16 August 2022

Transparénsia Ezije Informasaun, La’ós De'it Imajen Furak

 Link to this article in English 

Foin lalais iha fulan balu nia laran, Governu Timor-Leste promove ‘e-governasaun’ no ho orgullu fó sai mudansa di’ak iha valor transparénsia. Sira implementa hela meius tékniku nian atu mantén lista eleitor, no sistema “Unique ID” hodi bele verifika identidade sidadaun sira.

Maske nune’e, mudansa ne’ebé akontese foin lalais ne’e hatudu formatu ka imagen sira hetan atensaun barak liu kompara ho asuntu substantivu. Website balun ba ajénsia Governu nian hetan ona dezeñu foun, ne’ebé nia rezultadu hatudu katak transparénsia menus no sai susar liu (ka la posivel duni) atu asesu ba informasaun atuál ka informasaun sira antes. Tuir mai iha ezemplu balun:

Website tomak Ministériu Finansas nian antes muda hotu, no versaun foun https://www.mof.gov.tl/ iha hela durante fulan balun. Website foun ne’e ladún kompletu no susar liu atu uza. Ligasaun hotu ba dokumentu sira iha website uluk taka ona. Ligasaun barak husi website foun lakon ka la funsiona. Labele identifika informasaun foun, no website ne’e uza gráfiku no coding barak ne’ebé halo susar atu halo ligasaun ba webpage espesífiku ka atu download iha website ida. Mákina atu buka informasaun (search engines) hanesan Google labele ajuda hetan matérias sira husi webpage ida ne’e, no la bele buka dokumentu espesífiku iha website ne’e rasik.

TimorGAP, nudár kompañia mina estadu nian ne’ebé simu ona subsídiu públiku ho valor kuaze to’o dolar biliaun ida, foin lalais ne’e implementa dezeñu foun ba ninia website https://www.timorgap.com/. Maioria husi informasaun sira antes ne’e iha, agora lakon, no website foun ne’e disponivel iha lian ingles de’it. Iha website refere laiha informasaun seluk, iha de’it mak informasaun kona ba staff sira no esperansa ba kampu Greater Sunrise - maske kompañia ida ne’e asina tiha ona kontratu atu hala’o esplorasaun ba iha fatin hitu iha rai laran no tasi laran. Informasaun kona ba sira nia relatóriu anuál, finansas, tender, kontratu, konsultasaun públiku, no komunikasaun imprensa sira laiha hotu ona.

Website ofisiál seluk, inklui Primeiru Ministru nian https://www.gpm.gov.tl/tl/ no Autoridade Nasionál Petroleum no Minerais (ANPM) http://www.anpm.tl/ sei kontinua la’o, maibé dala ruma lori fulan balun atu atualiza no publika informasaun sira. ANPM nian laiha lingua Tetum.

Website Parlamentu Nasionál https://www.parlamento.tl normálmente funsiona, maibé la fornese informasaun importante. Presiza tebes atu inklui informasaun sira hanesan ezbosu lei sira, komisaun sira nia relatóriu, no agenda sira tuir mai, aléinde informasaun istória no jerál sira ne’ebé iha ona. 

Nune’e mós ba iha website Ministériu Obras Públika nian https://mop.gov.tl/, ne’ebé la atualiza dezde kedas Agostu 2021, fó sai de’it kona ba reuniaun ofisiál sira, maibé laiha liu kedas informasaun kona ba konsultasaun públiku ka informasaun kona ba projetu espesífiku haktuir ba sira nia mandatu. Ministériu Petróleu no Minerais nia website: http://mpm.gov.tl/ mós fornese informasaun barak kona ba enkontru sira duke substánsia sira.

Jerálmente, pajina online sira iha leten, hanesan mós sira seluk ne’ebé Governu mantén, la fornese informasaun relevante ka liga ba sira nia relatóriu ka dokumentu ruma. Sira nia komunikadu imprensa la ajuda lee na’in sira atu hetan informasaun konkretu ka informasaun espesífiku, hanesan lei sira ka dokumentu sira. Barak liu, Governu hakarak hatudu katak sira okupadu, maibé lakohi fahe sira nia informasaun kona ba programa no projetu sira. Hare ezemplu atuál ne’ebé fó sai husi pajina ofisiál Governu nian iha website:
Ajénsia balu fó sai sira nia komunikadu foun ka iha pajina iha Facebook. Maske hirak ne’e util, liu-liu bainhira ita konsidera katak ema barak mak uza liu Facebook iha Timor-Leste, maibé la signifika katak ida ne’e troka fali importánsia husi website ofisiál. Ita labele liga direta saida mak tau ona iha FB liga link ne’ebé la’ós FB, no informasaun sira ne’e mós la’ós permanente, ka estruturadu ho lójiku liu no labele hetan liu husi Search Engines (ez. Google). Hirak ne’e mós inklui dokumentu sira – so de’it imajen. Atu governa nasaun ne’e knaar importante tebes, no fornese informasaun ba sidadaun sira mós esensiál duni, no labele depende ba media sosiál sira de’it. 

