Timor-Leste and UNCAC Self-Assessment Review

Since its independence over a decade ago, Timor-Leste has ratified a number of United Nations Conventions including the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) ratified in 2009. As a signatory, Timor-Leste is obliged to uphold the Treaties it signed and report regularly about their implementations. The UNCAC implementation aims for State Parties to align their laws and regulations and national system according to the Treaty’s provisions on anti corruption measures.

The 10-year UNCAC review process is divided into two phases. First five-year Self-Assessment Review is focusing two chapters, Chapter III on Criminalization and Law Enforcement and Chapter IV on International Cooperation. Second five-year Review is focusing on Chapter II on Prevention and Chapter V on Asset Recovery. It will assist the State Parties in the process of reforming their national institutions that reflect transparency and accountability in the implementation of national development plan that will promote equality, prosperity, and sustainability.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) established the Self-Assessment Review mechanism to guide the Treaty. The established-mechanism helps facilitate State Parties to report through an electronic device called “Omnibus Survey Software. Each country is expected to have two reviewers, selected through a lottery. Timor-Leste’s reviewers for the Treaty’s first two Chapters are Fiji and Namibia and will be accompanied by two officers from the UNODC Secretariat.

Timor-Leste started to carry out its first Review process in April 2011. The Anti-Corruption Commission was appointed by the Government of Timor-Leste through the Council of Ministers as lead agency and a Focal Point representing the country in the UNCAC review process. Timor-Leste’s review process started with the visit of UNODC team from Jakarta, Vienna and UNDP Bangkok in April 2011. The team conducted a workshop for CAC staff on how to prepare the report and how to respond to the Self Assessment Check List. Following the UNOCD team’s visit, CAC’s Deputy Commissioner for Investigation and Educational Campaign, Jose Neves, traveled to Vienna where he participated in a short-training course regarding the use of Omnibus Software for reviewing the Self-Assessment Review Check-List. Since then the Government of Timor-Leste has been making effort to comply with the review procedures.

As of February 2012, Timor-Leste made some significant progress in terms of responding to questions as highlighted in the Review Check-List. The review document is now under the reviewers’ scrutiny. According to Deputy Commissioner Neves, the preliminary result revealed that Timor-Leste still need to fulfill its obligations in terms of reflecting the Treaty’s provisions into its national laws and procedures and much need to be done regarding preparing enabling environment to comply with the Convention’s obligation. In view of this reality, as part of the review process and coordination among stakeholder, CAC organized a stakeholder meeting on 25 January 2012 together with representatives ranging from executive to legislative, judiciary offices, to civil society organizations to update on the Review process.

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