The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation H.E. Dionisio Babo Soares and the Ambassador of the European Union to Timor-Leste H.E. Andrew Jacobs signed a financing agreement to launch a new programme to supporting the Deconcentration and Decentralisation process in Timor-Leste.
The new initiative will contribute to the sustainable development of Timor-Leste by bringing governance, public administration and services closer to the people, with special attention given to the needs and priorities of people living in vulnerable situations.
USD 12.2 million of the total programme funding of 16.5 million USD will be provided through direct budget support to the Timorese treasury, and the balance will be for supporting measures.
The EU funded initiative, anchored in Timor-Leste’s decentralisation strategy, will support the Government’s processes of deconcentration and administrative decentralisation, particularly in relation to the strengthening of local authorities, including the revision of the legal framework for the organisation and functioning of municipal cipal administrations.
Supporting measures will be implemented by the UNDP. This technical assistance component will support the National Parliament, in particular Committee A for Constitutional Affairs, Justice, Public Administration, Local Power and Anti-Corruption, and Committee C for Public Finance. Informed discussions on the decentralisation process will be organised with the public, thus ensuring that those affected have a say in how it is rolled out. The UNDP will also provide support to improve the capacity of local authorities to deliver public services and to develop a Municipal Portal and computer-based modular courses for public servants.
Andrew Jacobs, Ambassador of the European Union to Timor-Leste pointed out: “Today we launch the third European Union budget support programme in Timor-Leste. The overall objective of the decentralisation programme is to contribute to Timor-Leste's sustainable development, while in the medium term it support the implementation of Government’s decentralisation policy, bringing governance, public administration and services closer to the Timorese people. European Union support aims to improve institutional and legal frameworks at the local level, improving the capacity of municipalities around the country to better serve the population, empower women, and improve procurement procedures and service delivery.
The deconcentration and decentralisation programme will result in improved Local Governance, a strengthened financial autonomy of local authorities, higher competitiveness of Municipalities and improved socio-economic cohesion. Budget support will be paid in five annual tranches to the Timor-Leste State Budget between 2020 and 2024.