Ba notas sira ne’ebé pozitivu liu mak hanesan:

Atu halo informasaun importante sira disponivel liu ba iha públiku, La’o Hamutuk koleta dokumentu barak no matériais barak ne’ebé loloos mantén no públika iha Governu nia website rasik, maibé barak liu mak laiha. Ami fornese kópia barak iha ami nia pajina website (duke tau ligasaun ba iha fatin seluk) atu nune’e sira la lakon bainhira website seluk muda ka la eziste ona. Tuir mai mak ligasaun importante balu iha ami nia website:

Transparency requires information, not just pretty pictures

 Liga ba artigu ida ne'e iha lingua Tetum 

In recent months, Timor-Leste officials have promoted “E-government” and boasted of improved transparency scores. They are instituting technical means for maintaining the electoral rolls, as well as a “Unique ID” system for citizen identification.

However, recent developments indicate that more attention is being given to form than to substance. Several websites for government agencies have been redesigned, resulting in less transparency and making it more difficult (or impossible) to access current and/or historic information. Here are a few examples: 

The entire Ministry of Finance website was deleted, and a new version https://www.mof.gov.tl/ is being assembled over several months. The new one is less complete and more difficult to use. All links to documents on the previous site no longer work. Many links in the new version are either missing or nonfunctional.  Newly released material is not identifiable, and the extensive use of graphics and coding makes it virtually impossible to identify materials, link to a page or download the site with a web spider. Search engines cannot find its material, and the search in the site itself doesn’t work.

TimorGAP, the national oil company which has received nearly a billion dollars in subsidies from public money, also just redesigned its website https://www.timorgap.com/. Most previous information has evaporated, and the new site is in English only. It has no information about anything other than TimorGAP’s staff and its hopes for Greater Sunrise – although the company has signed contracts to explore seven other areas. All information about annual reports, finances, tenders, contracts, public consultations and press releases has been removed.

Other official websites, including those of the Prime Minister https://www.gpm.gov.tl/en/ and the National Petroleum and Minerals Authority (ANPM) http://www.anpm.tl/ still work as well as they have, but it often takes months before current information is posted (example at left).

The National Parliament’s website https://www.parlamento.tl usually functions, but does not contain much useful information. It should have draft laws, committee reports and upcoming agendas, in addition to the historic and general information which is already there.

Similarly, the Ministry of Public Works website https://mop.gov.tl/, which hasn’t been updated since August 2021, has a lot about meetings with officials, but almost nothing about public consultations or specific projects under its mandate. The Ministry of Petroleum and Minerals site http://mpm.gov.tl/en/ also has more about meetings than about substance.

More generally, most of the above sites, as well as others maintained by the government, do not contain or link to relevant reports or documents. Their vacuous press releases do not help the reader find more concrete or specific information, such as laws or other documents. Often, the government appears to want to look busy, but declines to post information about its programs and projects. Here’s a recent example from the main Government website.

Some agencies post news releases or have pages on Facebook. Although this can be useful (especially considering the number of Facebook users in Timor-Leste), it is not a substitute for a website. You cannot link to a FB posting from outside FB, and the postings are not permanent, logically structured or indexed by search engines. They cannot include documents – only images. Governing a nation is too important a responsibility, and providing information to citizens is too essential, to rely solely on a “social network.” 

On a more positive note: 

To make important information more available to the public, La’o Hamutuk collects many documents and materials that should be accessible on government websites, but often aren’t. We put copies on our own site (rather than linking to them elsewhere) so that they don’t disappear when another website is deleted. Here are some key links on our site:

13 July 2022

La’o Hamutuk Congratulates Australia for Ending the Prosecution of Bernard Collaery and Urges them to Continue to Respect Timor-Leste’s Sovereignty

 Liga ba blog ida ne'e iha Tetum ka PDF iha lingua rua 

La’o Hamutuk appreciates the decision of Australia’s Attorney-General to end the prosecution against Bernard Collaery. This overdue decision cannot undo the shameful history of Australia’s bugging Timor-Leste’s Government Palace in 2004, during the negotiations which led to the 2006 CMATS Treaty dividing oil revenues and delaying discussion of the maritime boundary between the two countries. The 2004 spying was done by Australian intelligence agents, one whom, known as “Witness K”, was also prosecuted, along with his attorney Bernard Collaery, when he blew the whistle on the illegal espionage.

