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Decentralization Policy Issues and Challenges in Timor-Leste: A grassroots perspective

Decentralization Policy Issues and Challenges in Timor-Leste: A grassroots perspective. Satornino Amaral Local Governance Coordinator The Asia Foundation Timor-Leste samaral@asiafound.org. 2013 Timor-Leste Update 28-29 November 2013. Key Questions:. Why Decentralization ?
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Decentralization Policy Issues andChallenges in Timor-Leste:A grassroots perspectiveSatorninoAmaralLocal Governance Coordinator The Asia Foundation Timor-Leste samaral@asiafound.org2013 Timor-Leste Update28-29 November 2013Key Questions:
  • Why Decentralization?
  • What has the government done for decentralization?
  • What do people say about decentralization?
  • What are the recent political interventions?
  • What is the current situation?
  • 1. Why Decentralization? The main objectives are to:
  • Promote strong institutions, legitimate and stable state across the territory of Timor-Leste;
  • Promote opportunities for local participation;
  • Promote more effective, efficient and equitable public service delivery.
  • Outcome: a) Eradicate poverty throughout the national territory;b) Ensure environmental sustainability;c) Promote gender equalityLegal Framework RDTL Constitution
  • Article 5.1: The Principle of Administrative Decentralization as a fundamental aspect of the territorial organization of the State.
  • Article 63 –Political participation
  • Article 71 – Administrative Organizations
  • Article 72 – Local Government- Organization, Competencies, functions and the compositions of local government structure will be determine by law.
  • 2. What has the Government done? A. 1st – 3rd Constitutional Government (2002 – 2007)
  • Decentralization policy preparation – CM approved technical working group
  • Conducted study on local governance options study and
  • Approved decentralization strategic framework
  • B. 4th Constitutional Government (2007 – 2012)
  • Revised strategic frame work II;
  • CM approved draft laws and submitted to NP (on Administrative and Territorial Division, Local Government Law and Municipal Elections Law (not approved)
  • C. 5th Constitutional government (2012 – 2017)
  • Established SEDA and SEDL under MAE
  • Revised decentralization laws and drafted another 7 laws
  • Nationwide consultation
  • Drafted and Proposed laws under SEDA: 1. Law on Local Government and Administrative Decentralization 2. Law for Local Government Election 3. Law on Finance, Assets and Procurements
  • Revised Law on Territorial Division (Law n.º 11/2009, October 7, 2009)
  • 4. Law on Political Party
  • Decree Law on Pre Deconcentration approved by CM in August 2013
  • 5. Decree Law about Technical Support for Electoral Secretariat (STAE) 6. Decree Law on the Establishment of the Structure for the Installation of Municipals 7. Decree Law on the Status, Carrier and Remuneration of Public Servant of Local GovernmentLocal Administration model/options (Result of LGOS):
  • Status quo
  • Region or Province
  • Sub district with administration unit
  • Region and sub district aggregated (opted by I-III government)
  • District (opted by IV –V government)
  • Suco / Village
  • 3. What do people say about Decentralization? (main issues and challenges)Main concern/issues:
  • Nationwide RTM
  • Bringing government closer to people in remote area
  • Lack of human and financial resources
  • Potential corruption at sub national level
  • No gender inclusiveness in the law (women issue)
  • Joint Research with MAE on Status of Community Leaders
  • Direct relationship with municipality but not part of government structure
  • Advisory board to the municipality assembly
  • What do people say about Decentralization? (cont’d)Main Challenges:
  • Political Willingness and Perceptions:
  • Limited willingness to decentralize
  • Perceptions that local people lack capacity
  • Policy Formation:
  • Policy developed based on trial and error
  • Unclear criteria for the establishment of municipalities
  • 4. What are the recent political interventions?
  • The CM has approved pre – deconcentration decree law and submitted to the President’s Office for promulgation
  • TAF supported NDF which involves community leaders, district and national NGOs and other stakeholders and submitted a resolution to the Office of the President, CM, and SEDA
  • CM has sent back response to NDR resolution
  • President has sent back the Decree Law to CM office for review as result of NDF resolution
  • Piloting Administrative Decentralization: Decree Law on Pre-Deconcentration Structure (2014-2016 onward)5. What is the current situation?
  • Government (MAE – SEDA) is revising the DL on pre - deconcentration
  • Implementation of the Pre – Deconcentration will be done consecutively
  • The government is revising the law no. 11/2009 on territorial division (sent to CM)
  • The government is now about to revise also community leaders law (law no 3/2009)
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