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Enfrenta problema finansial temporáriu
Confronting the temporary cash flow problem

12 July 2018. Updated 27 September 2018

Contents of this page

Konteúdu pájina ida ne’e


Due to the failure to secure a working Parliamentary majority, the Seventh Constitutional Government was unable to enact a state budget for 2018. Consequently, state operations since January 2018 have been paid for under the "duodecimal" system described in Article 31 of Budget and Financial Management Law no. 13/2009. This system allows monthly expenditures equal to one-twelfth of the amount on each budget appropriation line from the previous year.

La'o Hamutuk has written about this on our 2017 State Budget and Petroleum Fund web pages. At the beginning of 2018, we estimated that the $290 million in the State Treasury would be able to finance state operations for four to six months.

The duodecimal system does not permit transferring money from the Petroleum Fund (PF) to the State Treasury without authorization from Parliament, as required by Articles 7 and 8 of Petroleum Fund Law no. 9/2005. Nevertheless, the Government directed the Central Bank to transfer $70 million in May so that the state would not run out of money just before the election. No additional transfers have been made.

The duodecimal system will remain in effect until Government and Parliament enact, and the President promulgates, a General State Budget Law (GSB) for 2018, which may not happen until September or later. However, by early July the treasury balance had dropped to $20 million, barely enough to pay for state activities for one week. Government and National Parliament (NP) began hasty action to avert this "crisis."


Iha tinan 2017, Governu Konstitusionál VII la konsege asegura maioria iha Parlamentu. Ho razaun ne’e, Parlamentu mós labele funsiona hodi aprova Orsamentu Jerál Estadu ba 2018. Tan ne’e, governu aplika sistema duodésimu bazeia ba artigu 31 iha Lei Orsamentu no Jestaun Finanseiru no.13/2009 hanesan meius ida hodi finansia mákina estadu kada fulan. Sistema duodésimu mak sistema ida ne’ebé fo dalan ba Governu atu uza 1/12 montante osan husi  orsamentu tinan kotuk kada fulan ida.

La’o Hamutuk hakerek kona-ba asuntu ne'e iha ami nia pajina web kona-ba Orsamentu Estadu 2017 no Fundu Petrolifeiru.  La’o Hamutuk halo estimatizasaun iha inísiu 2018 katak, osan tokon $290 mak sei iha Tezouru Estadu, no osan ne’e bele uza de’it ba gastu estadu durante fulan neen de’it.

Sistema duodésimu la fó dalan ba Estadu atu transfere osan husi Fundu Petrolíferu (FP) ba Tezouru Estadu, bazeia ba Lei Fundu Petrolíferu no.  9/2005 artigu 7 no 8. Atu prevene osan laiha molok eleisaun, Governu Dahituk husu Banku Sentrál atu transfere tokon $70 iha fulan Maiu. Dezde ida ne’e, transferénsia foun seidauk halo.

Sistema duodésimu ida ne’e, sei válidu até Governu no Parlamentu aprova Lei ba Orsamentu Jerál Estadu (OJE) 2018, ne’ebé karik sei aprova iha fulan rua tuirmai ne’e. Agora daudaun, balansu osan iha Tezouru Estadu tun ba tokon $20 de’it, la too atu selu liu semana ida. Governu no Parlamentu hahu atividade lalais atu prevene "krize" ida ne'e.

Proposed Parliamentary revision to laws

After the new Parliament and Government took office in June, Government discussed a new Parliamentary law to revise the Petroleum Fund Law and the Budget and Financial Management Law to permit transfers from the PF under the duodecimal system.  However, this proposed law goes far beyond the immediate need, authorizing new loans and failing to specify the amount which can be transferred. It was not circulated publicly and, as of this writing, neither La'o Hamutuk nor any other civil society group has been asked for input. When we visited Parliament on 9 July, very few Members knew anything about it.

Nevertheless, La'o Hamutuk analyzed the draft law and wrote a submission to NP on it, which is summarized below. The main points of our submission are:

  • This proposed law goes too far too fast.

  • The cash flow emergency can be addressed with existing law.

  • Petroleum Fund transfers should obey duodecimal principles.

  • Revising the Budget and Financial Management Law should be done more carefully.

  • It is time to stop playing politics and move ahead to serve the citizens of this country.

After receiving our submission, Parliament Committee C received La'o Hamutuk at its meeting on 18 July, where we discussed it and responded to Parliamentarians' questions.

Although the Council of Ministers had approved a different version of the proposed law on 11 July, it had not yet been circulated to the MPs. They and we received a packet including the text (also scanned Portuguese with signatures and marginal notes) on the following day.

Proposta revizaun lei iha Parlamentu Nasional

Hafoin Governu VIII no Parlamentu V simu kargu iha fulan Juñu, Parlamentu Nasional hahú konsidera proposta lei atu muda Lei Fundu Petrolíferu no Lei ba Orsamentu no Jestaun Finanseira (LOGF). Maibé proposta ne’e halo ho ansi no hakat luan liu fali saida mak nasaun agora ne’e presiza. Proposta revizaun lei hirak ne’e fó autorizasaun ba deve foun sira, no iha proposta ne’e Governu la fornese osan montante espesífiku hira mak bele transfere husi Fundu Petrolíferu. Alende ne’e, proposta Lei ida ne’e la fó sai ba públiku, no seidauk hetan konsultasaun públiku. Ami vizita Parlamentu iha loron 9 fulan Jullu foin lalais, maibé Deputadu/a hira de’it mak hetan informasaun nato’on kona-ba ida ne’e.