To rebuild good neighborly relations between Australia and Timor-Leste, the Australian government should recognize that it has blatantly violated Timor-Leste’s sovereignty, and return to policies of mutual respect between the two nations. Healthy diplomacy needs to address past transgressions, and Australia should return more than $5 billion it took in from oil and gas fields that it now agrees are in Timor-Leste’s territory.

We also think that mutual respect as neighbors means supporting each other as partners, not taking advantage of Timor-Leste’s weaker economy, less experienced administration, and limited human resources to obtain benefits for Australia at the expense of Timor-Leste’s people. This should be reflected by cancelling some future projects, including the planned Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) at Bayu-Undan which would exploit Timor-Leste’s vulnerability to enable the carbon-intensive Barossa project in Australia, further damaging the global and local climate.

In addition, we suggest that Australia should pardon “Witness K”, who was pressured into pleading guilty to a crime he did not commit. “Witness K” used proper channels to report an inappropriate action he was ordered to carry out, and should be unconditionally exonerated. Both he and Bernard Collaery have been good and honorable friends to Timor-Leste, and Australia should compensate them for the harm that unjust prosecution has already inflicted on them.

As a Timorese civil society organization, the Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis (La’o Hamutuk) has studied and advocated on the maritime boundary, petroleum development, and other aspects of the relationship between Timor-Leste and Australia for more than two decades, sometimes alone and often in collaboration with the Independent Information Center for the Timor Sea (CIITT), the Movement Against the Occupation of the Timor Sea (MKOTT) and the international Timor Sea Justice Campaign (TSJC). 

As we applaud the 2019 Maritime Boundary Treaty and the dropping of the charges against Bernard Collaery, we continue to struggle for a mutually respectful relationship.

Ami Kongratula Austrália ne'ebé Hapara Akuzasaun Kontra Bernard Collaery, no Tenke Kontinua atu Respeita Soberania Timor-Leste

Komunikadu Imprensa

La’o Hamutuk apresia desizaun Prokuradór-Jerál Austrália nian hodi hapara prosesu akuzasaun kontra advogadu Bernard Collaery. Desizaun tarde ida ne’e, labele nega istória fo’er Austrália nian ne’ebé halo espionajen iha Palásiu Governu TL nian iha 2004, durante negosiasaun kona-ba oinsá fahe riku soin petrolíferu iha Tasi Timor, liu-liu iha prosesu hakat ba diskusaun Tratadu CMATS 2006. Espionajen ida ne’e halo husi servisu intelijénsia Austrália nian no ema ida husi sira ne’ebé hala’o espionajen ida ne’e mak fó sai hatene ba Governu Timor-Leste, nune’e ema ne’ebé hanaran “Witness K” ho nian advogadu Bernard Collaery hetan persekusaun legál. 

Atu harii ikus relasaun nudár viziñu di’ak entre Austrália no Timor-Leste, Governu Austrália tenke rekoñese aktu dezrespeitu ba soberania RDTL no kontinua pratika respeita mutua iha aspetu hotu ba soberania rai rua nian. Relasaun diplomátika ho saudavel ida ne’e, presiza rezolve aktu laloos iha pasadu inklui Australia tenke selu fali liu biliaun $5 ne’ebé Australia simu husi rezerva petróleu no gas ida ne’ebé agora konkorda iha territóriu Timor-Leste nian. 

Ami mós hanoin katak atu respeita no kuidadu malu nudár viziñu ne’ebé di’ak tenke haree malu hanesan família no parseiru di’ak, la’ós apreveita vulnerabilidade sistema legal, administrasaun, Governasaun no rekursu umanu hodi maximiza benefísiu ba Austrália no tau ba risku povu Timor-Leste. Ida ne’e presiza refleta iha kansela projetu petrolíferu sira inklui Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) iha Bayu-Undan ne’ebé sei vunerabliza liu tan Timor-Leste no intensiva projetu Barossa iha Austrália, ida ne’ebé sei estraga liu klima global no lokál. 

Ami mós sujere atu Austrália fó perdaun ba “Witness K”, ema ne’ebé hetan presaun atu aseita sala ba krime ne’ebé nia la halo. “Witness K” uza kanál ne’ebé loos atu denunsia aktu la apropriadu ne’ebé orienta ba nia no tenke liberta nia inkondisionalmente.  Sira na’in rua sai tiha belun boot Povu Timor-Leste nian, no Australia tenke fó kompensasaun ba lakon hotu ne’ebé sira hetan durante persekusaun la justu ida ne’e. 

