06 December 2016

Meeting of the East Timor Council of Ministers of 24 May 2016

Meeting of the Council of Ministers of May 24th, 2016

Presidency of the Council of Ministers

Sixth Constitutional Government

Dili, May 24th, 2016

Press Release

Meeting of the Council of Ministers of May 24th, 2016

The Council of Ministers met this Tuesday, at the Government Palace in Dili, and approved:

1. Decree-Law on the Regime for Ministerial Offices

This diploma updates the composition, structure and regime of the Government members’ offices to allow for a better implementation of their support structures. Until now members’ offices including the Office of the Prime Minister, were not regulated by legislation.

Recruitment rules for qualified labour are covered through the use of public servants or term contracts, which include confidentiality undertakings necessary for such roles.

2. Decree-law that creates the Authority for Inspection and Supervision of Economic, Health and Food Activities, PI

This diploma creates the Authority for Inspection and Supervision of Economic, Health and Food Activities, with powers to inspect and monitor economic activities, animal health conditions and control food quality.

This public institute is granted with authority and competence to instruct administrative offence processes and impose fines and penalties in the event of law infringement, as well as to promote actions for the dissemination of information aiming to reduce risks encountered in the food chain and risks to public health. This activity also intends to ensure regulated operations within the food and non-food industries, protecting consumers and the national economy.

This measure meets one of the Government Programme priorities, which provides for the relaunch of consumer protection policy and the improvement of the population’s living conditions, as well as the regulation of economic activities.

3. Decree-law on rules for access and classification of official documents

This diploma establishes the rules concerning public access to official documents and their classification regarding confidentiality. Uniform criteria are established for the relationship between public authorities and parties who may be interested in accessing official information, aiming to protect subjects, when indiscriminate use of information may affect the interests of the State.

The Council of Ministers also reviewed:

1. Presentation of the fiscal ceiling for 2017

The Ministry of Finance submitted to the Council of Ministers several scenarios of budgetary implementation for 2017, which take into account projects in execution, new projects and possible contingencies. The scenarios are intended to guide the ministries in the preparation of their annual plans and respective budgets, and, thus, assist in formulating a proposal for the fiscal ceiling of the General State Budget for 2017.

This presentation comes in the wake of the Budget Journeys (“Jornadas Orçamentais”), which took place on May 16th at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. Members of the National Parliament and the Government, Directors-General, National Directors, other senior officials of the State and public enterprises and autonomous bodies took part to prepare the State Budget for 2017.

In the preparation for next year’s budget several factors are being taken into account, in particular, the Strategic Development Plan (PED), the Government Programme, budget execution, inflation, fiscal sustainability and the Sustainable Development Goals of  the United Nations Development Agenda 2030, adopted by the National Parliament last September.

2. Progress report and expenditure verification of telecommunications from Government

This report, presented by the Ministry of Finance, addresses issues concerning the evolution of the debts of various ministerial services to Timor Telecom, following the guidelines and recommendations of the Council of Ministers for verification of these debts.

3. Presentation of Timor Gap, EP’s annual report

Timor Gap, EP, formally handed to Government the 2015’s Annual Report, in accordance with the law and with international financial reporting standards.

The President, Francisco Monteiro, submitted to the Council of Ministers detailed data on the main activities developed in 2015, in particular the oil activities in the Timor Sea. In the Upstream area (exploration and production) the company continued to develop research in the JPDA, and started studies in Timor-Leste’s exclusive area including a 3D seismic survey. The Greater Sunrise and Bayu-Udan reserves were reviewed. In the Downstream area (transport, refining and distribution), business development and project management continued, with emphasis in the Suai fuel supply station.

Other activities included the management and administration of the Tasi Mane project; corporate and professional development with special attention to the training of human resources; and the project of exploration of the Greater Sunrise field.

This month, the document will be delivered to the Board of Auditors, together with the audit performed by an independent company. The report is expected to be made available to the public in June.

4. Application to the Board of Auditors regarding the appeal on the final decision of approval to the loan contract and the contract for the execution of drainage works in the city of Dili

The Government has examined these two processes, currently in the Court of Appeal.

The Government appealed a decision by the Board of Auditors to refuse an approval of both the loan agreement and contract for the execution of drainage works in Dili. Although more than 50 days have elapsed there has been no response from the Court, and no indication that this process is progressing..

With the refusal of approval for the loan, the Government cannot run the loan contract with preferential interest to finance the construction of drainage of river waters infrastructure in the country’s capital. The refusal of an approval to the contract’s execution prevents the Government from conducting these drainage works, critical to controlling the floods which cyclically occur in the city.

As the Government has not received notification about the distribution of these processes to the judges, the Council of Ministers is considering a complaint to the President of the Court of Appeal regarding the lack or deficiency of this distribution.

5. The rotating presidency of the CPLP

The Council of Ministers examined developments regarding the rotating presidency of the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries.


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