Since 2003, the Government of Timor-Leste has been working on developing a framework for decentralization and local government. Based on clear provisions in the Timor-Leste Constitution and directives from the Council of Ministers, the overall vision of the Government is to establish a strong, democratic and efficient local governance system.
The main objectives of the decentralization process are:
In order for the decentralization process to be effectively executed, the Government of Timor-Leste needs appropriate, clear and obtainable laws or other legal documents. LGSP supports this process through technical assistance in consultation, drafting and socialization of new or modified policy and legal documents. Key policy activities that are supported by LGSP include: clarifying existing procedures and lessons learned from LDP; consulting broadly with stakeholders, including all relevant Line Ministries; developing a strategic framework as an action plan and timeline for the drafting of law proposals; supporting the process of drafting the law proposals, including reviewing existing legislation and other legal drafting assistance. Up to January 2009 the LGSP supported the drafting and submission of the three main Local Government Laws. One of the three proposed Laws - the law on Administrative and Territorial Division - was approved by the National Parliament in June (2009) and subsequently promulgated. The other two remaining law proposals, the Law on Local Government and the Municipal Electoral Law, are currently pending approval of the National Parliament. Municipal elections have been postponed and are foreseen to take place in 2013/14.