Nudár organizasaun sosiedade sivíl Timor oan nian, Institutu ba Monitoring no Analiza dezenvolvimentu - La’o Hamutuk durante ne’e halo estudu no advokasia ba fronteira maritima, dezenvolvimentu petróleu, no aspetu seluk husi relasaun entre Timor-Leste no Australia, liu dékada rua, dala ruma mesak, no dala barak servisu hamutuk ho Centru ba Informasaun Independente kona-ba Tasi Timor (CIITT), Movimentu Kontra Okupasaun Tasi Timor (MKOTT) no Timor Sea Justice Campaign (TSJC) internasionál.

Ita selebra Tratadu Fronteira Maritima iha 2019 no kansela akuzasaun kontra Bernard Collaery, ba oin ita kontinua luta ba relasaun di’ak no mutua entre nasaun rua.

03 July 2022

Timor-Leste Must Do Better on Public Participation and Transparency to Comply with International Standards

 Liga ba blog ida ne'e iha Tetum

On 30 May 2022, the International Budget Partnership (IBP) released the results of the 2021 Open Budget Survey (OBS), which shows improvements in some indicators since the last survey. The survey evaluates transparency, public participation, and oversight in the state budget processes of 120 countries, including Timor-Leste. The results show an overall improvement of 20% in transparency among the 120 countries. In Timor-Leste, transparency has also improved and is better than the global average. However, the country’s public participation score has declined since the 2015 and 2017 surveys, and are below average. Although the results for oversight show some progress, Timor-Leste still needs to establish a Supreme Audit Institution to oversee budget implementation.

How did Timor-Leste Score in the Open Budget Survey?

In this survey, Timor-Leste’s scores are better than in the previous survey; the nation’s transparency score increased to 52/100 and oversight increased to 56/100. However, the government has yet to demonstrate a genuine commitment to popular participation, and has not shown significant change, improving just one point compared to 2019, to 7/100. The graph at the top shows changes in Timor-Leste’s scores and global averages since 2015.
Although we recognize that global conditions, namely the pandemic, have caused urgent necessities, this is not an excuse for the Government to fail to conduct public consultations during budget preparation, oversight, and execution. After data was collected for the 2021 OBS, the Government made some efforts by enacting the Budget Framework Law and, most recently, the Major Planning Options Law for 2023. Despite this, we note that Parliament does not have enough opportunities to study and analyze Government proposals, including laws approved by Parliament without thorough public consultation. 

Based on the new report, Timor-Leste complies with almost all key indicators regarding the publication of important budget documents. Of eight budget documents, this survey found that two — the Pre-Budget Statement and the Mid-Year Report — were late. While the figure at right shows that Timor-Leste occupies an average position, above Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar, our nation rates lower than Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand.  

La’o Hamutuk’s principal researcher for this survey notes that while Timor-Leste has improved its transparency score, it still needs to clearly explain data and projections regarding state revenues and spending, reflecting current conditions, including more serious projections about the condition of the Petroleum Fund which will be exhausted in coming years. Although issues regarding the Petroleum Fund aren’t specifically part of this survey, when we talk more generally about transparency it implies that all entities including the Government should demonstrate their commitment to respect and implement transparency, including publishing important information such as the annual report of the Petroleum Fund, which in previous years has been published late and failed to convey consistent information about the value of the Fund’s loan to Timor-Gap. 

Furthermore, the researcher found that it’s important for the Government, through Law 2/2022 on the Budget Framework, to improve budget transparency and create opportunities for public participation.

The principal investigator for this survey, La’o Hamutuk researcher Eliziaria Febe Gomes, notes that “we appreciate that the Government has created some limited space for civil society to participate in consultation and budget development, through the Jornada Orsamentál (Budget Days) meeting. However, it would be better to open up opportunities during budget development at the Ministerial level and also in the Budget Policy Committee (CROP) prior to approval of the budget by the Council of Ministers and submission to Parliament, because the Jornada Orsamentál is not a decision-making forum. Ideally, participation of civil society and public representatives would be maximized from the start of the budget process, through to review. The above graphic shows that Timor-Leste still occupies a below-acceptable position, scoring below Vietnam which has managed to improve its participation score.”

“Timor-Leste has a great opportunity to improve and promote participation, because we have already shown the world our great respect for democratic values, and so there is an opening to promote and include everyone’s opinions and participation at all policy-making levels. In this way, the people would feel a sense a ownership over decisions and they could trust and know that the Government is using their shared wealth to improve their lives.”

Indicators in the 2021 Open Budget Survey

  • Budget transparency is assessed in the OBS based on the public availability and content of eight important budget documents that the Government should publish according to international standards. Specifically, the survey examines whether documents and reports are published online according to schedule, and determines whether they include comprehensive and detailed information.

