19 July 2017

Advance planning … just in case

Timor-Leste voters will go to the polls this Saturday to elect 65 Members of Parliament, who will choose a Prime Minister and the country’s Seventh Constitutional Government. Although most observers do not expect major shifts in the current political line-up, the current government is awarding two major contracts now to safeguard benefits for a few, just in case voters take control of the public purse strings away from those who currently hold power.

On 27 April, the National Procurement Commission announced its intention to award more than $90 million in contracts to supply generator fuel to the Hera and Betano electric power plants for the next two years. In the past, such contracts have been awarded for one year at a time, but with a possible impending change of government, two years is safer for the suppliers.

Although the National Procurement Commission declined to respond to La’o Hamutuk’s request for more information about this tender, the bids from the two winning companies were so close as to raise concerns about possible collusion. We have no additional evidence of illicit actions, but Esperança Timor Oan (ETO, headed by Nilton Gusmão, Xanana’s nephew) won the larger contract for Hera with a bid that was 0.13% lower than the bid from SACOM Energy (headed by Abilio Araújo, a former FRETILIN leader currently campaigning for PLP). SACOM won the Betano contract, bidding 1.8% lower than ETO. Pertamina also bid for both contracts, bidding more than 10% above the other two companies.

Another tender was announced on 14 July, with the National Procurement Commission inviting bids to supply 68 Toyota Prado Land Cruisers to Parliament. Although the tender is open until 14 August and the price in the winning bid is not yet known, the 2017 State Budget allocates $3.2 million to purchase vehicles for Parliament this year (up from $86 thousand in 2016 and $22 thousand in 2015), so apparently each car will cost more than $45,000.

Five years ago, Parliament spent $4 million to buy new cars for each of its Members to use, and the Members were allowed to purchase the old ones for personal use at bargain prices. We don’t know how many of those cars are still on the road, but the pattern is repeating. The National Procurement Commission was more helpful this time, and supplied the detailed bidding documents, including this specification.

Although announcements about these tenders have been published in local newspapers and on the Ministry of Finance website, the news has not been reported in commercial or social media, and La’o Hamutuk think it is important for voters to know.

Timor-Leste’s oil revenues have nearly ended, and the $16 billion saved in the Petroleum Fund is being depleted. When voters go to the polls, we encourage them to support parties which envision a sustainable, diversified, equitable economy for all of Timor-Leste’s people.

Governu nia planu sedu … atu antisipa buat ruma?

Timor oan sira sei ba sentru votasaun iha Sábadu semana ne’e atu hili Deputadu/a na’in 65, sira ne’e mak sei deside Timor-Leste nia Primeiru Ministru no Sétimu Governu Konstitusionál. Maske ema barak la ekspeta katak sei iha mudansa signifikante iha estrutura polítika daudaun ne’e nian, maibé governu atuál fó sai ona kontratu boot rua atu asegura sira nia benefísiu rasik,  atu antisipa  votante sira manán  fali kontrola ba sira nia fundu públiku husi ukun na’in sira atuál.

Iha 27 Abril, Komisaun Nasional ba Aprovizionamentu (CNA) anúnsiu katak nia intensaun atu ajudika kontratu ho montante liu tokon $90 atu fornese kombustivel ba sentru elétriku Hera no Betano, ba tinan rua oin mai nian. Iha pasadu, kontratu sira hanesan ne’e fó de’it ba durasaun tinan ida. Tanba posivel atu iha governu foun, entaun kontratu ba tinan rua ne’e asegura benefísiu ba fornesedór atuál sira.

Maske Komisaun Aprovizionamentu lakohi atu hatán ba La’o Hamutuk nia pedidu atu hetan informasaun liután kona-ba tender ida ne’e, presu iha proposta husi kompañia rua ne’ebé manán besik hanesan, no ida ne’e hamosu preokupasaun kona-ba poténsia ba koluzaun. La’o Hamutuk la iha evidénsia adisionál kona-ba aktu ilegál ruma, maibé Esperança Timor Oan (ETO, ne’ebé lidera husi Nilton Gusmão, Xanana Gusmao nia sobriñu) manán kontratu ida montante boot ba Hera, maibé nia proposta fó presu 0.13% ki’ik liu kompara ho proposta ne’ebé hato’o husi SACOM Energy (lidera husi Abilio Araújo, eis lider prinsipál FRETILIN iha tempu funu ne’ebé daudaun ne’e halo hela kampaña ba PLP) nian. Aumezmu tempu, SACOM manán kontratu ba sentrál elétrika Betano, ho proposta ne’ebé 1.8% ki’ik liu kompara ho ETO nian. Pertamina mós tuir konkursu ba kontratu rua ne’e hotu, ho proposta rua ho presu 10% boot liu kompara ho kompañia rua ne’ebé ikus mai manán kontratu.