Maski la iha prosesu konsultasaun formál, La’o Hamutuk analiza ona ezbosu lei ida ne’e, no ami hakerek ona submisaun ba Parlamentu Nasionál, ne’ebé sumariza iha kraik. Ami nia pontu prinsipál mak ne'e:

  1. Proposta lei ida ne’e ansi liu no luan liu.

  2. Emerjénsia fluxu-osan (cash flow) nian bele rezolve uza lei atuál.

  3. Transferénsia husi Fundu Petrolíferu tenke tuir prinsipiu duodésimu.

  4. Revizaun ba Lei ba Orsamentu no Jestaun Finanseira presiza tetu ho kuidadu.

  5. Oras to’o ona atu para halimar ho polítika no hakat ba oin hodi serbí povu iha rai ida ne’e.

Hafoin Komisaun C hetan ami nia submisaun, sira simu La'o Hamutuk atu mai atu halo audiensia iha loron 18 Julhu. Iha audiensia ida ne'e, ami diskute asuntu sira, no responde ba pergunta hirak ne'ebe husu husi Deputadu/a sira.

Maske Konsellu Ministru aprova tiha ona versaun ida diferente husi  proposta lei, durante audiensia ho Komisaun C, sira hatoo katak proposta ne'ebe aprova husi Konsellu Ministru iha loron 11 Jullu seidauk sirkula entre Deputada/u sira. Iha loron tuir mai hafoin audiensia, loron 19 Jullu, ami foin simu pakote ida (Portugés ka Ingles).

Legislation for extraordinary transfer passed

The draft law (with explanatory materials) which was referred to Parliament's Committee on Public Finances (C) on 19 July is consistent with La'o Hamutuk's recommendations. It asks Parliament to authorize a $140 million extraordinary transfer from the Petroleum Fund to cover July and August, but makes no changes to the Petroleum Fund Law or the Budget and Financial Management Law.  Government also provided an updated, audited figure for the Estimated Sustainable Income for 2018: $550.4 million.

Also on 19 July, the Central Bank published its end-of-June balance sheet, showing that the Treasury contained $38.8 million. However, the proposed legislation describes a balance of $20 million, barely enough for one week's worth of expenditures.

On Friday, 20 July, Parliament scheduled an extraordinary plenary session to discuss this proposed law. Committee C presented a report supporting urgent discussion of the issue. MPs argued strongly for and against urgency, and heard explanations by Minister Fidelis Magalhaes and Vice-Minister Sara Lobo Brites.

Fretilin and PD argued that this bill was unnecessary and not urgent, a position consistent with the $70m transfer that the VII government had made from the Petroleum Fund in May. AMP defended that the Petroleum Fund Law requires Parliamentary approval of any transfer not specified in an Annual State Budget, as well as notification of Parliament of the ESI for the current year. Three hours later, the Plenary voted on party lines to take up the bill with urgency and broke for lunch and to give Committee C more time to work.

The plenary reconvened at 5:00 pm and received a second report from Committee C recommending passage of the bill. After two hours of more partisan squabbling, the Deputadus approved the bill in generality, recessed briefly for snacks and dinner, argued the same issues for another hour (no amendments were proposed), and voted final approval of the law at 10:15 pm. Every vote of the day was along party lines; the last one was 36 in favor (AMP), 25 opposed (Fretilin and PD), and three abstentions (small parties).

Following technical editing, Parliament sent this proposed law to President Lu-Olo for promulgation on 23 July. He asked the Court of Appeals for an advisory opinion, and on 8 August, they concluded that the law was Constitutional, although Judge Maria Natercia Gusmão wrote that it is unnecessary and illegal. The President promulgated it as Law No. 1/2018 of 10 August, and $140 million was transferred later that month.

In the meantime, the Government has presented its proposal for a State Budget for 2018, which Parliament approved on 7 September and the President promulgated on 27 September.

The Ministry of Finance has begun preparing the State Budget for 2019.

Lei foun autoriza transferénsia estraordináriu

Proposta lei, ho espozisaun ba motivu no informasaun seluk, ne’ebé sirkula ba PN iha loron 19 Jullu hanesan ami nia sujestaun. Nia husu PN atu autoriza transferénsia husi Fundu Petrolifeiru ho montante tokon $140 atu kobre Jullu no Agosto, maibé la halo revizaun ba Lei FP no LOGF. Governu mós atualiza Rendimentu Sustentável Estimadu ba 2018: tokon $550.4.

Iha loron 19 Jullu, Banku Sentrál publika sira nia relatóriu saldu ba fulan Juñu, ne’ebé hatudu katak Tezouru iha tokon $38.8. Maske nune’e, esplikasaun ba proposta lei dehan saldu mak tokon $20 de'it, la too ba semana rua.

Iha Sesta 20 Jullu, Parlamentu hahú plenária estraordináriu atu diskute kona-ba proposta lei ida ne’e. Komisaun C aprezenta relatóriu hodi suporta diskusaun ne’e nudár urjénsia ida. Membru Parlamentu sira debate kontra no a favór sobre kestaun ne’e urjente kala’e, no rona mós esplikasaun husi Ministru Fidelis Magalhães no Vise Ministra Sara Lobo Brites.