Despite partisan disputes in 2019, the Parliament approved the Budget. Despite being almost one month late because of a Presidential veto, Timor-Leste improved significantly on transparency, by publishing a Citizen’s Budget and a Year-End Report.
Timor-Leste’s transparency score is 52 out of 100, below the score of 61 which is needed to promote informed public debate. This score puts Timor-Leste in 48th place out of 120 countries.

  • Public participation is assessed based on formal opportunities for organizations and individuals to participate and share their thoughts during the budget process.

The global average score for public participation is very poor, at just 14 out of 100.
Timor-Leste received a score of seven, worse than the most nations in Southeast-Asia.

  • Oversight is assessed on the function of the legislature and the Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) in the budget process.

A score of 61 out of 100 is considered adequate.
Timor-Leste received a score of 56.

Implications of the OBS Results for Timor-Leste

Based on La’o Hamutuk’s experience as a civil society organization that monitors the state budget process, the researcher observes that people in Parliament are often willing to share materials with us informally regarding proposed budget legislation, although we are rarely invited to testify directly. At the same time, we continue to encourage Parliament to officially publish materials in language that is easy to understand and in places that are easily accessible. 

One recent example of these tendencies is the Government’s proposed Rectification of the 2022 Budget in May 2022, which the Government convinced Parliament to handle as an urgent matter and therefore failed to properly inform or open space for the public. This situation demonstrated major shortcomings in participation, because people had no chance to share their opinions or suggestions. Although we appreciate that Parliament Committee C recognized that the Government's justification for urgency consideration was insufficient, the majority of MPs nevertheless voted for it. 

The Open Budget Survey aims to help each nation, including Timor-Leste, to see their citizens as the center of decision making on the budget process, including their role in monitoring how the Government manages their money and whether it is spent prudently and in their interest. Data and information for this survey is collected by independent civil society with a deep understanding of the budget and budget monitoring, without affiliation to any group or party. The results are revised by relevant parties such as the evaluators and Government representatives through the Ministry of Finance who provide commentary prior to publication.

La’o Hamutuk will continue to work with civil society, including sharing current and accurate information, to ensure the Government pays attention to looming problems, especially the fiscal cliff which will come when our nonrenewable oil and gas wealth is exhausted. We also work with the IBP to increase the capacity of local and national civil society to engage in budget analysis and advocacy. 

Download the complete OBS report for Timor-Leste here

La’o Hamutuk publications related to state finances are listed here.

Estadu Timor-Leste Tenke Pratika Di’ak Liu Tan Partisipasaun Públiku no Transparénsia Hodi Haktuir ba Klasifikasaun Internasionál

 Link to this blog in English 

Foin lalais ne’e 30 Maiu 2022, Parseiru Orsamentál Internasionál (International Budget Partnership - IBP) fó sai rezultadu husi peskiza (Open Budget Survey - OBS) 2021 ne’ebé hatudu mudansa di’ak iha sasukat balu kompara ba iha periodu survey sira liu ba. Survey ida ne’e avalia nivel transparénsia, partisipasaun husi públiku, no fiskalizasaun iha prosesu orsamentál iha nasaun 120 inklui Timor-Leste. Rezultadu survey ida ne’e hatudu katak valór ba transparénsia husi nasaun 120 mak atinje kuaze 20% kompara ho 2008. Jerálmente Timor-Leste nia transparénsia aumenta, no ida ne’e di’ak liu kompara ho médiu mundiál. Maibé valór partisipasaun nafatin hetan konsiderasaun ki’ik tebes kompara ba 2015-2017, ne’ebé kuaze menus sorin balu husi nivel médiu mundiál ka piór liu. Seluk, maske valór fiskalizasaun hatudu progresu di’ak, maibé estadu Timor-Leste presiza duni atu estabelese instituisaun ida atu realiza fiskalizasaun ba orsamentu.

Oinsá Rezultadu Survey OBS ba Timor-Leste?

