Meeting of the Council of Ministers on April 5th, 2023

Presidency of the Council of Ministers

Eighth Constitutional Government


Press Release

Meeting of the Council of Ministers on April 5th, 2023

The Council of Ministers met at the Government Palace in Dili and approved the draft Law Proposal, presented by the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Culture, for the first amendment to Law no. 14/2008, of October 29th, known as “The Education Framework Law”.

This draft Law proposal proceeds with necessary amendments to adapt the Education Framework Law of the country's educational sector to current demands and challenges.

An amendment is proposed to the regulations on languages of instruction and teaching, defining Portuguese as the language of instruction and teaching in the Timorese education system, with Tetum and other national languages assuming a supporting role. In addition, several regulations regarding preschool, primary and secondary education levels are also amended to recognise the importance of learning Portuguese in the national education sector.

With this Law Proposal, and to eliminate injustices in the attribution of degrees and diplomas in technical higher education, it will be possible for technical higher education institutions to attribute degrees and certificates such as the Bachelor's degree, the Degree and the Master's degree.

It is also intended to allow for a Master's degree to be awarded after completing a twelve-semester higher education course, including an integrated, non-divisible Degree part corresponding to the first eight semesters of the integrated Master's course.

Finally, with the proposed amendment, it is also defined that distance learning must impact all levels and areas of Timorese national education.


The draft Decree-Law, presented by the Ministry of Defence, referring to the Organic Structure of the National Maritime Authority, was approved.

This Decree-Law defines, within the scope of the Maritime Authority System (SAM- Portuguese acronym), the new structure, organisation, operation and competencies of the National Maritime Authority (AMN- Portuguese acronym).

The AMN continues to be the direction and coordination body for operations at sea of national scope, to be executed within the framework of the SAM in compliance with the instructions defined by the Minister of Defence. The General Chief of Staff of the FALINTIL - Defence Forces of Timor-Leste is inherently the AMN.

The primary and most significant amendment concerns a different structure comprised of various services.

The AMN comprises the Directorate of Maritime Authority (DMA), its central and decentralised services, and the AMN Advisory Council (AAC). In addition, the AMN is supported by a direct support office comprised of military and civilian staff headed by a senior officer. The composition, attributions and functioning of this office are approved by a ministerial decree of the government member responsible for the area of defence.


The Council of Ministers approved a draft Decree-Law presented by the Ministry of Tourism, Commerce, and Industry, to define a set of support measures for micro, small and medium-sized companies.

This draft Decree-Law aims to establish a legislative framework that defines the State's role in promoting and supporting the economic agents of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector in Timor-Leste, recognising the importance of these companies for the national economy.

The proposed measures to support MSMEs include easy access to credit, incentives for innovation, the establishment of infrastructures for incubating companies and businesses, training and entrepreneurial capacity building.


Also approved was the draft Decree-Law, presented by the Coordinating Minister of Economic Affairs, which aims to make the first amendment to Decree-Law no. 16/2017 of May 17th and the first amendment to Decree-Law no. 7/2017 of March 22nd, concerning the Commercial Registry and the Business Registration and Verification Service, I.P. (SERVE, IP), respectively.

The proposed amendment to these diplomas, in the context of the Public Administration Reform, aims to simplify and de-bureaucratise the registration of cooperatives by providing a more favourable legal framework for the creation of new cooperatives and the legalisation of existing ones by submitting them to commercial registration, to be carried out at SERVE, IP.


The Council of Ministers approved the draft Decree-Law concerning the Statute of the National Intelligence Service Staff.

This draft Decree-Law is part of the organisational restructuring of the National Intelligence Service (NIS). Given the current challenges, it is an essential instrument for inducing a new culture of rigour and quality in fulfilling that institution's mission.

With the present Decree-Law, the NIS Staff Statute is adopted, establishing the respective special career and the applicable remuneration and disciplinary regimes. In the new structure of the NIS special career, it is provided that the staff in the special career is recruited through the appointment modality.

In addition to staff recruited through special career appointments, it also allows for the recruitment not only of administrative and technical support employees by appointment but also of others, such as civil, military and police specialists, through secondment or requisition under the general Civil Service regime, without neglecting the possibility of recruiting agents through administrative employment contracts or fixed-term employment contracts from among people who do not have a permanent contract with the Public Administration, under the general regime.


The Council of Ministers approved a draft Law Proposal the Ministry of Finance presented regarding the 2024 Major Planning Options.

The 2024 Major Planning Options Law consists of multi-year and annual measures that aim to identify the budgetary strategy and the leading options for planning that impact the General State Budget for the following fiscal year and the four subsequent years. The Major Planning Options Law allows for a direct link between the planning and budget processes, enabling program budgeting to be fully realised.

The Major Planning Options Law Proposal is presented at this moment because of the parliamentary elections to be held on May 21st, 2023. However, the approval of the Major Planning Options Law does not prevent the new Government from presenting, together with the draft State Budget Law, its own draft Major Planning Options Law, under the terms of article 47, paragraph 7, of Law no. 2/2022, of February 10th (Budgetary Framework Law).

The value of the overall expenditure of the Public Administrative Sector in the General State Budget for 2024 is set at US$ 1.7 billion. Adding the expenditure of the Oe-Cusse Ambeno Special Administrative Region (US$ 81.1 million) and Social Security (US$ 291.9 million) makes the total consolidated global expenditure of US$ 2.07 billion.


Lastly, the Council of Ministers attended a Ministry of Tourism, Commerce, and Industry presentation on the Cost-Benefit Analysis Report for the Accession of Timor-Leste to the Interim Pacific Economic Partnership Agreement (IEPA) with the European Union (EU).

The EU-Pacific Economic Partnership Agreement aims to facilitate investment and trade between people and businesses from both regions and foster development throughout the Pacific region. END