Fundasaun Mahein, 22 January 2011
Analysis of the Budget for Defense and Security in Timor Leste 2011
In the Voice of Fundasaun Mahein, 16th edition, we will debate in depth the issues concerning budget allocation for the Defense and Security sector starting from the years 2009-2010 to 2011. As a new nation, Timor-Leste needs to develop a strong defense and security sector through the state budget. Although the budget is not the only solution for defense and security, we should not ignore the importance of budget allocation for defense and security. An adequate plan and program are needed to buy equipment according to the contextual needs of contemporary Timor-Leste.
The same government that allocated a budget of $59,000,000 for the defense and security sector in 2009, increased it in 2010 to $ 60,000,000. For 2011 they reduced it to $51,000,000, which did not included the $3,900,000 extra that come from the ministry for Infrastructure to the defense and Security sector. With this, the total amount allocated for the defense and security sector budget for the year 2011 comes to $54,900,000.
Based on what FM sees, the budget allocated to the defense and security sector from 2009-2010 to 2011, this shows that the design for the defense and security budget is not very concrete. And based on the observations from FM, the design process of allocation is not definitive.
This report questions/raises doubts that when equipment is purchased for defense and security institutions, the government should translate or explain the allocation program. Defense and security institutions in Timor-Leste, which have good systems, need to use appropriate plans and programs to allocate the budget in an effective way. An advanced study is needed to evaluate the viability of purchasing two naval patrol boats from China for the price of $28,000,000, and whether or not these boats meets the geographical needs for the protecting the waters of Timor-Leste. Are there ports for these boats park in or not? Reality shows that there is not yet any port capable of handling these two boats.
Based on these matters/questions, FM wants to recommend that in the future, the government review the design of the budget plan before purchasing boats for PNTL’s Maritime Unit and the F-FDTL’s Naval Component, so they can guarantee they receive maintenance for these boats.
FM also suggests that the government consider the geographical requirements of Timor-Leste’s waters, when purchasing patrol boats.
More so, FM asks that the government raise their capacity to manage budget allocation, so the budget can be used to effectively develop the defense and security institutions in Timor-Leste.
FM asks the National Parliament, especially Commission B, to exercise strong control over budget implementation, especially in the defense and security sector. Significant control means not just looking at reports from the government, but must also observing the condition in training/practice.
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