20 July 2012

Infrastructure for Timor-Leste’s people

Everyone agrees that Timor-Leste’s current infrastructure is unacceptable. Some parts still have not recovered from 1999, when Indonesian soldiers and police and pro-Indonesia militia destroyed almost everything they could. Most people have no running water, many villages are still not connected by passable roads, schools and public buildings are far below standard, lack of irrigation limits food production, we need more hospitals and clinics, and many villages still lack consistent electricity. Why aren't we building these facilities?

Timor-Leste allocated more than half of its 2011 and 2012 state budgets to physical infrastructure. Many, including La’o Hamutuk, are concerned that the lower priority given to human resources – health and education – will limit this nation’s future. We also wonder if a billion dollars to build the centralized, oil-powered electricity system is wise  -- solar panels on every house in the country would cost one-fifth this much, less than it will cost every year just to fuel and maintain the Hera and Betano power plants.

People across the country are crying out for infrastructure – especially rural roads, schools and water – to improve their lives and help them integrate into the national economy. To understand how the Government is responding, La’o Hamutuk reviewed 2011 spending on this sector. The Ministry of Finance published this information last April in the 2011 Budget Execution Report; current and historic data is on the Budget Transparency Portal.

The 2011 budget allocated $599 million to the Infrastructure Fund for projects costing more than one million dollars or taking more than one year to build. Three-quarters of this was for electricity, and $150 million was for everything else: water, schools, hospitals, government buildings, military bases, police posts, irrigation, roads, bridges, ports, public housing, airports, etc.

We don’t believe that spending money is the best way to evaluate effectiveness. It’s more important to look at the results -- if a project was completed with good quality and is being used. However, public expenditure is necessary (but not sufficient) to build infrastructure. Better design, procurement and project management can improve the value Timor-Leste gets for its money (experts tell us that road projects here cost twice as much as similar ones in Indonesia or the Philippines), but zero spending will produce zero results even with flawless implementation.

When the year’s finances were closed, 96% of the money allocated for the national electricity system had been disbursed, mostly with two foreign companies. However, only 30% of the money appropriated for all other projects was spent.

The blue diagonally striped bars show how much Parliament appropriated in the 2011 budget for large infrastructure projects in each sector, on the right-hand scale in millions of dollars. The rules of the Infrastructure Fund allow the Government to shift money around, and the red checkered bars (and red numbers) show the final allocation for the year. The green solid bars (and green numbers) show how much was spent during 2011. Although the Infrastructure Fund rules allow unspent money to be carried over to 2012, the budgeted amounts are what the Government had planned to spend in 2011 alone, even for multi-year projects.

The wide yellow bars, on the left hand scale, show what percentage of the final infrastructure budget allocation was actually spent in 2011. Although nearly all of the money for electricity was used, nothing was spent for housing, even though the import of prefabricated houses for the MDG-Suco program had been justified because of an urgent need to build them quickly. Only half of the small amount allocated for health infrastructure was spent, as was only 1/8 of the original education appropriation. Many people complain about the poor state of the road network, and the Government increased the transport allocation from $23 to $40 million during the year – but they only spent $11 million, 27%.

As the Fifth Constitutional Government begins work, we hope they will pay more attention to results and implementation. We also hope they will explore how Timor-Leste can get more value for its money, so that the cost of building infrastructure projects here will be comparable with the rest of Southeast Asia. Reforms in procurement, project management, and corruption prevention will help, but better fiscal analysis, project conception and design, leadership, quality control and supervision are also essential.

Before embarking on more megaprojects, the government should conduct sincere cost-benefit analyses, with transparency and public consultation, to determine if the social and economic return on the investment justifies the expenditure. We have only a few years of oil and gas money remaining – and if we don’t invest it wisely we will be left with nothing. At the start of 2012, Timor-Leste’s Infrastructure Fund had $121 million that wasn’t spent last year and $761 million more from the 2012 state budget, and was expecting $43 million more in loans. We encourage the new Government, as it begins to implement the Strategic Development Plan, to use Infrastructure Fund money for projects which will benefit our entire population – unlike the two biggest items: $261 million more for the electricity system and $100 million to begin building the Suai supply base for offshore petroleum activities.