Ba rezultadu tinan ida ne’e, Timor-Leste nia valór hatudu mudansa ne’ebé di’ak tebes kompara ho periodu sira liu ba, valór transparénsia aumenta ba 52 husi 100 no valór fiskalizasaun orsamentu ba 56 husi 100. Maske nune’e, nasaun ida ne’e seidauk hatudu nia kometimentu loloos atu promove partisipasaun ema hotu nian, tanba la konsege hatudu mudansa, valór partisipasaun aumenta pontu ida de’it kompara ho survey 2019, ba 7 husi 100. Gráfiku iha leten hatudu progresu ba mudansa iha valór Timor-Leste ho médiu mundiál sira dezde tinan 2015.
Karik ami rekoñese ba situasaun global hanesan pandemia bele hamosu nesesidade urjente maibé ida ne’e la’ós sai razaun atu Governu Timor-Leste la halo konsultasaun ho públiku durante prosesu preparasaun, fiskalizasaun too iha prosesu ezekusaun orsamentu. Hafoin halibur informasaun no dadus sira husi OBS 2021 remata, iha tinan rua ikus Governu iha esforsu balu atu halo mudansa ba polítika sira hanesan mudansa ba Lei Enkuadramentu Orsamentál too iha Lei ikus ba Lei Grande Opsaun do Planu. Mezmu nune’e, ami haree katak laiha espasu nato’on ba Parlamentu rasik nudár órgaun importante atu estuda no analiza kle’an ba proposta ne’ebé hato’o husi Governu, inklui Lei hirak ne’e aprovadu de’it husi Parlamentu lahó konsultasaun ne’ebé kle’an ba públiku.
Bazeia ba relatóriu foun, Timor-Leste kuaze kumpre sasukat xave sira hodi publika dokumentu importante kona ba orsamentu. Husi total livru orsamentu ualu, ba survey ida ne’e hatudu dokumentu 2 de’it mak tarde tebes atu fó sai ba públiku hanesan Pre-Budget Statement no Mid-Year Report. Maske hatudu iha figura tuir mai Timor-Leste nia pozisaun médiu kompara ho nasaun sira hanesan, Vietnam, Kamboja no Myanmar, nasaun ne’e nafatin piór liu kompara ho nasaun Malázia, Indonézia, Filipina no Tailándia. 

Haktuir ba investigadór prinsipál husi La’o Hamutuk ba survey ida ne’e salienta katak maske Timor-Leste hatudu valór aumentu iha transparénsia, presiza nafatin hatudu esplikasaun ne’ebé klaru liu tan ba dadus no projesaun sira liu-liu ba iha reseita no despeza sira ne’ebé tenke refleta ba kondisaun atuál, inklui hatudu projesaun sériu liu hodi tetu ba kondisaun Fundu Petrolíferu ne’ebé besik atu mamuk ba tinan sira tuir mai. Maske asuntu FP la hola parte iha survey ida ne’e, bainhira ko’alia kona ba transparénsia signifika entidade hotu iha Governu presiza hatudu sira nia kometimentu atu kumpre no fó valór ba transparénsia ne’e rasik, inklui publikasaun ba informasaun importante sira, hanesan ezemplu relatóriu anuál FP ne’ebé publika tarde no la fornese informasaun konsistente kona ba valór empréstimu husi FP ba TimorGap. 

Aleinde ne’e, tuir investigadór ne’e katak importante mós ba Governu liu husi Lei Nu.2/2022, Lei Enkuadramentu Orsamentál ida ne’e atu hadi’ak liu tan transparénsia iha prosesu orsamentu sira no kria mós oportunidade ba partisipasaun públiku.

Investigadór prinsipál ba Timor-Leste iha survey ida ne’e, peskizadóra La’o Hamutuk Eliziaria Febe Gomes, nota katak “Ami apresia ba esforsu Governu atu fó espasu uitoan ba sosiedade sivíl atu asiste konsultasaun iha prosesu formulasaun orsamentu liu husi soru mutu jornada orsamentál, maibé karik di’ak liu tan atu loke espasu mós ba prosesu formulasaun iha nivel ministériu sira no mós iha Komisaun Revizaun Orsamentu Polítika (KROP) antes hetan aprovasaun husi Konsellu Ministru no submete ba parlamentu, tanba soru mutu jornada orsamentál la’ós fatin atu deside, nune’e di’ak tebes atu maximiza partisipasaun sosiedade sivíl no reprezentante públiku hahú kedas husi inísiu too iha nia revizaun. Haktuir ba valór iha leten hatudu katak Timor-Leste nafatin iha nivel aseitavel nia okos kompara ho nasaun Vietnam ne’ebé konsege hadi’ak nivel partisipasaun.”

“Timor-Leste iha oportunidade boot liu atu hadi’ak no atu promove liu tan partisipasaun, tanba ita hatudu ona ba mundu katak ita respeita tebes valor demokrátiku, nune’e iha duni dalan atu ba oin promove no inklui ema hotu nia opiniaun no partisipasaun iha nivel desizaun polítika. Nune’e, povu hotu iha Timor-Leste bele sente sai na’in ba desizaun sira no sira bele fiar no hatene katak sira nia osan Governu uza duni atu hadi’ak sira nia moris.”

Sasukat sira iha Open Budget Survey 2021

  • Transparénsia orsamentál (Budget transparency) avalia iha OBS liu husi disponibilidade ba públiku no kont¬eúdu husi dokumentu importante ualu orsamentu nian ne’ebé governu sira tenke públika tuir padraun internasionál. Espesífikamente, ezamina dokumentu no relatóriu sira ne’ebé publika iha online tuir tempu determinadu no fó sai informasaun ida ne’ebé komprensivu no detallu.