Aleinde ne’e, tenderizasaun seluk tan anunsia ona iha semana ida ne’e, ne’ebé Komisaun Nasional Aprovizionamentu konvida proposta atu fornese Toyota Prado Land Cruiser 68 ba Parlamentu Nasional. Maske tenderizasaun sei loke to’o 14 Agostu no ita seidauk hatene loos montante presu loloos, maibé Orsamentu Estadu 2017 aloka ona tokon $3.2 atu hola karreta foun ba Parlamentu iha tinan ida ne’e (sa’e husi rihun $86 iha 2016 no rihun $22 iha 2015), entaun ita bele dehan katak kada karreta ida nia folin sei liu  $45,000.

Tinan lima liu ba, Parlamentu gasta tokon haat hodi ba sosa karreta foun ba ninia deputadu/a sira, no bainhira sira nia mandatu remata, deputadu/a sira ne’e bele leilaun karreta tuan sira ba sira nia uzu privadu, ho presu ne’ebé baratu liu. Ita la hatene karik karreta Prado sira ne’e barak mak sei funsiona hela ka lae, maibé tendénsia ba leilaun ida ne’e repete fila fali ona. Komisaun Nasional Aprovizionamentu kolabora ho di’ak kona-ba tender ida ne’e nia informasaun kompara ho detallu tenderizasaun sira ba kombustivel nian. CNA fornese dokumentu tenderizasaun sira ho detallu, inklui espesifikasaun ida ne’e.

Maske anúnsiu sira kona-ba tenderizasaun publika ona iha jornál lokál no iha Ministériu Finansas nia portal, informasaun sira ne’e seidauk fó sai iha media komersiál ka sosiál sira, no La’o Hamutuk hanoin katak importante atu votante sira bele hatene.

Timor-Leste nia reseita petróleu besik atu hotu ona, no biliaun $16 ne’ebé sei rai hela iha Fundu Petrolíferu komesa tun ona. Bainhira votante sira ba vota, ami enkoraja sira atu suporta partidu sira ne’ebé mak iha vizaun ba ekonomia sustentável, diversifikadu, no justu ba Timor oan sira hotu.

09 July 2017

Informasaun kona-ba Eleisaun Parlamentár 2017

La'o Hamutuk nudár organizasaun sosiedade sivíl ida ne’ebé independente no naun partidáriu iha Timor-Leste. Ami involve iha eleisaun Parlamentár 2017 nian atu enkoraja kandidatu no partidu sira atu diskute polítika sira ne’ebé mak sira sei implementa iha tinan lima oin mai, no atu enkoraja sidadaun sira atu vota ba partidu sira ne’ebé ninia plataforma sira (sidadaun sira) konkorda.

Ami nia pájina web inklui informasaun importante sira ne’ebé iha relasaun ho eleisaun, inklui lista kandidatu sira iha kadeira parlamentár nian, lei sira, oráriu no lista fatin votasaun.

La’o Hamutuk distribui poster no broxura hodi sujere asuntu sira ba votante sira atu konsidera molok sira ba vota. Ami prodús ona programa radio ida ne’ebé foka ba asuntu importante sira tuir ami nia haree, ne’ebé sai hanesan risku iha Timor-Leste, no programa ida tan ho Lian Husi Eleitores sira. Ami distribui kestionáriu ida atu husu kona-ba partidu ida-idak nia pozisaun ba kestaun polítika xave sira, no ami sei publika ninia rezultadu sira bainhira ami hetan ona sira nia resposta.

Hanoin molok ba vota! Partidu ne’ebé manán eleisaun sei halo no ezekuta polítika estadu nian durante tinan lima tuir mai.

Information on 2017 Parliamentary Election

La'o Hamutuk, as an independent, non-partisan civil society organization, is engaging with the 2017 Parliamentary election to encourage candidates and parties to discuss the policies that they will implement over the next five years, and to encourage citizens to vote for parties whose platforms they agree with.

Our English/Tetum web page on the election includes much more information, such as the names on each party slate, election laws, calendars, polling place lists and other materials.

La'o Hamutuk is distributing a Tetum-language poster "Think before going to vote" and brochure suggesting things for voters to consider before they vote. We have also produced a radio program highlighting important issues at stake, and another with voters' expectations. We distributed a questionnaire asking each party for their positions on key policy questions, and we will publish the responses as we receive them.

La'o Hamutuk is providing briefings on fundamental issues facing Timor-Leste, to help put the election in context. The briefing is a version of this presentation, and will be in English, free of charge to observers, journalists, and others who would like to understand the challenges Timor-Leste faces in transitioning from petroleum-export-dependency to sustainable, equitable development.

More than 30 people from 20 organizations came to the first briefing on 13 July. We will hold another on Tuesday, 18 July, from 3:00 to 5:00 pm at La’o Hamutuk’s office in Bebora, Dili. If you're interested but can't come at that time, please email laohamutuk@gmail.com and we may schedule another.

Hanoin molok ba vota! Whoever wins the election will decide and implement government policy for the next five years.