The National Parliament of Timor-Leste has established a Commission of Inquiry to investigate the facts and circumstances of Government rice contracts as a result of the ongoing Ricegate scandal and the massive rice contracts being awarded to businesses allegedly as a result of political connections in Timor-Leste.
Tempo Semanal broke several issues relating to this story in 2008 and again in 2009. See here for background stories. The Parliamentary Opposition has been calling for the establishment of such a Commission for many months.
The Members of the Commission of Inquiry are as follows.
- Presidente Komisaun Inkeiritu; Arsenio Bano, FRETILIN
- Vice Presidente Komisaun; Carmelita Moniz, CNRT
- Secretario: Domingos, ASDT
- Relatora; Teresa Carvalho, PD
- Membro; Jose Texeira, FRETILIN
- Membro; Duarte Nunez, CNRT
- Membro; Hermes, PSD
- Membro, Jaco Xavier, PPT
- Membro: EL 7 UNDERTIM
- Membro: Mesquita PUN
- Membro; Aicha Baserewan
The Terms of Reference for the Commission is below.
Two days ago the Commission of Inquiry questioned the Former Head of Procurement and currently Director General of the Ministry of Finance Fransisco Borlako. Yesterday, the Commission questioned the Minister responsible for managing the rice contracts - Minister for Tourism Commerce and Industry (MTCI), Gil Alves, as well as Directors from the MTCI.
According to the Commission's plan it will question the Minister for Social Solidarity Micato Alves, along with the Secretary of State for Natural Disaster.
The matter of rice continues to remain a major political issue in Timor-Leste and Tempo Semanal can reveal, as result of a new documentation being leaked to Tempo Semanal in the last few days, that 26 February 2009 an additional $41 million in rice contracts was awarded to 12 companies - the many of which also received similar size contracts in late 2008.
These companies being:
- Atramor Sucesso
- Maubara Fitun Naroman
- United Food
- Monte Viado
- Suai Indah
- Taci Tolu
- Prima Food
- Veteran General
- Ran Aitana
To view the Ministry of Finance Requisition document view below.