Decree Law for Administrative Pre-Deconcentration Structure Socialized in Covalima District

28 Mar 2014

imageA participant is looking at the Pre-Deconcentration Structure. Photo: Felisberta Moniz Da Silva/UNDP Timor-Leste

Covalima, 28 March 2014 - In front of an audience of 55 leaders from the Covalima district, the Secretary of State for Administrative Decentralization (SEDA) and the Secretary of State for Institutional Strengthening (SEFI) joined together to socialize Decree Law No. 4/2014, the Organic Statute of Administrative Pre-Deconcentration Structure and training policy for leaders of the Pre-Deconcentration Structure. The event was held on 28 March 2014.  

“Today is a very important day for us, because we have visitors from the national government to disseminate the Decree Law No.4/2014 on the Pre-Deconcentration Structure” said Agustinho Mendonça, Covalima District Administrator in opening the meeting. “As civil servants, we must familiarize ourselves with the Decree Law. Pre-Deconcentration is a step to prepare ourselves for entering into decentralization”.

“According to the Decree Law, the pre-deconcentration structure will be led by a District Manager and supported by a secretary of the District Manager. They will be recruited base on the requirements laid out in the Decree Law”, said Mr. Valenti Miranda, National Director for Municipal Planning and Finance of SEDA. “Therefore, depending on the recruitment process, it is possible that Covalima’s District Manager will come from another district”.

Mr. Fausto Gama, the Adviser for SEFI outlined the three week orientation and training that the both District Managers and their Secretaries would receive.  Topics to be covered in the training are: the general vision for Timor-Leste development; leadership and management; participation and gender inclusion; decentralization policy and planning; and public finance management and district administration. The orientation training was jointly developed by SEDA and SEFI with support from UNDP.

Participants offered a number of suggestions during the meeting. One was that District Managers and all employees of the Administrative Pre-deconcentration structure should live in Suai which will allow for better preparation before becoming a municipality. Another was that nominations of District Manager be based on professional credentials rather than political alliance. A third suggestion was to ensure that the orientation training be provided to all employees of the administrative pre-deconcentration structure.

Interest and support for decentralization was evident from all who spoke.

 “I am expecting that Covalima district will be better developed with the decentralization and there will developments in healthcare, education, agriculture, etc,” said Balbina dos Santos, Administrative Assistant. “In the health sector, we would like to see children and pregnant women receive better services. Sometimes sick children and pregnant women in the process of delivering, die before reaching the Health Centre, particularly in the rural areas where road conditions are bad and there is no transport.

“We realize that there are obstacles ahead of us such as finance and human resources limitations,” said Vitorino do Carmo, Fatululic Sub-District Administrator. “However we have learned a lot of lessons through LDP, PDD and PDID, on how to develop our district”.

“I am expecting that all sectors such as agriculture, education, health and social services in Covalima will be developed base on a prepared plan when the administrative pre-deconcentration structure is implemented”, said Urbano Maria Tilman Surya, Food Security Officer from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fishery.  “Because services will be implemented at the district level, infrastructure related to irrigation and improving crop production will be increased. I believe that development will be more successfully conducted.”

The meeting was attended by Sub-District Administrators and Local Government Officer from seven sub-districts of Covalima, the Chief of Department and Directors of the territorial delegations, and civil servants of the district administration.