13 July 2012

Wading deeper into an oily swamp

Six weeks ago, Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão formally nominated two leaders from our oil and gas sector to develop investment policy for Timor-Leste’s sovereign wealth fund. Unnoticed by the media and politicians, this action was not mentioned during the recent election campaign. However, La’o Hamutuk believes it foreshadows additional concentration of Timor-Leste’s limited wealth in the petroleum sector, which could endanger our children’s futures. 

La’o Hamutuk often explains how the resource curse affects Timor-Leste's economy, policies and  governance. One of the more dangerous symptoms is the “capture” of the policy-making process by the petroleum sector. Because oil and gas exports comprise most of our entire economy and paid for 97% of state expenditures in 2011, they attract capable, persuasive, imaginative people. When they do their jobs well, these people make enticing proposals and convincing arguments to develop the petroleum sector which divert attention and resources from health, education, agriculture, light industry, rural infrastructure and other essential components of sustainable, equitable, inclusive development. This is why the Tasi Mane project is the centerpiece of the National Strategic Development Plan, even though it is financially dubious, may be impossible to carry out and will create very few jobs.

Last year, the Government and Parliament revised Timor-Leste’s Petroleum Fund Law, loosening rules about sustainable spending and secure investments, and weakening the governance of the Fund. One change was to enlarge the Fund’s Investment Advisory Board (IAB), which develops investment policy and makes recommendations to the Minister of Finance about how the Fund should be invested.

On 1 June, Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão appointed two new members to the IAB. Dispatch No. 016/GPM/2012 named Francisco Monteiro and Gualdino da Silva to join Olgário de Castro, Kevin Bailey and Torres Trovik. Director of the Treasury Sara Lobo Brites (responsible for the nation’s fiscal policies) and Central Bank Head Abraão de Vasconselos (responsible for Timor-Leste's monetary policies and Operational Manager of the Petroleum Fund) go to IAB meetings but can no longer vote.

According to this Dispatch, “Both [new] nominees have proven experience in the oil sector and in management and investment.” Francisco and Gualdino have already participated in at least two IAB meetings. Unfortunately, the minutes of those meetings are not yet on the Central Bank website, and the Jornál da República (Official Gazette) has not yet published this Dispatch on its website or in its printed edition.

Francisco da Costa Monteiro became President of the new TimorGAP national oil company in September 2011. In the early 2000’s, Francisco worked under Alfredo Pires in the office of President Xanana Gusmão. After Prime Minister Gusmão appointed Pires to be Secretary of State for Natural Resources in 2007, Francisco interrupted his geology Ph.D. studies overseas to return as Pires’ Executive Advisor. He leads the Government’s Sunrise Task Force and is on the Executive Board of the National Petroleum Authority. In addition, Francisco represents Timor-Leste on both Australia-Timor-Leste supervisory bodies for the Joint Petroleum Development Area: the Joint Commission which oversees the ANP and the Sunrise Commission which discuses technical issues about the Sunrise project.

As President of TimorGAP, Francisco is responsible to build and operate the multi-billion-dollar Tasi Mane project, which will include a supply base for offshore oil operations in Suai, an oil refinery in Betano, the Sunrise LNG plant in Beaçu, a 150 km highway, ports, airports, new towns and other infrastructure. Tasi Mane will receive $163 million from the State Budget in 2012 and much more in the future.

Gualdino Carmo da Silva became President of the National Petroleum Authority (ANP) when it was created in 2008 after serving as Executive Director of its predecessor, the Timor Sea Designated Authority. The ANP signs Timor-Leste’s contracts with oil companies, and regulates all aspects of petroleum operations in Timor-Leste proper and in the TL-Australia Joint Development Area in the Timor Sea, including exploration, production, processing, refining, distribution and sales. It also manages bidding for new exploration contracts and collects about $2 billion in royalties (FTP) from the companies every year. Although all money paid by oil companies is required to be deposited into the Petroleum Fund, the ANP retains a few million dollars for its own activities.

