Training on Asset Declarations Management System in Timor-Leste

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Dili (Timor-Leste), 14 April 2023 – The Anti-Corruption Law of Timor-Leste has introduced an asset declaration system, overseen by the Anti-Corruption Commission (CAC), to receive and verify asset declarations from most public officials. The CAC is also responsible for providing guidance on completing the declarations, developing a guidebook, applying sanctions, and producing an annual statistical report on the asset declaration system. To support the implementation of this system, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has partnered with the CAC to create a manual and reference guide, as well as organizing training on the Asset Declarations Management System.

The training conducted by UNODC was divided into four days and attended by 20 inspectors from the CAC. The first day focused on reviewing and refreshing the knowledge and skills acquired in a previous training held in June 2022. On the second day, the trainer introduced advanced exercises, including calculations in Excel and the distinction between liquidity and cash. The format of the training was interactive and involved practical exercises.

The third day of training centered on reviewing the audit procedure, the elements of the offense of unexplained wealth, beneficial ownership, and access to foreign data. Real-life cases encountered by the CAC were discussed to highlight challenges faced in practice. The final half-day of training delved into specialized aspects such as the retroactive application of the offense of unexplained wealth in different case scenarios and the principle of 'ne bis in idem' (double jeopardy).

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The training aimed to align with the objectives set out by the CAC and UNODC, providing participants with the necessary knowledge and skills to verify asset declarations according to current standards. The training incorporated lessons from regional players like Indonesia and the Philippines and included exercises on calculating unexplained wealth and gathering evidence for an audit.

UNODC’s support extends beyond training, as the organization has also produced a manual and reference guide that details the operations and usability of the asset declaration system. The manual includes asset declaration form templates, guidance on investigating complaints, and principles of evidence.

Overall, the collaboration between UNODC and the CAC in Timor-Leste demonstrates the commitment to combat corruption through the implementation of an asset declaration system. The training provided to CAC inspectors enhances their understanding of the subject, ensuring effective verification of asset declarations. By strengthening the capacity of the CAC and supporting the rollout of the system, Timor-Leste aims to enhance transparency, accountability, and integrity in public office.

This activity was funded by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Korea (KMOJ).

Other Useful Links:

  • A summary of a conference to discuss the draft Asset Recovery Law held in Timor-Leste in November 2022 can be found here.
  • A description of a four-day training on Asset Declaration Systems held in Timor-Leste in June 2022 can be found here.
  • A summary of a UNODC process to develop a manual on Asset Declarations in Timor-Leste in March 2021 can be found here.