Subject: LUSA: PM Alkatiri mulls revamped executive - gov't sources

16-01-2003 14:20:00. Notícia nº 4551546

East Timor: PM Alkatiri mulls revamped executive - gov't sources

Dili, Jan. 16 (Lusa) - Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri is studying a possible restructuring of East Timor's government ministries to improve their functioning and the performance of ministers, official sources said Thursday.

The changes could include the creation of a new minister for the presidency of the council of ministers. This post would be filled by Justice Minister Ana Pessoa, who would be replaced by her deputy, Domingos Sarmento, government sources told Lusa.

Pessoa would act as a virtual deputy-prime minister and take charge of public administration, currently the responsibility of the Ministry of Internal Administration (MAI).

Rogerio Lobato, who currently heads the MAI, would remain in his post, despite recent calls for his dismissal, but with reduced responsibilities. The MAI would have no direct influence on local government, sources said.

East Timor's head of government is also examining a scheme to send deputy ministers and state secretaries to the provinces for "periods of a few weeks" to get the Dili government's message across.

Alkatiri told Lusa earlier this month he was open to remodeling his government, "if it can be proved this will solve the problems".

"I am thinking deeply over this. I have the clear notion that some ministries work well and others less so. I am analyzing the illness and the reasons, Alkatiri had said.

Random inspections of all departments were instigated last week by Alkatiri as part of his crackdown on absenteeism and lack of efficiency in government.

ASP/CJB-Lusa-

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