Sat, 27 Sep 2003

BPK finds irregularities worth Rp 70.41b

Zakki Hakim and Rendi A. Witular, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) has found 58 cases of irregularities in six Jakarta agencies amounting to Rp 70.41 billion (approximately US$8.38 million) in the 2002 fiscal year and the first semester in 2003.

BPK deputy chairman Soegiarto said the irregularities were an old story repeated annually during routine audits.

"This is a clear proof that the administration never takes the cases seriously. There is a detrimental effect here as the city will lose a lot of money that can actually be used for constructive development," Soegiarto told the press Friday.

BPK's report on the first semester of 2003 says irregularities were found at the city's Sanitary Agency (Rp 989.07 million), Mining Agency (Rp 13.4 billion), City Building Layout and Supervision Agency (Rp 1.02 billion), Transportation Agency (Rp 6.9 billion), Planning Agency (Rp 37.2 billion) and Parking Agency (Rp 10.9 billion).

The report shows that the irregularities refer to indicated loss of revenue, deficit balance in revenue, unaccountable funds and ineffective accounts.

For example, the BPK found the sanitation agency had directly deducted 10 percent from the housing and shopping buildings sanitation retribution fees before it submitted the money to the city treasury office.

The pre-deducting practice has caused a difference of Rp 580.83 million in the city's revenue report.

Meanwhile, in the mining agency, the BPK has found that the agency's special treasurer directly received tax payments from taxpayers, involving a total of Rp 3.5 billion.

The BPK also found that one account worth Rp 38.34 million, from the Rp 3.5 billion, was not immediately submitted to the city's treasury office, but was held for more than 24 hours.

BPK concluded that the practice has made a possible manipulation concerning the tax payment of Rp 3.5 billion and recommended the agency's head reprimand the special treasurer with a warning memorandum.

Meanwhile, Firman Hutajulu, head of the City Supervision Agency (Bawasda), said on Friday that the BPK's findings did not necessarily mean that embezzlement had taken place.

"The reported irregularities don't necessarily directly translate as cases of corruption, collusion or nepotism," Firman claimed.

He said the BPK includes in its report cases of failure to meet revenue targets, non-procedural administrations and wrong postings.

He said his agency had yet to receive BPK's report, but in the meantime it would follow-up the cases based on media reports.

He said, however, his agency would recommend specific solutions for every case in the particular agencies so that the irregularity problems could be solved.