council of Ministers Meeting from March 14, 2012

The Council of Ministers met this Wednesday, March 14, 2012, in the Council of Ministers Meeting Room, at the Government Palace, in Díli and approved:

1. Government Decree approving the remuneration of members of the Public Service Commission

The Government is the sovereign body responsible for organisation and functioning the direct and indirect administration of the State which includes responsibility for determining the salary rates of members of the Civil Service Commission.

Accordingly this diploma updates the monthly remuneration of the President and members who are engaged exclusively by the Commission as well as the allowances of members appointed under a partial engagement to the Civil Service Commission.

2. Decree-Law that approves the establishment of the Institute of Petroleum and Geology - Public Institute

This diploma, which is in accordance with others in similar areas, aims to contribute to the completion of the organisational and administrative structures that Timor-Leste needs for the efficient use of its oil, minerals and geological resources, through the creation of the Institute of Petroleum and Geology - Public Institute (IPG-PI).

The primary mission of the IPG-PI is the management of geological information, a key element for the exploration, research and exploitation of Timor-Leste resources, while not neglecting the development of other activities in the fields of petroleum, geology and natural resources.

3. Decree-Law which regulates the Sport Clubs and Sports Societies in Timor-Leste

Following the approval of the Statute of Public Utility and a Sport Federations Regime, this legislation aims to continue the process of regulation of sporting entities, and facilitate the creation and development of sports clubs and sports societies in the country.

It establishes the possibility, together with the general scheme of sports clubs, to create sports clubs under a simplified system, in order to allow small sports associations that are not part in professional competitions, to be constituted as sports clubs and to engage in their activity in a regulated and appropriate manner.

In addition, the groundwork is also established for the creation of commercial sports companies and with its legal system to be developed by a specific Diploma.

4. Decree-Law that regulates the Telecommunications

This legislation defines the basis of a modern telecommunications regulatory system, which is fair and appropriate for the country, consistent with the National Telecommunications Policy, the Strategic Development Plan 2011-3020 and good international practice. The Decree-Law of Telecommunications also provides for the establishment of a new regulatory body, the National Communications Authority (NCA) to oversee and regulate the telecommunications sector.

5. Decree-Law on the Legal Regime of Licensing and Control of Building and Urbanisation

This legislation includes the administrative rules that define the conditions for approval of projects and licensing of works, including control and supervision. It establishes penalties for those who persist in illegal construction of buildings in violation of the regime, and the allocation of exclusive jurisdiction of the Ministry of Infrastructure as a single entity for review and approval of projects and subsequent licensing of works.

6. Government Resolution that establishes the regime for setting the highest sales margins for certain essential goods and other measures to combat inflation

The Council of Ministers approved the adoption of the scheme for setting the maximum mark-up as a percentage of the economic value that is permitted to increase the purchase price of the good.

This scheme is temporary and is intended to correct market prices and address the risks of the population's access to essential goods and building materials being prevented (including rice and cooking oil and materials for the construction of houses and public works, including cement, iron and zinc roofing) and ensuring the fair price of such goods.

Through the practice of fair prices it is intended to prevent and correct imbalances or dominant economic positions in supply being exploited which can lead to the pricing that is higher than that in normal circumstances would provide in favor of a population subject to financial constraints. This measure will seek to avoid the adverse effects of excessive increases and inflation.

It should be noted that the Government will manage and regulate economic activity so that market mechanisms function in the most regular possible way, especially protecting the most vulnerable consumers.

7. Addendum to the National Report of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste on the Universal Periodic Review mechanism

The delegation of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (consisting of an inter-ministerial team composed of technicians and experts in human rights, under the coordination of the Ministry of Justice) established for the purpose of preparing the report for Universal Periodic Review, presented on October 12, 2011, analyzed the 125 recommendations and conclusions made by the United Nations Member States.

The Timorese delegation accepted 88 recommendations, held different findings on 36 recommendations and rejecting one.

Regarding the recommendations accepted by Timor-Leste, it was considered that many are already implemented while others were in the process of the implementation.

These recommendations include the proposal to strengthen the judicial institutions, including the provision of adequate human resources, and infrastructure, increase the financial resources allocated to the Ombudsman for Human Rights and Justice in order to improve the protection of human rights, guarantee respect for the rights of women and children; ensure adequate and effective protection of women against domestic violence, including legal support and reception centers; eradicate all forms of discrimination in society by promoting economic, social and cultural rights through measures to improve health, education, living standards and access to clean water and sanitation.

In relation to the recommendations Timor-Leste is committed analyze an report on new international instruments that have been ratified , as well as the reporting that is required due to the adherence to international conventions and the adoption of the recommendations of the CAVR (Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation) and CTF (Commission for Truth and Friendship), including the implementation of programs to make amends to victims of human rights violations in the past.

8. 7th Amendment to the Organic Law of the Government

The Council of Ministers approved a minor amendment to the Organic Law of the Government to make provision for the possibility of the Prime Minister to appoint legal counsel to represent the State in regard to legal proceedings in which it is party.

9. Decree-Law on State Representation in Court

In conjunction with the amendment to the Organic Law of the Government referred to above, the Council of Ministers approved a decree that regulates the procedures for appointment of legal representatives to represent the State when is involved in litigation and legal cases.

This legislation results from the fact that the State now undertakes an extensive range of increasingly complex functions. This complexity requires, in cases involving litigation, highly specialised and experienced legal support, as often such matters are with large amounts of public money, particularly in the areas of infrastructure and natural resources.

This law regulates the procedure for engaging legal counsel, as a rule, by public tender to ensure transparency of the procedures. Mechanisms are guaranteed to ensure a swift engagement in cases of urgency, sensitivity or particular technical skills required of a legal matter.

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