Fretilin no PD diskute katak proposta ida ne’e la urjénsia no ladún nesesária, no mantén sira nia pozisaun konsistente ho transferénsia tokon $70 ba governu VII ne’ebé foti tiha ona husi Fundu Petrolíferu iha Maiu. AMP defende katak transferénsia presiza hetan aprova husi Parlamentu kona-ba ho nia montante bazeia ba Orsamentu Estadu Annual iha tinan kotuk, no mós bazeia ba notifikasaun husi RSE ba tinan ida ne’e. Hafoin oras tolu, Plenária vota duni tuir liña partidáriu hodi foti duni proposta ida ne’e hanesan asuntu urjénsia no hafoin han meiudia no fó ba Komisaun C tempu atu servisu liu tan kona-ba ida ne’e.

Plenária ne’e hahú fali tuku 5 lokraik no simu segundu relatóriu husi Komisaun C ne’ebé rekomenda pasajem husi proposta ida ne’e. Hafoin oras rua debate kontinua nafatin, deputadu sira aprova jerálmente de’it, no deskansa hodi han snack no han-kalan, hafoin ne’e, durante oras ida sira diskute nafatin kona-ba asuntu hanesan (laiha levantamentu kona-ba alterasaun ruma), no finalmente vota hodi aprova lei iha tuku 10:15 kalan. Vota hirak ne’e tuir bazeia tuir liña partidu de’it; ikus liu mak 36 a favór (AMP), 25 kontra (Fretilin no PD), no tolu abstensaun (partidu ki’ik sira).

Parlamentu Nasional halo revizaun tekniku no lori lei ne’e ba iha Prezidente da Repúblika atu hetan promulgasaun iha dia 23.

Liu tiha semana ida, dia 31 Jullu Parlamentu Nasional hetan Notifikasaun husi Tribunal rekursu atu fó sira nia pozisaun ba Prezidente Repúblika nia pedidu atu halo fiskalizasaun preventiva ba proposta lei ne'e. Prezidente da Repúblika fó loron 10 atu fó legalidade husi proposta lei ida ne'e. Tribunal verifika katak lei ne'e konsistente ho Konstituisaun RDTL, no Prezidente da Repúblika promulga Lei No. 1/2018 iha loron 10 fulan Agostu.

Durante tempu hanesan, Governu proposta Orsamentu Jeral Estadu ba 2018 ba Parlamentu Nasional, no PN aprova iha loron 7 Setembru no Prezidente Republika promulga ona iha loron 27 fulan Setembru.

La'o Hamutuk Analysis of earlier version

The following is a slightly abridged version of La'o Hamutuk's submission on the earlier version of the law (with links added). You can download the complete submission as a PDF file here.  We also summarized it in a press release. The NGO Forum and Core Group on Transparency issued their own press release (Tetum).

Submission to Timor-Leste National Parliament
from La'o Hamutuk
on the Proposed Revision to the Petroleum Fund Law
and the Budget and Financial Management Law

11 July 2018

National Parliament is about to consider a proposed law which would revise Petroleum Fund Law no. 9/2005 and Budget and Financial Management Law no. 13/2009 to address an urgent cash flow situation. Although La’o Hamutuk has not been asked for input, we are providing this submission in an effort to help Timor-Leste enact better legislation, and to preserve the strong, effective system already in place to manage the nation’s petroleum wealth and state budget for the interests of all of Timor-Leste’s people.

Analiza husi La'o Hamutuk ba verzaun sedu liu

Tuir mai, ita habadak uitoan ita nia submisaun kona-ba verzaun sedu liu, no aumenta ho links. Bele download LH nia submisaun tomak iha ne'e.  Ami mos sumariza iha komunikadu imprensa. FONGTIL no CGT mos halo komunikadu imprensa ida.

Submisaun ba Parlamentu Nasionál Timor-Leste
Husi La’o Hamutuk
Kona-ba Proposta Revizaun ba Lei Fundu Petrolíferu
no Lei ba Orsamentu no Jestaun Finanseira

11 Jullu 2018

Parlamentu Nasionál (PN), iha tempu badak ne’e, atu konsidera  proposta lei ida ne’ebé sei halo revizaun ba Lei Fundu Petrolíferu no. 9/2005 no Lei ba Orsamentu no Jestaun Finanseira no. 13/2009, atu hasoru situasaun urjente fluxu-osan (cash flow) nian. Maski La’o Hamutuk seidauk hetan konvite hodi fahe sujestaun ruma, ami oferese submisaun ida ne’e atu ajuda Timor-Leste hodi hadi’ak liután lejizlasaun ne’e, no hametin liután sistema forte no efetivu ne’ebé eziste tiha ona hodi jere nasaun nia rikusoin petrolíferu no orsamentu estadu nian ba interese povu Timoroan tomak.

This proposed law goes too far too fast.

The proposed law would revise two of the most fundamental pillars of Timor-Leste’s fiscal management system. Although it is meant to address a temporary, imminent cash flow problem caused by the absence of a 2018 General State Budget (GSB) and the lack of Parliamentary authorization for transfers from the Petroleum Fund (PF), the hasty, non-consultative process by which it has been proposed and enacted will have far-reaching consequences. It would be better to solve the immediate problem for FY 2018, and to leave longer-lasting structural changes in Timor-Leste’s legal framework for more thoughtful, consultative deliberation during the next few years.

It is clear that the duodecimal system defined in Article 31 of the Budget and Financial Management Law (BFM) did not anticipate a situation where a GSB Law has not been enacted more than halfway through the year. Although revisions to the BFM Law may be appropriate in the future, Parliament has a five-year mandate in which to do that.

