21 June 2011

Is China aiding Timor-Leste, or vice versa?

Yesterday, the Macauhub news service published East Timor signs agreements with China for aid and to boost cooperation.The article begins "The government of East Timor Friday in Dili signed two agreements with China for Chinese aid to Eat Timor’s development ..." and ends "In 2010 trade between China and East Timor totalled US$43.08 million, which was a year on year rise of 80 percent."

"Eat Timor" in the first sentence may be appropriate. The last sentence is more misleading.

Virtually the entire $43.08 million is partial payment for the ill-fated national electricity project that the government of Timor-Leste is buying from China Nuclear Industry 22nd Construction Company (CNI22).

According to the budget execution report, Timor-Leste spent $89,995,951 on the national electricity project during 2010. Of this, $40 million went to PT Puri Akraya Engineering (PAE, the Indonesian company to which the power stations were reassigned from CNI22 last September) on 30 December, and about $2 million went to ELC/Bonifica, the Italian joint venture which is supervising the construction. The remainder, minus a few thousand dollars in administrative costs, would have been paid to CNI22.

According to ELC/Bonifica, RDTL's payments to CNI22 during 2010 totalled $45.01 million.

If the Macauhub article is correct, there is no trade between Timor-Leste and China other than our Government's purchase of the electricity system from a Chinese company.

17 June 2011

LH submisaun kona-ba Lei Anti-Korupsaun

Iha loron 16 Junu, La'o Hamutuk fo submisaun ba Komisaun C, Parlamentu Nasional, kona-ba esbosu Lei Anti-Korupsaun. Ami nia pontu prinsipal hanesan ne'e:
  • Korupsaun parte husi Malisan Rekursu
  • Importansia atu estabelese padraun prevensaun ne’ebe maka’as.
  • Konflitu ba interese
  • Definisaun statutu Funsionariu Publiku la klaru.
  • Kodigu Penal tenke koresponde ba Lei Anti Korupsaun.
  • Lei bele foka liu ba korupsaun nivel altu duke korupsaun nivel kiik.
  • Komentariu ba artigu balun, inklui
  •    La limita masimu pena multa nian ka aumenta ba $100,000,000.
  •    Inklui "familia nukleu" iha artigu kona-ba Enriquecemento Illicito
  •    Hasai artigu fo prioridade ba kazu korupsaun iha tribunal
  •    Fo protesaun metin liu ba sasin no informador
  •    Fo sansaun makaas liu ba korupsaun sistematiku nian
  • Estadu iha direitu atu prende eransa koruptor.
  • Justisa sosial
Atu hetan informasaun tan, bele liga ba iha ne'e.

13 June 2011

LH husu Prezidente atu sura didiak risku no legalidade TimorGAP

Iha 25 Maiu, Konseilu Ministru Timor-Leste nian aprova Dekretu-Lei atu kria Kompania Mina-rai Nasional ho naran Timor GAP, EP (hodi troka naran PETRONATIL). Prezidente Jose Ramos-Horta tenke deside atu promulga ka veta ba Dekretu-Lei ne’e.

Iha nasaun seluk, kompania mina-rai estadu nian ne’e dala barak akompanha ho pratika anti-demokrasia no illegal, korupsaun, estragus ambiental no konsekuensia negative seluk-seluk. La’o Hamutuk fiar katak kria kompania mina-rai nasional sei fo impaktu ba futuru Timor-Leste no tenke halo ho kuidadu, no tuir maneira Konstitusional.

Tamba ne’e, ami hakerek karta ida ba Prezidente (Ingles) husu nia atu foti desizaun ne’ebe matenek ne’ebe sei benefisia povo Timor-Leste tomak no salvaguarda rekursu naun-renovavel ita nia nasaun nian. Ami nia karta ne’e akompania ho submisaun (Ingles) ne’ebe ami haruka ba Sekertariadu Estadu Rekursu Naturais iha Novembru tinan kotuk kona-ba esbosu tuan legislasaun ida ne’e, tamba ami seidauk hetan versaun final. Ami nia submisaun foti pontus importante sira hanesan tuir mai:
  • Kompania Mina-rai Nasional ne’e perigozu, no ita tenke aprende husi falansu no susesu husi rai seluk.
  • Kompania Mina-rai Nasional tenke estabelese husi lei Parlamentu, laos dekretu lei Governu nian.
  • Kompania Mina-rai Nasional tenke serve povo Timor-Leste.
  • Kompania Mina-rai Nasional tenke tuir regulamentu ba ajensia estadu nian.
  • Kompania Mina-rai Nasional presiza atu transparante no akuntavel.
  • Kompania Mina-rai Nasional tenke dezeinha atu prevene korupsaun.
  • Kompania Mina-rai Nasional labele hetan poder ne’ebe maka’as liu fali saida mak nia hakarak.
  • Kompania Mina-rai Nasional nia lukru tenke ba liu Fundu Petroleu, laos investe deit iha kompania.
  • Kompania Mina-rai Nasional labele hetan poder atu halo impresta ka fan asoens (bonds)/obligasi.
Tuir ligasaun ida ne’e atu hetan informasaun no analiza tan kona-ba asuntu ne’e.

