Timor-Leste Government takes positive steps to fight corruption,
The recent discovery of misappropriation of funds by Government
District Finance Officers has been met with a firm and serious
response by the Timor-Leste Government.
In February and March of 2004, two instances of misappropriation
of funds occurred. The funds, intended for community development
under the Community Empowerment Program (CEP) were instead appropriated
by the Finance Officers for the augmentation of some civil servant
The Minister of Planning and Finance, Madalena Boavida said today:
"It is disappointing that our own civil servants would steal
from the Government when we are faced with the difficult task
of nation building. We expect all civil servants to be dedicated
to our country's objectives, the most important being the alleviation
The Timor-Leste Government regards these actions as serious violations
and has suspended the officials from their duties, assigned the
Internal Audit Department to audit the operations of affected
districts over the past two years, and instructed The Treasury
to reassess established controls and practices to ensure effective
prevention of such offences.
It is anticipated that these measures will determine the extent
of any misappropriation not only for CEP but throughout CFET district
funds and provide the Government with the recourse to take further
Prime Minister Alkatiri has formally requested for an independent
investigation by the General Prosecutor, Longuinhos Monteiro,
and hopes that such actions by the Timor-Leste government will
act as a deterrent for any breach of trust by civil servants and
other employees in the public and private sectors in the future.
The entry into force of the Civil Service Act, will establish
standardized procedures for similar crimes and malpractices.
Prime Minister Alkatiri said: "It is desperately disappointing
to hear of such incidents when our country faces such enormous
challenges. It further strengthens my resolve to stamp out corruption.
It is the commitment of my Government to fight not only for the
reconstruction of this shattered nation but to build it on a foundation
of principles, transparency and the rule of law."