Although Timor Leste has a shortage of skilled, educated people, expertise is not so rare that the busy people responsible to regulate and build our oil industry should spend their time on financial investment management, an area in which they have no training or experience. La’o Hamutuk believes that there may be another reason for appointing Francisco and Gualdino to the IAB – to encourage the investment of the Petroleum Fund in the petroleum projects in Timor-Leste, particularly the Tasi Mane project or the Sunrise pipeline. Private investors are wary about expecting Tasi Mane to provide a good return on their money, and we think it would be foolhardy to risk Timor-Leste’s sole resource endowment on such a risky project.

We agree with what Minister of Finance Emilia Pires said last year: that public money spent or invested to develop Timor-Leste should be appropriated through the State Budget in a transparent, democratic process. Such decisions should be made by our elected Parliament, not by “investment advisers.” Article 15.1 of the revised Petroleum Fund Law says that the Fund can only be invested outside Timor-Leste, in internationally recognized jurisdictions, and we hope that this will continue to be followed in spirit as well as in letter.

In early July, the IAB received unwelcome publicity when newspapers reported a secretly recorded conversation. In a Darwin coffee shop in 2010, IAB Chairman Olgário de Castro bragged about hundreds of millions of dollars to share with his friends, saying “I want the money, not the power.” La’o Hamutuk’s blog discusses these revelations, hoping that de Castro can clear his name but pointing out that $10 billion dollars owned by a small, impoverished, new nation with little experience is a tempting target for unscrupulous, greedy people. One scam was attempted by Asian Champ Investments in 2009, and we are troubled by Mr. de Castro's references to aspects of that attempted theft -- including perpetrator Datuk Edward Ong, Swiss and Singapore bank accounts, trips to London and infrastructure deals.

The IAB elected Mr. de Castro as its Chairman “for one year at a time” on 5 May 2008, and he has been re-elected only once, on 15 April 2010. We hope they pay more attention to protecting Timor-Leste’s investments than they do to Article 2.2 of their own rules of procedure.

The Investment Advisory Board has at least three members whose priority may be other than the security and return on Timor-Leste’s Petroleum Fund, which is essential to support financial stability and intergenerational equity for this country. We hope that the Board does not lose its focus, and that the Minister of Finance and Prime Minister in the Fifth Constitutional Government will ensure that our resources are safely protected, wisely invested, and effectively used for the long-term benefit of our people.

Update, September 2012:

The new board members are influencing the IAB's activity.  It held its 28 June and 31 August meetings at the National Petroleum Authority, rather than at the Central Bank or World Bank offices. At the August meeting, the IAB elected ANP President Gualdino da Silva as acting chairman, "based on the fact that the chairman [Olgario de Castro] was not be able to attend the meeting and had earlier advised the Board that he was stepping aside from his duties as chairman for an indefinite period". 

In late September, La'o Hamutuk asked TimorGAP President (and IAB member) Francisco Monteiro whether Petroleum Fund monies are likely to be invested in the Tasi Mane project. He smiled and said this was not permitted by current law.

Hoban-an kle’an liu iha tahu mina-rai

Semana neen liu ba, Primeiru Ministru Xanana Gusmão formálmente nomea lider rua husi setór mina-rai no gas atu dezenvolve polítika investimentu ba fundu rikeza soberania Timor-Leste. Laiha kobertura husi media ka polítiku na’in sira, no asaun ida ne’e la mensiona durante kampaña eleisaun foin daudauk ne’e. Maske nune’e, La’o Hamutuk hare ida ne’e fó sinál konsentrasaun adisionál ne’ebé ba Timor-Leste nia rikeza limitadu iha setór petróleu, ne’ebé sei ameasa ba ita nia oan sira nia futuru.