Maske hasoru disputa entre partidu sira iha 2019, parlamentu nafatin aprova orsamentu. Maske tarde kuaze fulan ida tanba la hetan aprovasaun ka veto husi Prezidente Repúblika, Timor-Leste hatudu mudansa signifikativu ba nivel transparénsia, liu husi publika ona livru Orsamentu ba Sidadaun “Citizens’ Budget” no Relatóriu Tinan ikus “Year-End Report” .

Valór transparénsia Timor-Leste nian mak 52 husi 100, menus husi 61 hanesan valór mínimu atu promove debate iha públiku ida ne’ebé informadu, valór ne’e mós hetan pozisaun 48 ne’ebé inklui husi nasaun 120

  • Partisipasaun husi públiku (Public participation) avalia bazeia ba oportunidade formal ba organizasaun no ema sivíl sira atu partisipa no fó hanoin sira durante prosesu orsamentu.

Valór media global ba partisipasaun públiku ida ne’e aat tebes, 14 husi 100.

Timor-Leste hetan de’it valór 7, piór liu kompara ho nasaun sira iha Sudeste Ázia.

  • Fiskalizasaun (Oversight) sukat bazeia ba funsaun husi lejislatura no Instituisaun Supremu Auditoria (SAI) iha prosesu orsamentu.

Valór 61 husi 100, ida ne’e konsidera adekuadu iha fiskalizasaun.

Timor-Leste hetan valór 56.

Implikasaun Rezultadu OBS ba Timor-Leste

Bazeia ba esperiénsia La’o Hamutuk nudár organizasaun sosiedade sivíl ne’ebé tau matan ba prosesu orsamentál, investigadór observa katak Parlamentu Nasionál iha vontade di’ak atu partilla informalmente ho ami ba relatóriu no paresér husi alterasaun ba Lei Orsamentu sira, maske dala ruma ami la hetan konvite atu hato’o direta ami nia testemuña ba proposta lei sira. Entretantu, ami nafatin enkoraja Parlamentu inklui instituisaun sira atu publika informasaun no materiais sira ne’e ho ofisialmente iha lian ne’ebé fasil atu komprende no iha fatin ne’ebé ema hotu bele asesu. 

Ezemplu ida foin lalais akontese mak bainhira Governu hato’o proposta ba retifikasaun ba Lei OJE 2022 iha Maiu tinan ne’e ho pedidu atu halo diskusaun ho karákter urjénsia no la konsege loke espasu no informa ba públiku. Situasaun ne’e hatudu frakeza boot iha partisipasaun tanba la envolve sosiedade sivíl no públiku atu hato’o opiniaun ka sujestaun ruma. Maske ami apresia relatóriu no paresér Komisaun C Parlamentu Nasionál nian ba Lei ida ne’e, konsiente katak Governu nia Espozisaun Motivu susar atu justifika nia urjénsia, maioria deputadu fó tiha ona votu a favór ba proposta husi proposta urjénsia ida ne’e. 

Objetivu husi survey OBS ida ne’e, atu ajuda nasaun ida-idak inklui Timor-Leste bele konsidera povu nudár sentru ba tetu hotu iha prosesu orsamentál estadu nian inklui sira mós bele nafatin akompaña oinsá Governu jere sira nia osan no oinsá gasta ho prudente liu no bele responde duni ba povu sira nia nesesidade. Dadus no informasaun sira iha survey ida ne’e koleta husi sosiedade sivíl independente no iha koñesimentu kle’an ba orsamentu no akompaña prosesu orsamentu sira, ne’ebé la hola parte ba kualkér grupu ka parte ida. Hafoin rezultadu hirak ne’e hetan revizaun husi entidade relevante hanesan avalia or no reprezentante Governu rasik liu husi MF hodi avalia no fó komentáriu antes informasaun hirak ne’e publika. 

La’o Hamutuk nafatin kontinua servisu hamutuk ho maluk sosiedade sivíl sira inklui fahe nafatin informasaun atuál no real ba públiku hodi asegura katak Governu nafatin tau atensaun aas ba limitasaun sira ne’ebé ita iha, liu-liu ba kondisaun ne’ebé besik ona tama ba rai-naruk fiskál (fiscal cliff) tanba de’it riku soin limitadu no úniku ne’ebé tuir projesaun sei remata ba tinan balu tuir mai. Ami mós servisu hamutuk ho IBP atu ajuda kapasita maluk sosiedade sivíl sira iha nivel nasionál no lokál atu komprende no hatene kle’an liu oinsá hala’o advokasia no halo analiza rasik ba orsamentu sira. 