At the moment, Parliament has many pressing matters to consider, including the GSB Laws for 2018 and 2019, the Maritime Boundary Treaty, and other draft laws which have been pending for more than a year. We doubt that the distinguished Deputies, many of whom have just been elected for the first time, will be able to give appropriate attention and consideration to the revision of these two fundamental laws.

To address the current cash flow emergency, National Parliament (NP) should authorize a specific transfer from the PF to enable the duodecimal system to continue until a 2018 GSB can be enacted into law. This pressing need should not be made more complicated than it needs to be, and there is no need to revise the PF Law.

Everyone in Timor-Leste is proud of our effective and transparent system for managing petroleum revenues and state finances, and this system should only be changed in a transparent, thoughtful way, with input from civil society, academia, the PF Consultative Council and others. Committee C should conduct a public hearing and issue a report after hearing various points of view.

This proposed law would transfer some of Parliament’s legal authority to the Government. We hope that Parliament is cautious about surrendering its Constitutional powers so readily, especially when you have just received a mandate from the voters and the Government is still being formed. Please do not let partisan or political maneuvers interfere with your duty to create and protect fundamental laws to safeguard the people’s wealth.

Proposta lei ida ne’e ansi liu no luan liu.

Proposta lei ida ne’e sei halo revizaun ba pilár fundamental husi Timor-Leste nia sistema jestaun fiskál. Nia intensaun atu rezolve kedas problema fluxu-osan temporáriu, ne’ebé rezulta husi orsamentu jerál estadu (OJE) ba tinan 2018 laiha no PN seidauk autoriza transferénsia husi Fundu Petrolíferu (FP). Maski nune’e, prosesu ne’ebé ansi no hakarak lalais, ne’ebé laiha konsultasaun bainhira propoin no finaliza bele iha konsekuénsia ladi’ak iha tempu naruk. Di’ak liu rezolve uluk mak problema imediatu tinan 2018 nian de’it, no iha tinan hirak oinmai mak halo mudansa estruturál iha Timor-Leste nia enkuadramentu legal sira atu bele iha diskusaun no konsultasaun ne'ebé kle’an molok halo desizaun.

Klaru katak sistema duodésimu ne’ebé define iha artigu 31 husi Lei ba Orsamentu no Jestaun Finanseira (LOJF) la antisipa situasaun bainhira lei Orsamentu Jerál Estadu (OJE) seidauk promulga iha tinan sorin balun nia laran. Maski revizaun ba LOJF sei bele vale iha futuru, PN iha mandatu tinan lima atu servisu ba ida ne’e.

Agora daudaun, PN iha asuntu importante barak atu konsidera, inklui Lei OJE ba 2018 no 2019, Tratadu Fronteira Maritima, no ezbosu lei hirak ne’ebé adia liu tinan ida ona. Ami duvida katak, distintu Deputadu sira, inklui hirak ne’ebé foin eleitu foin lalais ne’e, bele fó atensaun no konsiderasaun nesesáriu ba lei fundamental rua ne’e.

Atu rezolve problema fluxu-osan atuál nian, PN presiza autoriza transferénsia espesífiku ida husi FP atu fó dalan ba sistema duodésimu atu kontinua to’o OJE 2018 bele tama en vigór. Kazu ida ne’e la presiza halo komplikadu no la presiza halo revizaun ba Lei FP.

Ema hotu iha Timor-Leste sente orgullu ba sistema jestaun rendimentu petrolíferu no finansas estadu nian ne'ebé efetivu no transparente, no bainhira atu halo mudansa ba sistema ida ne’e presiza tetu didi’ak, iha baze transparénsia, no hanoin lisuk husi sosiedade sivíl, akadémiku, Konsellu Konsultativu FP no seluk tan. Komisaun C tenke halo audiénsia públiku no fó sai relatóriu depois rona entidade hotu nia hanoin.

Proposta lei ida ne’e sei transfere autoridade legal PN nian balu ba Governu. Ami espera katak PN tenke hanoin didi’ak molok rende ninia podér Konstitusionál nune’e de’it, liuliu bainhira Ita-Boot sira foin simu mandatu Konstitusionál husi votante sira no Governu sei iha hela prosesu formasaun. Favor ida, keta husik interese partidu no manobra polítika interfere Ita-Boot sira nia responsabilidade atu kria no proteje lei fundamentu hirak ne’ebé proteje povu ida ne’e nia rikusoin.

The cash flow emergency can be addressed with existing law.

The depletion of the State Treasury has been foreseen since before the President of the Republic dissolved National Parliament last January. Unfortunately, no action was taken to authorize transfers from the Petroleum Fund to finance state operations during the first several months of 2018 when there would be no GSB. Last October, when NP decided not to consider the proposed 2017 Budget Rectification, it was clear that there would not be a GSB for 2018 and that an extended period of duodecimal finance would follow. La’o Hamutuk’s analysis, released last January, was that there was only enough money in the treasury to support state operations for four to six months.

In May, the Ministry of Finance directed the Central Bank to transfer $70 million from the PF to the Treasury. Although this was done, its legal basis is dubious. If Parliament had been in session, this could have been resolved by Parliament authorizing the transfer, but the election was imminent and no political party was ready to take responsibility for freezing state operations, so the money was transferred. However, now that a new Government and Parliament are in office, Timor-Leste should return to the rule of law.

We agree that NP should quickly authorize an extraordinary transfer from the PF to address the current cash flow problem until a 2018 budget can be adopted. However, a variant of article 3.1 of the proposed law is sufficient to authorize such a transfer, which can be done in compliance with articles 7 and 8 of the Petroleum Fund Law. The other articles in this proposed law should be deleted, and there is no pressing need to revise either the PF Law or the BFM Law.

