Strengthening the Fight Against Corruption in Timor Leste

Timor Leste, 24 March 2021 - Responding to a request of assistance from the Anti-Corruption Commission (CAC) of Timor-Leste, UNODC has developed manuals on asset declaration and investigations for the Commission. The manuals are necessary in the context of operationalising the new Anti-Corruption Law (2020) which introduces new criminalization of corruption elements. The law also mandates the CAC to administer the new system for the declaration of income, assets and interests, with a view to preventing conflicts of interests and facilitating the detection of sudden, unjustified changes in wealth.  

As part of the manual on asset declarations, UNODC has drafted a declaration form that is currently under review by Timor Leste’s Supreme Court of Justice. The manual includes technical instructions on the form’s effective use, in order to support verification, collation and analysis efforts within the country’s legal framework. Another key element of the manual is a compendium detailing practical ways to respond to borderline cases, such as wealth in cryptocurrencies, how to consider former spouses and requirements for re-elected Members of Parliament.

Meanwhile, the manual on investigations looks comprehensively at all stages of preliminary and formal anti-corruption investigations, within the legal context of Timor Leste. Sections include the legal authority of the Commission, whistleblowing, responding to complaints, financial and digital investigations, managing information, interviewing witnesses, developing cases and asset recovery.

On the basis of these manuals, UNODC plans to roll out a series of trainings in the coming months for CAC officials, focusing primarily on anti-corruption and financial investigations.

The new Anti-Corruption Law was passed by Timor Leste's Parliament (pictured) for publication on 26 August 2020

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More on the latest activities of the UNODC Anti-Corruption Team in Southeast Asia, including research, webinars and trainings, can be found here