La’o Hamutuk dala barak esplika oinsá malisan rekursu fó impaktu ba ekonomia, polítika no Governasaun Timor-Leste. Sintoma ida ne’ebé perigozu liu entre sintoma sira seluk mak prosesu halo desizaun polítika “kaptura ona” husi setór petróleu. Tanba esportasaun mina-rai no gas domina maka’as ba ita nia ekonomia no selu 97% despeza estadu iha 2011, mina-rai no gas atrai ema sira ne’ebé iha kapasidade, persuasivu no imajinátivu. Bainhira ema hirak ne’e halo di’ak sira nia servisu, sira sei halo proposta sira ne’ebé atraitivu no argumentu ne’ebé konvinsivu atu dezenvolve setór petróleu ne’ebé husik atensaun ba rekursu sira husi saúde, edukasaun, agrikultura, indústria ki’ik, infrastrutura rural no komponente esensiál sira seluk husi dezenvolvimentu ne’ebé sustentável, ekitavel no inkluzivu. Tanba ne’e mak projetu Tasi Mane sai xave sentral iha Planu Estratéjiku Dezenvolvimentu Nasionál, maske nia finansiamentu ne’e sei hamosu duvida hela, dala ruma mós sei imposivel atu implementa no sei kria kampu servisu uitoan liu.

Tinan kotuk, Governu no Parlamentu halo revizaun ba Timor-Leste nia Lei Fundu Petrolíferu, halakon regulamentu kona-ba gastu sustentável no investimentu ne’ebé seguru, no hafraku Fundu nia governasaun. Mudansa ida mak atu haboot Komité Asesoria ba Investimentu Fundu nian, ne’ebé sei dezenvolve polítika investimentu no halo rekomendasaun ba Ministru/a Finansa kona-ba oinsá Fundu ne’e tenke investe ba.

Iha 1 Juñu, Primeiru Ministru Xanana Gusmão hili membru foun rua ba Komité Asesoria ba Investimentu. Despachu No. 016/GPM/2012 nomea Francisco Monteiro no Gualdino da Silva atu hamutuk Olgário de Castro, Kevin Bailey no Torres Trovik. Diretora Tezoreira Sara Lobo Brites (responsavel ba polítika fiskál nasionál) no xefe Banku Sentrál Abraão de Vasconselos (responsavel ba polítika monetar Timor-Leste no Jestor Operasionál Fundu Petrolíferu) ba iha enkontru Komité Asesoria Investimentu maibé sira na’in-rua laiha ona votu.

Francisco no Gualdino partisipa ona enkontru Komité nian dala rua. Infelizmente, minutas husi enkontru sira ne’e seidauk tau iha website Banku Sentrál, no Jornál da República seidauk mós publika despachu ne’e iha sira nia website ka iha edisaun surat tahan nian.

Francisco da Costa Monteiro sai Prezidente ba kompañia mina-rai nasionál TimorGAP iha Setembru 2011. Iha inísiu 2003, Francisco servisu iha Alfredo Pires nia okos iha eskritóriu Prezidente Xanana Gusmão. Hafoin Primeiru Ministru Gusmão hili Pires nu’udar Sekretáriu Estadu Rekursu Naturais iha 2007, Francisco husik nia estudu Ph.D. kona-ba jeolojia iha rai li’ur hodi fila fali nu’udar Asesor Ezekutivu ba Pires. Francisco lidera Governu nia Task Force ba Sunrise no nu’udar Konsellu Ezekutivu ba Autoridade Nasionál Petróleu (ANP). Aleinde ne’e, Francisco reprezenta Timor-Leste iha órgaun supervizóriu nasaun rua Timor-Leste no Australia ba Area Konjuntu ba Dezenvolvimentu Petróleu (JPDA): Komisaun Konjuntu mak tau matan ba ANP no Komisaun Sunrise ne’ebé diskute asuntu tékniku kona-ba projetu Sunrise.

