CAC’s 11th anniversary

Mon. 22 of February of 2021, 15:44h

The Anti-Corruption Commission (CAC - in Portuguese acronym) marked its 11th anniversary with the organization of a national seminar, with the theme “Presence of the MPCC (Portuguese acronym) Law [on Measures to Prevent and Combat Corruption] as a renewal of the State’s commitment to prevent and fight against corruption in Timor-Leste”, held on February 22nd, 2021, in the auditorium of the Ministry of Finance.

The Anti-Corruption Commission was created with the aim of embodying the State with a specialized, independent criminal police, which, in its operation is guided only by criteria of legality and objectivity, in conjunction with the competent authorities, as it is indispensable for its credibility, as a mechanism to fight against corruption.

After the approval by the National Parliament and the promulgation by the President of the Republic, Law no 7/2020, which defines the new measures of preventing and fighting corruption was published on August 26th. This new Law establishes the necessary mechanisms for an effective fight against corruption, in order to comply with the fundamental principles of the Constitution, such as the universality of rights, equality and legality.

The seminar was attended by Fidelis Leite Magalhães, Minister of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, who gave the opening remarks, and had interventions by Sérgio Hornai, Commissioner of the Anti-Corruption Commission, Joaquim dos Santos, President of the National Parliament’s Committee A, which deals with constitutional affairs and justice, and Judge Jacinta Correia, representing the President of the Court of Appeal.

In his speech, the Minister reaffirmed “the Government’s political will to act and support the national fight against corruption” and again referred “the need of joining efforts and a political will to fight corruption, which should not be an exclusive of the CAC, but of all the State bodies, as well as of the different political actors and the civil society, so that this fight is increasingly effective and truly national”.

On the anniversary of the Anti-Corruption Commission, this member of the Government listed the great achievements of the last year in the fight against corruption, that began with “unanimous approval, by the National Parliament, and, then, the publication of Law No 7/2020, of August 26th, on the Measures to Prevent and Combat Corruption, followed “by the adoption of Government Resolution, last September, about Public Administration Reform Program 2019-2023, that continues to improve the functioning of public services and seeks to enhance transparency” and by “the elaboration of the Strategic Plan of the Anti-Corruption Commission (PECA – Portuguese acronym) 2021-2025, and its launch last December”. Recently, “the improvement of Timor-Leste’s position in the ranking of the Transparency International Index”, on the perception of corruption in the public sector, was also a positive, with Timor-Leste rising from 93rd to 86th place.

Fidelis Magalhães ended his speech by stating that “the Government assumes and will continue to assume, resolutely, the powers conferred on t by Article 103 of the Constitution of the Republic, as the «higher body of Public Administration» in this area of fighting corruption and, in general, in the necessary actions to improve the provision of services to citizens and companies, and to be able to promote development!”.