On Tuesday, the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) handed over a range of ICT equipment to the Commission of Anti-Corruption (CAC). Replacing outdated operating systems and software, this support is expected to strengthen the institution’s digital capacity, especially in a time when most of the staff have to work remotely from home.
This initiative is part of the institutional capacity development and COVID-19 response within the EU-UNDP Project Pro-PALOP. The project aims to strengthen the effective governance of the Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa and Timor-Leste that share similar legislative frameworks. For CAC, the project assists the development of the Anti-Corruption Strategy and outreach campaigns to prevent corruption, along with the ICT support.
CAC is a relatively new institution in Timor-Leste (established in 2010) and faces an increasing role in monitoring the state resources. Along with other oversight institutions, the CAC’s role in preventing and combating corruption has been highlighted since the adoption of the Anti-Corruption Law in 2020. The ICT support is thus regarded as highly timely and relevant to CAC.
In the event, EU Ambassador Andrew Jacobs highlighted the importance of CAC’s core functions and mandate and this support as being “a clear signal of the EU’s commitment to the rule of law, transparency and the strengthening of democratic and economic governance in Timor Leste”.
The UNDP in Timor-Leste has supported the CAC since its inception stage by providing training to the workforce. Recent UNDP support to CAC has been focusing on the prevention aspect, such as developing an anti-corruption diagnostic assessment, training manuals, and conducting outreach campaigns for both the civil servants and the public.
The EU also provides support to CAC, as well as to other vital institutions for the supervision of budget transparency, through the Public Finance Management and Oversight support programme - PFMO, which aims to strengthen the capacity of Timorese budget supervising bodies (CAC, PCIC, National Parliament, General Inspection Office, Chamber of Accounts), ensuring that they are able to perform independently and effectively their functions and mandates. PFMO also supports media and civil society organizations.