Nu’udar Prezidente TimorGAP, Francisco mak responsavel atu harii no opera projetu Tasi Mane ho osan dolar multi-biliaun, ne’ebé sei inklui baze fornesimentu ba operasaun petróleu iha tasi iha Suai, no refinaria petróleu ida iha Betano, planta LNG Sunrise iha Beaçu, auto-estrada 150 km, portu, aeroportu, nova sidade no infrastrutura seluk. Tasi Mane sei simu tokon $163 husi Orsamentu Estadu 2012 no sei presiza tan osan barak iha futuru.

Gualdino Carmo da Silva sai Prezidente ba Autoridade Nasionál Petróleu (ANP) bainhira harii iha 2008 hafoin nia servisu nu’udar Diretór Ezekutivu ba órgaun tuan ne’ebé muda ona ba ANP, Autoridade Dezignada ba Tasi Timor (TSDA). ANP mak asina kontratu Timor-Leste ho kompañia mina-rai sira, no regula aspetu tomak husi operasaun petróleu iha area Timor-Leste rasik no iha Area Konjuntu ba Dezenvolvimentu iha Tasi Timor, inklui esplorasaun, produsaun, prosesamentu, refinaria, distribuisaun no fan. ANP mós jere tenderizasaun ba kontratu esplorasaun foun no koleta maizumenus biliaun $2 iha royalti (FTP-First Tranche Petroleum) husi kompañia sira kada tinan. Maski osan tomak ne’ebé selu husi kompañia mina-rai sira tenke tama iha Fundu Petrolíferu, ANP hetan osan tokon balu diretamente husi kompañia ba sira nia atividade.

Despachu 016/GPM/2012 hateten katak “Sira na’in rua foun ne’ebé nomea hatudu ona esperiénsia iha setór petróleu no iha jestaun no investimentu.”

Maske Timor-Leste iha ema edukadu uitoan no peritu uitoan la signifika katak ema sira ne’ebé okupadu ho servisu seluk hodi responsavel atu regula no harii ita nia indústria petróleu atu gasta tan sira nia tempu ba jestaun investimentu finanseiru, area ida ne’ebé sira laiha treinamentu ka laiha esperiénsia. La’o Hamutuk hare katak karik iha razaun balu seluk bainhira atu hili Francisco no Gualdino ba iha Komité Asesoria Investimentu, razaun ne’e atu enkoraja investimentu Fundu Petrolíferu ba iha projetu petróleu iha Timor-Leste, partikulármente ba projetu Tasi Mane no kadoras Sunrise. Investidór privadu sira preokupa ba espetasaun projetu Tasi Mane ne’e atu fó returnu di’ak ida ba sira nia osan, no ami hanoin ida ne’e sei sai investimentu ida ne’ebé ladún matenek hodi fó risku ba úniku rekursu Timor-Leste nian.

Ami konkorda ho Ministra Finansa Emilia Pires ne’ebé hateten iha tinan kotuk: katak osan povo nian atu gasta ka investe atu dezenvolve Timor-Leste tenke apropriadu liu husi Orsamentu Estadu tuir prosesu ida ne’ebé transparente no demokrátiku. Desizaun sira ne’e tenke halo husi ita nia Parlamentu eleitu, la’ós husi “asesor investimentu sira.” Artigu 15.1 husi revizaun Lei Fundu Petrolíferu hateten katak Fundu bele investe de’it iha rai li’ur, iha jurizdisaun internasionál sira ne’ebé rekoñesidu, no ami espera katak ida ne’e sei kontinua atu tuir iha espíritu hanesan mós iha karta.

