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National Authorising Office

National Authorising Officer, Minister Emilia Pires and HE EC Commissioner Andris Piebalgs during the signing ceremony of the Financing Agreements of the 10th European Development Fund on 8 March 2011.

The National Authorising Office represents all operations financed by the European Union’s Development Fund.

Our role and responsibilities

  • prepare, submit and appraise projects
  • issue invitations for local open tender, receive tenders, both local and international
  • preside over the examination of tenders, establishes the results of examinations, sign contracts and riders and approves expenditure
  • clear and authorise expenditures
  • make necessary adaptations to ensure the proper execution of approved projects
  • purchase goods on the local market, and
  • hire consultants and other technical assistance experts.

European Development Fund and Timor-Leste

European Union aid to Timor-Leste is channelled through the European Development Fund.

The Fund is European Union’s main instrument for providing community aid for development in the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP). Timor-Leste was accepted into the ACP Group in May 2003.

Timor-Leste’s National Parliament ratified the Cotonou Agreement, a partnership agreement between members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States and the European Union and its Member States on 19 December 2005. The Agreement was signed in Cotonou, Benin on 23 June 2000 and revised in 2005.

Timor-Leste is receiving the 9th and 10th European Development Fund resources totalling 99 million Euros, from 2006 to 2013.

Fund priorities

Focus has been on:

  • sustainable rural development
  • institutional capacity building, and
  • health.

The 10th European Development Fund also covers support to non-state organisations totalling 4 million Euros.

Role of National Authorising Officer

In accordance with the principle of decentralisation, projects are implemented by individual States. The Government of each ACP State appoints a National Authorising Officer to represent it in all operations financed from Fund resources.

For Timor-Leste, the National Authorising Office has been appointed by the Minister of Finance and is assisted by the Vice-Minister of Finance.

European Development Fund Pacific Regional Programme

The National Authorising Office also manages the European Development Fund Pacific Regional Programme which encompasses all Pacific regional projects funded through the European Development Fund.

In May 2003, Timor-Leste became the 15th member to join the Pacific ACP Group.

Regional programming is carried out jointly by the Regional Authorising Officer on behalf of the 15 National Authorising Officers and by the Head of Delegation for the European Commission for the Pacific.

The Regional Authorising Officer is the Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. The Regional Authorising Officer is accountable for both programme expenditure to Pacific ACP National Authorising Officers and to the Chief Authorising Officer of the European Commission. Much of the Regional Authorising Officer’s work focuses on administering Pacific Regional programmes, closing and evaluating completed programmes, and coordinating and developing new projects.

The 10th ACP Regional Pacific Programme has an envelope of 95 million Euros from 2008-2013. Its focal areas are:

  • Regional economic integration, 45 m Euros (Development of human resources, key industries and trade capacity, trade arrangements and integration into the world economy) and
  • Sustainable management of natural resources, 40 m Euros: help low-lying atolls respond to rising sea-levels, combat illegal fishing and protect biodiversity, important for tourism.

Regional Authorising Officer is the contracting authority for regional projects.

PALOP and Timor-Leste

The National Authorising Office is also the focal point for the PALOP and Timor-Leste. The group of Portuguese-speaking African countries, comprising Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique and São Tomé and Principe, share a strong linguistic and cultural identity, a similar system of governance and a long tradition of contacts and exchanges among themselves.

With Timor-Leste joining the group in 2007, the ACP Portuguese-speaking countries have expanded from Africa to the Asian-Pacific region and cooperation under the 10th European Development Fund covers these six countries.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed in 2007 defining the framework of an extension of the long-standing partnership under the 10th European Development Fund (Governance Initiative PALOP and Timor-Leste), reiterating that shared solidarity is important to guarantee sustainable development in creating the conditions for democratic governance.

Under the 10th EDF, a total of 33.1 million Euros is dedicated to supporting governance initiative projects in PALOP countries, including Timor-Leste.

Since January 2006, Mozambique has been the ‘Regional Authorising Officer’ under the Regional Indicative Programmes.