Emerjénsia fluxu-osan (cash flow) nian bele rezolve uza lei atuál.

Antes Prezidente disolve Parlamentu, ita bele haree ona katak Orsamentu iha Tezouru Estadu sei tun maka’as. Infelizmente, laiha asaun ruma mak mosu atu autoriza transferénsia husi FP atu finansia estadu nia operasaun iha fulan hirak dahuluk tinan 2018 nian maski sei laiha orsamentu estadu. Iha fulan Outubru tinan kotuk, bainhira PN deside atu la konsidera proposta Orsamentu Retifikativu 2017 nian, klaru ona katak sei laiha OJE ba 2018 no periodu finansa ba duodésimu nian sei hanaruk tan. Analiza husi La’o Hamutuk ne'ebé fó sai iha fulan Janeiru tinan ida ne’e hatudu katak, osan iha Tezouru Estadu natoon de’it atu sustenta operasaun estadu nian durante fulan haat to’o fulan neen nia laran.

Iha fulan Maiu Ministru Finansas fó pedidu ba Banku Sentrál atu transfere tokon $70 husi FP ba Tezouru estadu. Banku transfere duni, maski asaun ida ne’e ho baze legal ne’ebé ladún klaru. Se Parlamentu iha sesaun ka plenária tempu ne’ebá kazu ida ne’e bele rezolve tanba PN bele autoriza transferénsia ida ne’e, maibé eleisaun antesipada atu akontese no laiha partidu polítika maka prontu hodi foti responsabilidade atu hapara Estadu nia operasaun. Maibé, tanba agora iha ona Governu no PN foun ne'ebé hahú servisu ona, Timor-Leste tenke fila fali ba estadu de direitu.

Ami konkorda katak PN presiza halo autorizasaun lalais ba transferénsia estraordináriu husi FP ba Tezouru Estadu atu rezolve problema fluxu-osan to’o orsamentu 2018 adopta. Maibé, mudansa iha artigu 3.1 de’it iha proposta lei ne’e natoon ona hodi autoriza transferénsia ne’e, ne'ebé bele halo tuir nafatin artigu 7 no 8 ba Lei Fundu Petrolíferu nian. Artigu sira seluk iha proposta lei ne’e la presiza ona, no laiha urjénsia atu halo revizaun ba Lei FP no LOJF.

Petroleum Fund transfers should obey duodecimal principles.

The proposed law would allow withdrawals up to the ESI for 2018, which has not been estimated for nearly two years and was never certified by an independent auditor as required by PF Law Article 8(c). It asks PN to authorize a transfer without saying how much money is to be authorized.

In order for this transfer to be enabled in an efficient and straightforward way, La’o Hamutuk suggests that the number included in the 2017 GSB as the ESI for 2018 – $475.1 million – be specified in this law. If the Ministry of Finance has the capacity to produce a new estimate for 2018 ESI and get it certified by an external auditor before PN debates this proposed law, that number could replace the $475.1 million figure, but the discussion below is based on the earlier number. PN should not authorize a withdrawal from the PF in general terms – the specific amount should be written into this law.

Table from Book 1, Approved 2017 State Budget, page 55

Furthermore, the withdrawals should be authorized on a monthly basis, according to the guiding duodecimal principle. In other words, if the total ESI for 2018 is $475.1 million, one-twelfth of that amount – $39.6 million – should be authorized to be withdrawn each month, calculated as follows, in millions of U.S. dollars:

The proposed law has retroactive effect from 1 January 2018. Therefore, by the end of July, withdrawals totaling $277.1 million (seven-twelfths of ESI) would have been authorized. Since $70 million was already withdrawn in May, a transfer of $207.1 million could be made in July, to be followed by $39.6 million in each succeeding month until the 2018 Budget comes into effect.

This would avoid the immediate cash flow crisis and could finance government operations until the end of 2018, although we hope that Government and Parliament will enact a 2018 Budget Law before then:

In this table, numbers in black with gray background are actual data from the Transparency Portal and monthly Pro-Forma Balance Sheets from the Central Bank. The green italicized numbers, for revenues and expenditures, are based on the monthly average of executed income and expenditure during the second quarter of 2018. Blue numbers are La’o Hamutuk’s proposed transfers from the Petroleum Fund, as described above. The brown underlined numbers for the end-of-month treasury balance are calculated by adding monthly income and transfers, and subtracting expenditures, from the balance at the end of the previous month.

If the Ministry of Finance re-estimates the ESI for 2018 based on more recent data, it will probably be higher than the $475.1 million estimated in October 2016. However, if the Government wants to spend money much faster than it did during the last quarter, it should move expeditiously to enact a GSB for 2018, with not only a new ESI estimate but with new budget lines for the costs of all state activities during this year, as well as whether it needs to withdraw more than the ESI benchmark from the Petroleum Fund.

Government has always informed PN of the amount to be withdrawn from the Petroleum Fund before PN discusses, revises and approves the annual Budget Law. The Budget Law includes specific numbers for the amounts to be withdrawn within and beyond ESI. Although Article 8 of the Petroleum Fund law requires only that Government inform PN of ESI (with supporting documentation) prior to a transfer being executed, every Government in Timor-Leste’s history has provided this information to Parliament as part of its request to authorize transferring from the Petroleum Fund, and that precedent should be followed in this case.