Iha inísiu Jullu, Komité Asesoria Investimentu simu publikasaun ida ne’ebé sira la hakarak bainhira jornál sira fó reportajen kona ba gravasaun segredu ida husi konversa. Iha kafé ida iha Darwin iha 2010, Prezidente Komité Asesoria Olgário de Castro gaba sola-an kona-ba osan dolar tokon balu atu fahe ba nia kolega sira, hodi hateten “Ha’u hakarak osan, la’ós podér.” La’o Hamutuk nia blog diskute revelasaun ida ne’e, espera katak Sr de Castro bele hamoos nia naran maibé ami foka sai katak biliaun $10 ne’ebé nia na’in ne’e nasaun ki’ik, kiak no foun no esperiénsia uitoan sai hanesan alvu ba tentasaun ba ema sira ne’ebé la onestu no kantén sira. Lasu ida husi tentasaun Asian Champ Investment iha 2009, no ita sente preokupadu ho Sr de Castro nia referénsia ba aspetu husi nauk-ten ne’ebé tenta atu nauk – inklui autór Datuk Edward Ong, konta bankária iha Swiss no Singapura, viajen ba London no akordu infrastrutura sira.

Komité Asesoria Investimentu hili Sr de Castro nu’udar Prezidente Komité “ba tinan ida iha tempu ne’ebá” iha 5 Maiu 2008, nia hetan eleitu fila fali dala ida tan, iha 15 Abríl 2010. Ami espera sira sei fó atensaun maka’as tan hodi proteje investimentu Timor-Leste nian duke saida mak sira halo tuir Artigu 2.2 husi sira nia prosedimentu regulasaun.

Komité Asesoria Investimentu daudauk ne’e iha ema na’in tolu ne’ebé sira nia prioridade dala ruma la’ós de’it seguransa no retornu ba Fundu Petrolíferu Timor-Leste, ne’ebé esensiál atu suporta estabilidade finansial no igualdade entre-jerasaun ba nasaun ida ne’e. Ami espera katak Komité labele lakon sira nia fokus, no Ministru/a Finansa no Primeiru Ministru iha Kintu Governu Konstitusionál sei garante katak ita nia rekursu sira sei proteje ho di’ak, investe ho matenek, no efetivamente uza ba benefísiu tempu naruk povo nian.

08 July 2012

Seats resulting from Parliamentary Election

Go to La'o Hamutuk's website for more complete and updated information about the election results including how seats are allocated, names of winning candidates, and other things.
Or read why we think a Government of National Unity would be bad for Timor-Leste.

According to preliminary complete results from STAE, here's how the 65 seats will be assigned in Timor-Leste's next Parliament, using a 3% threshold and the D'Hondt method for seat allocation:
CNRT: 30
Partido Democratico: 8
Frente-Mudanca: 2

If the final counting increases KHUNTO's vote by 150, they'll pass the threshold and get two seats, which will come from CNRT and Fretilin. As only 89 ballots are still disputed, this is unlikely.

Timor-Leste's law says that parties getting less than 3% of the valid vote are not included in the seat allocation. Without a threshold, the allocation would have been PDN 1, PD 7, PSD 1, Frenti-Mudanca 2, KHUNTO 2, CNRT 27, FRETILIN 22, ASDT 1, PST 1, UNDERTIM 1.

04 July 2012

Ten billion dollars is a tempting target

Click here for the complete article
Today's Melbourne Age and Sydney Morning Herald, Timorese blogs, and Facebook postings are full of accusations, rumors and overheard conversations involving Olgario de Castro, the President of the Investment Advisory Board of Timor-Leste's Petroleum Fund. La'o Hamutuk has no evidence that he has committed crimes. We support his right to clear his name, and hope that he will do so.

However, La'o Hamutuk has long warned of the temptation Timor-Leste's Petroleum Fund -- $10 billion dollars owned by a small, impoverished, new nation with little experience -- offers to unscrupulous, greedy people in the "financial industry" and elsewhere. We believe that Olgario de Castro is not like now-jailed Bernard Madoff, who stole billions from U.S. investors, or the immoral investment managers at Lehman Brothers and other financial institutions who brought down Western economies four years ago. We expect that he is more ethical than the speculators who crashed the Indonesian economy in 1997.

But even if Olgario is blameless, others drool at the opportunity to get their hands on Timor-Leste's money. For many years, La'o Hamutuk has advocated that systems here should be tighter to protect against would-be thieves, with more transparency and stronger checks and balances.

