Meeting of the Council of Ministers on February 15th, 2023

Presidency of the Council of Ministers

Eighth Constitutional Government


Press Release

Meeting of the Council of Ministers on February 15th, 2023

The Council of Ministers met, at the Government Palace, in Dili and approved the draft Decree-Law, presented by the Minister of Petroleum and Minerals, Victor da Conceição Soares, for the first amendment to Decree-Law no. 31/2033, of July 27th, that created Timor Gap – Timor Gas & Petroleum, E.P., as well as its Statutes.

The purpose of this amendment is to bring the statutes of TIMOR GAP, E. P. into line with the current context and adapt the objectives and structuring principles of TIMOR GAP, E.P. as a State-Owned Company to a strategic vision of accelerating the growth of the Company in the medium-long term, to attract investment opportunities in the oil, natural gas and any other hydrocarbons and their derivatives sectors in Timor-Leste.

Among the amendments defined by this draft Decree-Law, of particular importance is the subordination of the Company to the tutelage and superintendence powers of the respective Minister and the alignment of its activities with the guidelines and objectives of the Government, as well as the possibility of TIMOR GAP participating in any oil operations, namely those carried out under the Treaty establishing the maritime boundaries in the Timor Sea and under the Greater Sunrise special regime.

The draft Decree-Law will allow TIMOR GAP to explore new areas of intervention and strategic objectives in line with the Government’s expectations and guidelines for developing the oil, natural gas and other hydrocarbons and their derivatives sectors.


The Council of Ministers approved the draft Decree-Law, presented by the Vice-Minister of Trade and Industry, Domingos Lopes Antunes, referring to the System of Legal Measurement Units.

This draft Decree-Law aims to ensure that the units of measurement in Timor-Leste are used in an equal and coherent manner throughout the country, allowing for measurements to be understood by all citizens and entities in several areas, such as trade, industry or education.

This initiative also aims to protect consumers and businesses by requiring the use of publicly known measurement units to ensure that measurements are reliable and accurate, thus creating an environment conducive to economic development.

At the international level, the use of international legal measurement units is a critical factor of confidence for exports and for concluding bilateral or multilateral agreements in trade, energy, education or industry.


The draft Decree-Law on the special regime for procurement and contracting in defence and security was approved. The draft Decree-Law was presented by the Minister of Defence, Filomeno da Paixão de Jesus, the Vice-Minister of Interior, António Armindo and the Minister of Justice, Tiago Amaral Sarmento.

This draft Decree-Law aims to create a legal regime of procurement establishing special procedures to conclude public contracts in the area of defence and security, ensuring the fulfilment of a set of exceptional security and secrecy measures in this area. One of the objectives, also intended with this draft Decree-Law is to exclude intermediaries from the procurement procedure that do not have any exclusive commercial relationship with this specific type of material, thus allowing the direct use of manufacturers.

This draft Decree-Law applies to forming contracts whose object is acquiring or renting goods, providing services, and executing works.


The Council of Ministers approved the draft Decree-Law, presented by the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Pedro dos Reis, concerning the first amendment to the Organic Law of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.

This amendment aims to restructure the services of the Ministry to establish a more structured framework to strengthen the Government's policy for the quarantine and biosecurity sector. Thus, this Ministry's Quarantine and Biosecurity Services are promoted to a Directorate General to better comply with international standards in sanitary and phytosanitary matters established by international organisations of which Timor-Leste is a member.


As per the project presented by the Minister of Public Works, Abel Pires da Silva, the Council of Ministers decided to approve the procurement procedure for the adjudication of a public contract for the execution of works and supply of goods for the establishment of a communications complex, with the installation of a landing station for the submarine fiber optic cable that will connect the city of Dili to the cities of Darwin and Port Hedland, which was concluded without any award.


Following the project also presented by the Minister of Public Works, Abel Pires da Silva, the Council of Ministers decided to authorize the expenditure related to the execution of the construction work of the road between Uatolari and Laisorulai in Viqueque municipality, with a 22,527 Kms length, with an estimated value for the works of US$ 22.7 million.


The Council of Ministers approved the draft Government Decree, presented by the Minister of State Administration, Miguel Pereira de Carvalho, to amend the calendar for voter registration operations abroad.

Therefore, the training of members of the voter registration commissions will take place on February 27th and 28th, 2023, and voters abroad will be registered from March 1st to 31st, 2023. The compilation, extraction, and dispatch of voters’ lists by electronic means by diplomatic missions and consular posts will take place on April 1st and 2nd, 2023. The period for displaying and complaint period of the lists of voters registered abroad is set for April 3rd to 7th, 2023, and the synchronisation of the voter registration system will take place from April 8th to 20th, 2023. Lastly, the number of voter registrations will be published by April 21st, 2023.


This approval was followed by a presentation by the Minister of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Fidelis Manuel Leite Magalhães, on organisational planning, monitoring and evaluation, and performance management in public sector organisations to strengthen the responsibility, accountability, and transparency of state institutions and to improve the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of the services provided to the population.


Lastly, the Vice-Prime Minister and Minister of Planning and Territory, José Maria dos Reis, presented the study on the options for the location of the new administrative city. END