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Minister for Legislative Reform and Parliamentary Affairs, Fidelis Magalhães Minister for Legislative Reform and Parliamentary Affairs, Fidelis Magalhães

Government To Crack Down on Tender Process For State Projects Featured


DILI: The ruling coalition government has vowed to improve the transparency on tender processes for State projects, with tougher powers to restrict contracts being awarded without due process.

Although unwilling to confirm numbers, The Minister for Legislative Reform and Parliamentary Affairs, Fidelis Magalhães, has said “several” of the 143 projects under review by the Parliamentary Commission Inquiry (KIP) this week, were operating without a contract and producing work that suffered delays and technical problems.

These projects, predominantly for infrastructure, were scheduled to have finished in 2017.

"It was found that there were companies that started their projects in the field and said they were permitted by superiors,” Magalhães said.

The government is trying to find ways of tackling payment for state projects across the country, which have been completed by local companies without formal government contracts.

The focus has, however, been on investigating the paper trail that led to the company doing the work. A transparent tender process would be aimed at dealing with what the government sees as a need for quality and fairness.

Magalhães said every week he had local service providers contacting the Ministry seeking work.

He said the government was committed to fairness and improving the process for awarding contracts.

The KIP review comes amid ongoing concern about the accountability of the National Development Agency’s (ADN) work.

According to ADN’s terms of reference, ADN was introduced in 2011 to ensure State budget spent on civil construction projects was implemented with “superb quality and based on a sound cost benefit analysis.”

ADN is also tasked to manage state projects valued over USD$500,000.

Fabiao de Oliveira, of the Fretilin party, said he had information that ADN staff had given government project work to “friends” without a due contract process.

Magalhaes said he questioned how so many ADN staff, allegedly on public servant salary, “had luxury cars and luxury homes.”

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