Parliament should not write the government a blank check, with the amount to be filled in later. This would be a serious infringement on Parliamentary authority, the Petroleum Fund system, and the exclusive responsibility of PN to oversee the State Budget system, as defined in Constitution Articles 95.2(q) and 145.

Transferénsia husi Fundu Petrolíferu tenke tuir prinsipiu duodésimu.

Proposta lei ne’e fó fatin hodi foti osan to’o Rendimentu Sustentável Estimativa (RSE) ba 2018, ne’ebé seidauk estimatiza besik tinan rua ona no nunka hetan sertifikasaun husi auditór independente hanesan Lei Fundu Petrolíferu artigu 8(c) rekere. Proposta lei ne’e husu katak Parlamentu autoriza transferénsia sein dehan osan hira mak hetan autorizasaun.

Atu fó dalan ne’ebé efisiente no la komplikadu ba prosesu transferénsia ida-ne’e, La’o Hamutuk sujere katak iha lei ida-ne’e, bele hatama montante ne’ebé inklui iha Orsamentu Estadu 2017 hanesan RSE ba tinan 2018 -- tokon $475.1. Se Ministériu Finansas iha kapasidade atu prodús estimasaun foun ba RSE 2018 hodi nune’e auditor esternál bele sertifika molok Parlamentu debate proposta lei ida ne’e, númeru foun husi Ministeriu Finansas ne’e bele troka númeru tokon $475.1, maibé diskusaun iha okos sei bazeia ba númeru dahuluk (tokon $475.1). Parlamentu labele autoriza foti osan husi Fundu Petrolíferu (FP) ho jerál de’it – presiza hatama montante espesífiku iha lei ne’e.

Tabela husi Livru 1, Orsamentu Estadu 2017 Aprovadu, pájina 52.

Tuir prinsípiu duodésimu, prosesu foti osan husi FP tenke hetan autorizasaun ba kada fulan. Nune’e, se totál husi RSE ba 2018 hamutuk tokon $475.1, entaun 1/12 husi montante ne’e – tokon $39.6 – mak montante ne’ebé tenke hetan autorizasaun atu foti sai husi FP kada fulan, hanesan kalkula iha okos, ho tokon dolar Amerikanu:

2018 RSE iha OJE 2017 $475.1
Alokasaun kada fulanx 1/12$39.6
Fulan hitu (Janeiru to’o Jullu)x 7$277.1
Montante transfere ona iha Maiu -$70.0
Osan restu ba transferénsia Jullu nian $207.1

Proposta lei ida ne’e sei iha aplika retroativu (bele uza antes loron lei ne’e hetan aprovasaun) hahú husi 1 Janeiru 2018. Nune’e, iha fulan Jullu nia rohan, totál osan ne’ebé bele hetan autorizasaun ona atu foti husi FP mak tokon $277.1 (7/12 husi RSE). Tanba osan tokon $70 foti tiha ona husi FP iha fulan Maiu, transferénsia husi FP tokon $207.1 sei bele halo iha fulan Jullu, no iha kada fulan tuirmai bele foti tokon $39.6 to’o Orsamentu Estadu nian ba 2018 adopta ona.

Ida ne’e bele prevene krize fluxu-osan imediatu no bele asegura osan ba operasaun estadu nian to’o 2018 nia rohan, maski ami espera katak molok ne’e Governu no PN sei aprova Lei OJE ba 2018 nian:


Iha tabela ne’e, númeru iha metan no kór abuabu iha kotuk mak data atuál ne’ebé foti husi Portál Transparénsia no Pájina Balansu Pro-Forma sira husi Banku Sentrál. Númeru iha italics ho kór matak mak rendimentu no despeza, bazeia ba média (rata-rata) mensál nian husi gastu rendimentu no despeza durante trimestre daruak iha 2018. Númeru sira ho kór azúl mak númeru ne’ebé La’o Hamutuk propoin atu uza ba transferénsia husi FP ne’ebé esplika kle’an ona iha leten. Númeru kór mean ho subliña mak balansu tezouru fulan rohan nian ne’ebé kalkula hahú ho balansu fulan kotuk nian, aumenta tan reseita no transferénsia sira, no hamenus despeza sira.

Se Ministériu Finansas halo estimatizaun foun ba RSE ba tinan 2018 bazeia ba data atuál liu, númeru ne’e bele aas liu tokon $475.1 ne’ebé sai nudár estimasaun iha Outubru 2016. Maski nune’e, se Governu hakarak gasta lalais kompara ho trimestre liubá, presiza halo asaun ho lalais atu promulga Orsamentu Jerál Estadu ba tinan 2018, la’ós de’it ho RSE foun, maibé mós tenke inklui liña orsamentais foun ba estadu nia gastu ba atividade tinan ida ne’e, no mós karik presiza foti osan ho montante aas liu husi FP kompara ho RSE.

Governu sempre informa Parlamentu kona-ba montante ne’ebé sira hakarak foti husi FP molok Parlamentu diskute, halo revizaun no aprova Lei OJE anuál. Lei ida ne’e rasik inklui númeru espesífiku sira ba montante ne’ebé bele foti tuir RSE no ne’ebé liu tiha RSE. Maski artigu 8 husi Lei Fundu Petrolíferu nia rekerimentu ba transferénsia katak Governu presiza informa Parlamentu kona-ba RSE de’it (ho dokumentu sira ne’ebé suporta ida ne’e) antes halo transferénsia, Governu hotu iha Timor-Leste nia istória sempre fornese informasaun ida ne’e hanesan parte ida husi pedidu antes hetan autorizasaun ba transferénsia husi FP. Iha kazu ida-ne’e, presiza banati tuir nafatin buat ne'ebé governu uluk sira halo ona.