09 June 2011

LH asks President to weigh TimorGAP's risks and legality

On 25 May, Timor-Leste's Council of Ministers approved a Decree-Law to create a national oil company (NOC) named Timor GAP, EP (the name has been changed from PETRONATIL). President Jose Ramos-Horta is deciding whether to promulgate or veto this Decree-Law.

In other countries, state-owned oil companies are often accompanied by anti-democratic or illegal practices, corruption, environmental destruction and other negative consequences. La'o Hamutuk believes that creating an NOC will impact on the future of Timor-Leste and must be done in a careful, Constitutional manner.

Therefore, we wrote a letter to the President (Tetum original) urging him to make a wise decision which will benefit all of Timor-Leste's people and safeguard our nation's non-renewable resources.  Our letter was accompanied by the submission we made to the State Secretariat for Natural Resources last November about an earlier draft of this legislation, although we have since obtained the version approved (Portuguese original) by the Council of Ministers. Our submission raised the following main points:
  • National oil companies are dangerous, and we should learn from failures as well as successes.
  • The NOC should be established by Parliamentary law, not decree-law.
  • The NOC should serve the people of Timor-Leste.
  • This Decree-Law must be written clearly.
  • The NOC should follow the rules for state agencies.
  • The NOC needs to be transparent and accountable.
  • The NOC should be designed to prevent corruption.
  • The NOC should not be given more power than it needs.
  • The NOC’s profits must be paid into the Petroleum Fund, not reinvested in the company.
  • The NOC should not be empowered to borrow or issue bonds.
Follow this link for more information and analysis about this issue.

07 June 2011

Audit confirms problems with electricity project

In April 2011, the Australian auditor Deloitte Touche Tomatsu presented a report on EDTL to the Prime Minister, who delivered it to Parliament on 27 May. Deloitte did not perform a financial audit, but reviewed a number of administrative and technical aspects of the current and future electricity supply in Timor-Leste and made about 50 recommendations.

Electricity will absorb 39% of Timor-Leste’s 2011 State Budget, and the Deloitte report increases transparency about this often-hidden sector. Although Deloitte states that its report is for the internal use of Government and Parliament, it contains essential information for Timor-Leste’s citizens, so La'o Hamutuk has scanned and translated it from Portuguese to English and posted it on our web site: scanned Portuguese original (6MB), Portuguese text (1MB), English text (1 MB) and English Executive Summary and Recommendations (0.1 MB)

The report covers EDTL’s activities from 2009 through September 2010, and discusses the agency’s administrative, financial, procurement, fuel, governance and maintenance problems, as well as how it interacts with the Ministry of Infrastructure, Pakote Referendum contractors and management contractor Manitoba Hydro.

Deloitte also reveals quite a bit about the heavy oil power plants and national electricity grid currently being built by Puri Akraya Engineering, Wartsila and Chinese Nuclear Industry No 22.

06 June 2011

Former Woodside rep blames their "blundering arrogance" for Sunrise impasse

La'o Hamutuk has just published Cowboys, Ogres and Donors: A Decade of Corporate Social Responsibility in Practice by Mandy White, who represented Woodside in Timor-Leste in 2007-2008. The paper sharply criticizes Woodside's "ogres at the helm" and "sycophantic senior staff" for taking a Public Relations approach to Social Responsibility, "not making even tokenistic efforts" to develop Timor-Leste. Whyte describes the company's "blundering arrogance" in the negotiations over the Greater Sunrise  oil and gas fields:  "Woodside steadfastly refused to regard the Timor-Leste Government as a partner in the development of the Sunrise fields, seemingly characterising them not only as a 'thorn in the side,' but also as devious and untrustworthy. ...  [D]riving forward to a final investment decision without the Timor-Leste Government demonstrates an arrogant lack of regard for the relationship."

Follow this link for information about the debate over Greater Sunrise.