Haree video Estadu Timor-Leste Tenke Pratika Diák Liu Tan Transparénsia no Partisipasaun Publiku

Bele hetan relatoriu OBS kompletu tomak kona-ba Timor-Leste iha ne'e.

Bele hetan informasaun adisionál husi La'o Hamutuk kona-ba finansas estadu nian iha ne'e.

30 June 2022

TimorGAP begins exploring Pualaca Block by itself

As some people know, on 24 June 2022, TimorGAP launched the Pualaca Block project with a socialization program for their petroleum exploration activities in contract area PSC-TL-OT-21-17, after signing the Production-Sharing Contract (PSC) in December 2021. The Government awarded this PSC to TimorGAP through a secret process – there was no public tender or opportunity for other companies to make proposals.

Petroleum and gas extraction activities have two main phases – exploration (research) and production. In the first phase oil companies begin to look for information and collect data, including through seismic research and test wells. From industry-wide experience, most of this research does not find a reserve with enough commercial value to justify production.

One past well in the contract area is in the Pualaca aldeia in Laclubar suku: a small oil and gas deposit among several seeps scattered in this area, as local people know. This field has been developed since 1892, in the Portuguese period, and produced oil for local consumption through a small refinery which was run by Dr. José Ramos-Horta’s older brother.  Oil and gas has seeped into the local environment there for more than 130 years; there is no strong reason to believe that there’s enough left for commercially viable production. At its peak, annual production from Pualaca was less than Bayu-Undan produces every half-hour.

TimorGAP is beginning these exploration activities as operator and 100% owner; before now their other projects were always operated by their joint venture partners, including Eni, Timor Resources, Woodside and SundaGas. Operating without any experience increases risks to the community and the environment, and TimorGAP has never done these activities before.

Prior to the 24 June event, the relevant authorities – the National Petroleum and Minerals Authority (ANPM) and Ministry of Petroleum and Mining (MPM) – had not shared the contents of the PSC on the internet or the Jornál da República. However, ANPM did publish the contract on their website this week, after La’o Hamutuk reminded them it was legally required. According to Article 29 of the Petroleum Activities Law, the Ministry must publish a summary in the Jornál da República and make the full text publicly available.

The Pualaca Block covers 1,575 km2 in three municipalities, from Laclubar, Natarbora and Barique (Manatuto) to Fatuberliu (Manufahi) and Dilor (Viqueque). TimorGAP and its subsidiary plan to conduct aerial research (Full Tensor Gravity Gradiometry - FTG)) before deciding to proceed with the seismic research phase. We understand that they have contracted the FTG work to be done during July, but we have not yet seen any sign of a Terms of Reference or initial process for environmental licensing. As project proponent, TimorGAP must present a proposed Environmental Impact Statement and Environmental Management Plan when they apply for a license, and the lengthy process requires transparency, public consultation and thorough analysis before the operation can start.

At this launch, in addition to the Minister of Petroleum and Mining and the ANPM, civil and military authorities from all three municipalities participated, including PNTL and F-FDTL commanders. TimorGAP, ANPM and MPM gave general explanations that Timor-Leste needs to continue to look for and produce petroleum because Bayu-Undan is almost empty and the Petroleum Fund will run out in ten years. They also explained that the industry needs people with specific, high-level skills, and will establish a team to bring together representatives for detailed consultation in specific places. In their speeches, police commanders tended to threaten and use harsh language directed to local people, especially the youth. In the discussion period, participants suggested that when petroleum activities are underway, it would be better to promote healthy dialogue than this approach of showing force and bullying people to comply.

Due to limited time for discussion, La’o Hamutuk was not allowed to speak or ask questions at the socialization event, although we appreciate that people from the community and students raised important issues and received good responses from MPM, ANPM and TimorGAP. The respondents promised to introduce local content, but failed to explain how they would involve people from the local area, saying that they should wait until the speeches are over to realize truly participatory consultation, knowledge, and mutual understanding, including providing more complete information to people in affected communities. About 200 people, mostly men, attended the event; many came from Dili as well as 20 police, some soldiers, and community representatives.

La’o Hamutuk thinks that a better way for the Government of Timor-Leste to move away from depending on nonrenewable oil and gas resources is to promote agriculture and transformative industries. We should use some of the money invested in financial markets through the Petroleum Fund to improve our human resources and develop a diversified, sustainable economy. We believe that unleashing ourselves from petroleum dependency is the first step along a genuine pathway which will be more equitable and just, addressing long-existing structural problems.

We appreciate the closing intervention by the President of TimorGAP that indicated there will be deeper consultations to hear various parties’ rights, concerns and interests before the process proceeds. We encourage everyone involved to use these opportunities to help local people understand the unmentioned risks which will come with petroleum activities in the contracted areas.

Thank you.