We hope that the revelation of Mr. De Castro's sloppy, boastful conversation will encourage policymakers, citizens and journalists to look at La'o Hamutuk's suggestions more closely, especially since those who revised Timor-Leste's Petroleum Fund law last year rejected them all, just as they ignored the Central Bank's recommendations.

Follow these links for more information about:
Like many impoverished countries whose economy and state finances depend on exporting petroleum, Timor-Leste is afflicted by the "resource curse." This is the second-most-petroleum-dependent country on earth, with 97% of 2011 state expenditures from oil money. In addition to risks of corruption and maladministration, we have other symptoms:
  • Seeing money as the solution to every problem
    It’s easier to buy a few scholarships than to build a university, or to send VIPs for overseas health care than to create a quality national health system.
  • Spending without thinking
    State expenditures go up 28% per year above inflation, but no taxpayers are demanding fiscal restraint.
  • Lack of realistic long-term planning
    The Strategic Development Plan is but a dream.
  • Import dependency
    Timor-Leste's non-oil trade deficit is more than a billion dollars, importing everything from water to chickens to rice to construction workers.
  • Inflation from little local productive capacity (17% in Dili in 2011)
    Our productive economy cannot absorb the cash in circulation.
  • Ignoring non-oil development and revenues
    Three-fourths of Timorese are rural farmers, left out of state plans and budgets.
  • Acting as if the oil money will last forever
    Bayu-Undan and Kitan will be dry by 2024.
  • Borrowing today, to repay tomorrow
    TL could borrow more than $460 million in the next few years, and billions after that.
  • Wealth goes mainly to the urban elite.
    Most people don’t benefit from highways, airports and oil facilities, but will feel the pain of loan repayments.
  • The petroleum sector “captures” decision-making.
    Few creative ideas to develop agriculture, education, tourism, small industries, etc.
We hope that this blog will broaden this discussion, and encourage you to read our briefing on Rights and Sustainability in Timor-Leste's Development.

On 13 July, La'o Hamutuk published another blog about the Investment Advisory Board and the Petroleum Fund: Wading deeper into an oily swamp.

Update, November 2012: The Ministry of Finance recently circulated a report on the 2011 General State Accounts, including a list of 223 disbursements totaling almost $30 million from the Contingency Fund managed by the Ministry of Finance. Among the expenditures was $176,322 for Salario ao Assessor Oligario de Castro período Janeiro-Dezembro 2011.
La'o Hamutuk wonders why this was paid from a fund for "urgent or unforeseeable" needs, and if Mr. de Castro also received salary or consulting fees through normal budget lines. 

Dollar Biliaun $10 nudár tarjetu ba tentasaun

Artigu ida ne'e iha lian Tetum
Melbourne Age (liga ba artigu iha Tetum) no Sydney Morning Herald, blog Timorense, no Facebook ohin loron publika notísia ne’ebé nakonu ho akuzasaun, rumor, rona konversa ne’ebé involve Olgário de Castro, Prezidente ba Konsellu Konsultivu ba Investimentu (Investment Advisory Board - IAB) Fundu Petrolíferu Timor-Leste. La’o Hamutuk laiha evidénsia katak nia komete ba krime sira. Ami suporta nia direitu atu hamoos nia naran no hein katak nia sei halo ida ne’e.

Maski nune’e, La’o Hamutuk kleur ona fó atensaun husi tentasaun ba Fundu Petrolíferu ho montante dollar biliaun $10 ne’ebé nia na’in mak nasaun ki’ik, kiak no foun ho esperiénsia uitoan –- husi ema sira ne’ebé laiha moral, kanten iha “indústria finanseiru” no fatin seluk. Ami fiar katak Olgário de Castro la’ós hanesan Bernard Madoff ne’ebé daudauk ne’e iha komarka, ne’ebé nauk dollar biliaun ruma husi investidores Estadus Unidus, ka jestor investimentu sira ne’ebé laiha moral iha Lehman Brothers ka instituisaun finanseiru seluk ne’ebé hamonu ekonomia nasaun Osidentál sira iha tinan hat liu ba. Ami hein katak Olgário de Castro iha étiku liu duke espekuladores merkadu mundiál ne’ebé hamout ekonomia Indonézia iha 1997.

