AusTimorFN to assist as pre-deconcentration phase is rolled out in all 13 Districts of Timor-Leste

AusTimorFN and LGV meeting

Lorraine McBride (AusTimorFN – VIC), Filomena Capela (DPC), Peter Jones (LGV) and Derarca O’Mahony (AusTimorFN National Convenor) at a February meeting on Friendship Groups and decentralisation.

The first quarterly meeting between Local Government Victoria (LGV) and Councils who have signed the Victoria/Timor-Leste Municipal Agreements or are considering supporting the decentralisation process, was held on 16 March. Lorraine McBride, Victorian Facilitator for AusTimorFN was invited to attend the meeting, along with fifteen Councils and Rae Kingsbury, Victorian Honorary Consul.
The original plan for the pre-deconcentration phase was to pilot it  in three districts. LGV personnel visited Timor-Leste in early March and returned with news that this has changed and the pre-deconcentration phase will now be initiated in all 13 Districts in Timor-Leste at the same time.
AusTimorFN have been requested by the Timor-Leste Ministry for State Administration and LGV to provide regular updates as the plans and processes for decentralisation in Timor-Leste progress.
Lorraine is visiting Timor-Leste in late March and will have meetings with State Administration.

Australian Awards Fellowship program

The Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) has successfully secured funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), under its Australian Awards Fellowship program, for strengthening leadership and local government administration skills and knowledge for members of the Timor-Leste National Technical Group on Administrative Decentralisation.  Local Government Victoria (LGV) in the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning is implementing this program.
Eight national and general directors of the Timor-Leste government will stay in Victoria for 4 weeks, in April/May, attending training development organised by LGV, as well as work placements at the councils of Moonee Valley, Ballarat and Yarra to learn about direct service delivery, accountability and governance systems and performance.
Selection of the directors (fellows) was based on their responsibility to provide high level policy advice and professional support to Timor-Leste ministers who are overseeing the decentralisation process. They come from the Ministries of State Administration, Agriculture and Fisheries, Finance, and Education .

Ministry of State Administration

Important personnel changes in the Ministry of State Administration have been detailed below. Of key interest for Friendship Groups is the appointment of Sr Abilio Caetano to the position of General Director for Administrative Decentralisation. Sr Abilio Caetano has been involved with the Friendship Groups since the early years and has a good understanding of our work in Timor-Leste. He will be the key contact point for the Friendship Network.

State Administration Portfolio:

  • Sr Dionisio Babo Soares, Minister of State, Coordinating Minister of Administrative Affairs, and Minister of State Administration 
  • Sr Tomas Cabral, Vice-Minister of State Administration 
  • Sr Samuel Mendonca, Secretary of State of State Administration
  • Sr Miguel Pereira de Carvalho, General Director for Local Development
  • Sr Abilio Jose Caetano, General Director for Administrative Decentralisation