Subject: Translation: Timor Post, "World Bank Acknowledges
Timor Post Dili, 19 May 2009
Review of International Advisors Salaries in Ministry of Finance, World Bank Acknowledges Mistake.
Dili The World Bank’s has acted to review the contracts of international advisors in the Ministry of Finance because they acknowledge that they have made policy mistakes in relation to this issue.
The Leader of the Democratic Party in the National Parliament, Adriano Nascimento, said this yesterday when interviewed by the Timor Post at parliament house regarding the World Bank’s decision to revise the salary of international advisors, as reported in this newspaper on 16 May last.
Adrinao Nascimento MP said that the measures taken by the World Bank to review the international salaries of ministry of finance advisors is an acknowledgement by the World Bank that there were failures on this issue of the salaries of international advisors.
He said that before the World Bank released a public statement that they were undertaking a review of the salaries of international advisors, the head of the World Bank in Dili met with the Democratic Party members of parliament to discuss the criticisms they had made in the parliament.
He said that the World Bank had acknowledged that they had partly contributed to this wrongdoing.
“I ask the World Bank that it is better to do this sooner rather than later. Because they have acknowledged that they have partly contributed to this wrongdoing. I criticize them because whatever the result is it was they who gave the money over for the salaries of these international advisors for the ministry of finance to manage,” he said.
The Democratic Party leader further said that his party had criticized the two Timorese advisors who had been engaged to work in the ministry of finance despite not having the requisite educational backgrounds and whose educational qualifications did not meet the job criteria, but who are receiving high monthly salaries as international advisors (US$10,000). Even worse, that their formal educational qualifications were only of senior high school and they do not have any finance related education qualifications.
“I have already said to the head of the World Bank in Dili that the Democratic Party does not accept this aspect of Bank policy. We can pay high salaries but we need to look at their education and work experience otherwise it can create confusion with other Timorese working in the ministries who have better qualifications. We think the World Bank has discriminated between us Timorese. If the World Bank is promising to undertake a revision then that will be for the best in order to avoid the sort of problem that has occurred in the Ministry of Finance,” he said.
Adriano expects that with the problem that has occurred in the Ministry of Finance the World Bank can revise all of its whole policy approach in Timor-Leste. He said that he hoped this would improve the performance of international advisors in all ministries and to avoid discrimination between Timorese citizens recurring in future. (ENDS)