Parlamentu nunka bele hakerek xeke (cheque) mamuk ba governu, no prienxe montante depois. Ida ne’e violasaun sériu ba Parlamentu nia autoridade, sistema Fundu Petrolíferu, no Parlamentu nia responsabilidade esklusivu atu tau matan ba sistema Orsamentu Estadu, nudár haktuir iha artigu 95.2(q) no 145 iha Konstituisaun RDTL.

Revising the Budget and Financial Management Law should be done more carefully.

Article 31 of the current BFM law includes two paragraphs and two sub-paragraphs. It was intended for when the GSB is a month or two late, and did not anticipate the current situation. Therefore, it only covers appropriations, and does not authorize revenues, PF transfers, or borrowing.

The proposed revision would add six paragraphs and four sub-paragraphs to this article, covering revenues, taking on new loans, and authorizing the Government to “adopt implementation rules”, which could further infringe on Parliamentary authority. It is an excessive transfer of power from Parliament to the Executive, going far beyond what is needed to address the current situation.

Although it may be necessary to amend the BFM law to cover revenues and (following explicit Parliamentary authorization) transfers from the PF, we believe that the omission of borrowing is appropriate and should remain. Taking out loans imposes a debt on future governments and generations, and should not be a decision made by the executive alone. Timor-Leste borrows for long-term projects that take many years to carry out, and disbursements are made gradually as the project is implemented. There is no urgency, or indeed justification, for allowing the contracting of new loans in the absence of an enacted GSB.

This proposed law is dangerous because it makes it easier for the Government to ignore the sovereign powers of the President and PN if, at some future time, the President vetoes the GSB and PN fails to negotiate a satisfactory compromise or override the veto. Rather than distorting public finance mechanisms to protect against differing opinions, political leaders from all parties should be looking for ways to cooperate to better serve the public interest.

Revising the BFM and PF Laws requires more thorough consideration than is possible right now, and we should reflect on how they were developed:

  • In 2004-2005, the First Constitutional Government conducted nearly a year of public consultation across the country on the PF Law, which Parliament approved unanimously, showing the consensus of the leaders of this new nation to manage its petroleum wealth transparently, responsibly and sustainably.

  • In 2010-2011, the Fourth Constitutional Government revised the PF Law after more than 20 months of extensive discussion and consultation, and the principal change (diversifying investments into equities) was phased in over three years after the law was promulgated.

It would be disrespectful to Timor-Leste’s democracy to rush through a revision of this law as the first legislative act of the Fifth National Parliament and Eighth Constitutional Government, with no Minister of Finance, no public hearings, and no visible analysis of the potential consequences of this change. It would establish a poor precedent for the next five years of Constitutional democracy.

Revizaun ba Lei ba Orsamentu no Jestaun Finanseira presiza tetu ho kuidadu.

Artigu 31 husi Lei ba Orsamentu no Jestaun Finanseira (LOJF) atuál inklui parágrafu rua no sub-parágrafu rua. Ida ne’e bele uza ba situasaun bainhira orsamentu estadu tarde ba fulan ida ka rua, maibé la antisipa situasaun hanesan agora. Tan ne’e, lei ne’e kobra de’it dotasaun sira, no la autoriza reseita, transferénsia husi Fundu Petrolíferu (FP) ka deve.

Proposta revizaun LOJF ne’e sei aumenta tan parágrafu neen no sub-parágrafu haat ba artigu ne’e, inklui kona-ba reseita, simu empréstimu foun, no autoriza Governu atu “adopta regra implementasaun sira” ne’ebé sei kontra liután autoridade Parlamentu Nasional nian. Ida transferénsia podér husi Parlamentu ba Ezekutivu sira ne'ebé la nesesáriu, tanba ida ne’e boot liu fali saida mak presiza halo atu rezolve situasaun agora.

Karik nesesáriu atu halo mudansa ba LOJF hodi kobre reseita no (hafoin autorizasaun husi Parlamentu Nasional) transferénsia husi FP. Maski nune’e, ami fiar katak, apropriadu duni atu lei ida ne’e la fó lisensa atu deve, no presiza mantén nafatin hanesan ne’e. Foti osan atu deve signifika ita tau hela deve hirak ne’e ba governu no jerasaun iha futuru, no desizaun ne’e labele ezekutivu mesak mak halo. Timor-Leste empresta osan ba projetu ne’ebé lori tempu-naruk atu realiza no pagamentu sira halo iha etapa balu tuir projetu nia implementasaun. Laiha urjénsia ida, no laiha justifikasaun, ne’ebé permite kontratu ba empréstimu foun iha tempu ne'ebé laiha Lei OJE ida mak en vigor.

Proposta lei ne’e perigozu tanba halo fasil ba Governu sira atu ignora podér soberanu husi Prezidente Repúblika no PN bainhira karik iha futuru, Prezidente veta Lei OJE no PN falla atu negosia no hetan kompromisu sufisiente ka ultrapasa veto. Envezde altera mekanizmu finansa públiku atu proteje-an kontra opiniaun diferente, lideransa polítika sira husi partidu hotu presiza buka dalan atu koopera hodi serbí interese públiku.