Maibé maski karik Olgário la halo sala, sira seluk ne’ebé kanten iha hela oportunidade atu tau sira nia liman ba Timor-Leste nia osan. Tinan barak ona,  La’o Hamutuk advoka ona katak sistema iha ne’e tenke kesi metin atu proteje hodi hasoru sira ne’ebé sei sai nauk-ten, liu husi sistema ne’ebé transparente liu no iha Checks and Balances ne’ebé forte.

Ami espera katak divulgasaun husi Olgário nia konversasaun ne’ebé la kuidadu, gaba sola-an sei enkoraja sira ne’ebé halo desizaun polítika, sidadaun no jornalista sira atu hare besik liu ba sujestaun La’o Hamutuk, espesialmente ba sujestaun sira ne’ebé rejeita tomak husi  sira ne’ebé halo revizaun ba Lei Fundu Petrolíferu iha tinan kotuk, hanesan mós sira ignora rekomendasaun Banku Central.

Tuir ligasaun sira ne’e atu hetan tan informasaun kona-ba:
Hanesan nasaun kiak barak ne’ebé sira nia ekonomia no finansas estadu nian depende ba esportasaun petroleum, Timor-Leste tama ona ba “malisan rekursu.” Timor-Leste nudár nasaun segundu iha mundu ne’ebé depende liu ba petroleum, ho 97% husi despeza estadu 2011 husi osan mina-rai. Aleinde ba risku husi korrupsaun no maladministrasaun, ita iha sintoma seluk:
  • Hare osan nudár solusaun ba problema tomak
    Fasil atu sosa bolsu-estudu uitoan duke harii universidade ida, ka haruka VIP sira ba iha ospitál iha rai liu duke kria sistema saúde nasionál ida ne’ebé kualidade.
  • Gastu lahó hanoin
    Despeza estadu sa’e ba 28% kada tinan iha inflasaun nia leten, maibé laiha husi ema sira ne’ebé selu taxa mak husu atu kontrola fiskál.
  • Laiha planu realistiku ba tempu naruk
    Planu Estratéjiku Dezenvolvimentu Nasionál nudár mehi ida.
  • Dependénsia ba importasaun
    Defisit komérsiu husi naun- petroleu iha Timor-Leste liu fali dollar biliaun ida, importa buat hotu, husi bee hemu, nan manu, foos, to’o traballadór konstrusaun sira.
  • Inflasaun husi kapasidade produtividade lokál ne’ebé uitoan (2011, 17% iha Dili)
    Ita nia produtividade ekonomia labele simu sirkulasaun osan.
  • Ignora dezenvolvimentu no rendimentu husi ekonomia naun-petróleu
    ¾ povo Timor-Leste nudár agrikultór iha area rural, haluha tiha husi planu no orsamentu estadu.
  • Hatudu an katak osan mina-rai sei la hotu.
    Bayu-Undan no Kitan sei hotu iha 2024
  • Empresta ohin, selu aban
    Timor-Leste sei empresta liu tokon $460 durante tinan balu oin mai, no sei empresta biloens hafoin ne’e.
  • Riku-soin barak liu ba elitu urbanu sira.
    Povo barak mak sei la benefisia husi auto-estrada, aeroportu, no fasilidade petroleum, maibé sei hetan sofrementu husi tusan.
  • Setór petroleum “kaptura tiha” desizaun polítika.
    Iha idea kreatividade uitoan ba dezenvolvimentu agrikultura, edukasaun, turizmu, indústria ki’ik, no seluk tan.
Ami espera katak blog ida ne’e sei haluan diskusaun ida ne’e, no enkoraja ita-boot sira atu lee ami nia aprezentasaun badak Direitu no Sustentábilidade iha Dezenvolvimentu Timor-Leste (Ingles).