Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government`s goods and services procurement is the most vulnerable area for corruption.
In this sector, corrupt officials have stolen Rp689.19 billion or about 35 percent of the Rp1.9 trillion worth cases handled by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) since 2005.
"The KPK has since its establishment recorded a total of 50 corruption cases in the procurement of goods and services for the government," Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said on Thursday.
Based on the KPK report, the corrupted funds accounted for 35 percent of the total value of the goods and services procurement projects.
According to the finance minister, up to November 2009, the government has recorded 2,100 complaints from members of the public about irregularities in government goods and services procurement.
"So far, most of the corrupt acts in goods procurement were knowingly or unknowingly committed by state officials because many of them were not aware of existing regulations on procurement procedures," the minister said.
Acting chief of KPK Tumpak Hatorangan Panggabean said state money corrupted in goods and service procurements during the 2005 - 2009 period reached a total of Rp689.19 billion.
"The figure is based on data obtained from cases handled by KPK from 2005 to 2009," Tumpak said on the sidelines of a national conference on corruption eradication in Indonesia.
The KPK data showed that the Rp689.19 billion was corrupted in the procurement of various goods and services worth Rp1.9 trillion. The losses which were suffered by the state were corrupted because agencies or bodies carrying out the good and service projects were appointed directly.
The state`s losses due to direct appointment reached Rp647 billion or 94 percent of the total of corrupted money, Tumpak said. The remaining six percent, or 41.3 billion was corrupted through price markups. The state losses were calculated from corruption cases on which the Supreme Court had already issued a verdict.
In an effort to reduce corruption cases in the goods and services procurement, the Finance Ministry cooperates with the KPK, Judicial Commission (KY) and Financial Transactions Reporting and Analysis centre (PPATK).
The cooperation was marked with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Goods and Services Procurement through an Electronic Service System (LPSE) on Thursday.
The agreement is aimed to increase efficiency, effectiveness, transparency and sound competition as well as accountability in the procurement of goods and services.
Finance Minister Sri Mulyani hoped that the procurement of goods and services through the electronic system would provide benefit particularly in reducing collusion and corruption practices in the procurement of goods and services for the government.
She said, many of the people who had lodged complaints believed willingness to pay bribes was a decisive factor in winning project tenders.
So, she hoped that with the existence of LPSE, there would be greater efficiency, effectiveness, accountability, transparency and sound competition in the procurement of goods and services.
As an example, she pointed out her ministry`s LPSE centre which was able to increase efficiency by 18.42 percent or Rp220.23 billion of a total package worth Rp1.08 trillion.
In the meantime, PPATK chief Yunus Hesein said that as a budget user his agency still harbored a fear to carry out auctions for the procurement of its goods and services procurements.
"It seems I am still afraid because I don`t understand much about goods and services procurements," he said.
According to Yunus, the value of his agency`s procurement of goods auction in 2010 would likely increase four-fold of that in 2009. "Possibly because we have a plan to establish the disaster recovery facility," the PPATK chief said.
He said that in the auction process carried out so far at the PPATK, a number of parties who lost the tenders lodged protests while actually the auction had been carried out based on the rules.
"Some filed a protest, they even lodged the protest to the House of Representatives (DPR) whereas actually these projects have nothing to do with collusion," he said.
He hoped that the auction of goods and services procurement projects through the electronic system would improve the government`s procurement of goods and services system.
Therefore, he hoped that the procurement through the electronic service system would be able to reduce collusion and corruption practices because it would be more transparent, consistent and accountable in nature.
Earlier, the PPATK had disclosed that up to November 30 this year it had handed over 1,071 suspicious transaction reports to law enforcers. "We passed on to law enforcers more than 1,000 suspicious financial transaction cases," PPATK Head Yunus Husein said.
Based on data and preliminary criminal analyzes, most of the cases were believed to be corruption-related. Of the 1,071 suspicious transactions, a total of 425 were suspected to be related to corruption, 344 to deception, 4 to banking crimes, 35 to narcotics trade, 31 to embezzlement, 30 to document forgery, 24 to bribery, 22 to terrorist funding and several other types of crime.
Yunus said that this year the number of suspicious transactions had risen compared with that in 2008. The PPATK has recorded 21,625 suspicious financial transactions in the January 1 - November 30, 2009 period.
If compared with the figure in 2008 (10,432 cases), the number of suspicious transactions during eleven months of 2009 had increased two-fold. "This year, the number of suspicious transactions was recorded at an average of 1,968 per month," he said.(*)