Revizaun ba LOJF no lei FP presiza liu husi konsiderasaun ne’ebé tetu didi’ak no agora daudaun la’ós posivel, no ita presiza refleta fali ba oinsá lei hirak ne’e dezenvolve:

  • Iha tinan 2004-2005, Primeiru Governu Konstituisionál hala’o konsulta públiku iha nasaun tomak kona-ba Lei FP ne’ebé PN aprova ho unanimidade, ida ne’e hatudu katak lideransa hotu iha nasaun foun ne’e konkorda atu jere riku soin petrolíferu ne’e ho transparénte, responsavél no sustentavél.

  • Iha tinan 2010-2011, Kuartu Governu Konstituisionál halo revizaun ba Lei FP hafoin fulan 20 diskusaun no konsultasaun ne'ebé envolve parte barak, no mudansa signifikante liu (diversifikasaun investimentu ba merkadu asoens) pasu ida ne’ebé liu tinan tolu hafoin lei ne’e promulga tiha.

Ida nee sei sai hanesan hahalok falta respeitu ba Timor-Leste nia demokrasia se revizaun ba lei ne’e halo ho ansi nudár asaun lejislativa dahuluk ba V Parlamentu Nasionál no VIII Governu Konstituisionál nian, laiha Ministru Finansas, laiha audiénsia públiku, no laiha analiza evidente kona-ba poténsia konsekuénsia husi mudansa ida ne’e. Asaun ne’e sei estabelese ezemplu ladi’ak ida ba demokrasia Konstitusional durante tinan lima oinmai.

It is time to stop playing politics and move ahead to serve the citizens of this country.

As proposed, this law may be vetoed by the President, or at least referred to the Court of Appeal for advice on its constitutionality. If this happens, it will not come into force soon enough to address the imminent, temporary cash flow emergency. There will be a lot of blaming and finger-pointing, and the citizenry will suffer.

It would be better to enact a simpler, less controversial and less far-reaching law, authorizing specific withdrawals from the PF for 2018 alone.

More permanent changes to the BFM Law may be made in the future, following careful deliberation. We do not believe that the PF Law requires substantive revision, but a technical amendment could be required for conformity with BFM Law revisions. This can wait.

Government and National Parliament have urgent work to do in developing the GSBs for 2018 and 2019. It would be better to spend time and energy on that work than to look for ways to circumvent fiscal responsibility and undermine Parliamentary power.

We also feel compelled to remind your Excellencies that the temporary “urgency” caused by the lack of legal authorization to transfer money from the Petroleum Fund will become permanent after the PF has been entirely depleted, which could occur within ten years. If the non-oil economy has not diversified and strengthened, and if inefficient and misguided state expenditures continue, no revision to financial management legislation will rescue a future government from bankruptcy.

La’o Hamutuk hopes that our recommendations will help your Excellencies overcome the temporary cash flow shortage resulting from Governmental and Parliamentary paralysis during the past ten months. We are happy to provide further information or testimony if needed, and look forward to continuing to participate in these important processes.

Oras to’o ona atu para halimar ho polítika no hakat ba oin hodi serbí povu iha rai ida ne’e.

Hanesan proposta, lei ida ne’e karik sei veta husi Prezidente, ka sei refere ba Tribunal Rekursu hodi fó konsellu kona-ba nia konstitusaunalidade. Se ne’e akontese, lei ida ne’e sei la tama en vigor lalais atu rezolve situasaun emerjénsia temporáriu fluxu-osan nian. Sei iha hatudu liman no du’un malu dala barak, no povu mak sei terus.

Di’ak liu mak halo lei ida ne'ebé simples, ladún kontroversiál no lei ne’ebé laho tarjetu luan liu, ne'ebé autoriza foti osan espesífiku husi Fundu Petrolíferu (FP) ba tinan 2018 de’it.

Mudansa permanente seluk iha LOJF karik bele halo iha futuru hafoin tetu ho didi’ak. Ami fiar katak Lei FP la presiza revizaun ne’ebé kle’an, maibé mudansa tékniku bele halo atu iha konformidade ho revizaun ba LOJF. Ida ne’e bele hein.

Governu no PN iha servisu urjente atu dezenvolve OJE ba 2018 no 2019. Di’ak liu Governu uza tempu ho enerjia ba servisu ne’e duke buka dalan atu hafraku responsabilidade fiskál no podér Parlamentár.

Ida ne’e obrigasaun ami nian atu fó hanoin ba exelénsia sira katak, urjénsia temporáriu ne'ebé kauza husi laiha autorizasaun legal ba transfere osan husi Fundu Petrolíferu sei sai permanente bainhira FP mamuk ona, ne’ebé bele akontese iha tinan sanulu nia laran. Se ekonomia non-petrolíferu seidauk diversifika no hametin, no se estadu nia gastu inefisiente ho dalan sala sira kontinua, laiha revizaun ba jestaun finansas ida mak bele salva Governu husi laiha osan iha futuru.

La’o Hamutuk espera katak, ami nia rekomendasaun sei ajuda Exelénsia sira atu rezolve problema fluxu-osan temporáriu ne’ebé mosu tanba Governu ho Parlamentu la funsiona iha fulan sanulu kotuk. Ami sempre prontu atu fornese informasaun liután no halo aprezentasaun se presiza, no ami espera atu kontinua partisipa iha prosesu importante hirak ne’e.

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The Timor-Leste Institute for Development Monitoring and Analysis (La’o Hamutuk)
Institutu Timor-Leste ba Analiza no Monitor ba Dezenvolvimentu
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