Thu, 19 Jun 2003

City buys 60 buses without holding tender

Bambang Nurbianto, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Officials of the city administration revealed on Wednesday that they are purchasing 60 buses for the busway system without holding a tender, which is a violation of a presidential decree on the procurement of goods and services for government agencies.

Head of the city transportation agency Rustam Effendi said the buses which would be used in the first 12.9-kilometers of the bus rapid transit (BRT) or busway from Blok M in South Jakarta to Kota area in Central Jakarta would be Hino and Mercedes buses.

"Yes, the procurement of the 60 buses will be from Hino and Mercedes. It (The process) is completed," Rustam told the press at City Hall, adding that the assembling plant of the buses would be PT New Armada.

The city administration has allocated Rp 50 billion for procuring the buses from the city budget. The fund is part of some Rp 117 billion which has been allocated to fund the project.

The procurement of the buses is a direct violation of Presidential Decree No. 18/2000 on the procurement of goods and services for government agencies.

Article 17, paragraph 4 of the presidential decree stipulates that the procurement of goods and services may be implemented without tender under four conditions:

* If the value of the project is not more than Rp 50 million.

* In the case of consulting services, where it is hard to find participants who meet the requirements.

* In emergency or special conditions, upon approval of the minister/head of non-ministerial institution/governor/mayor/director of state-owned companies.

* If there is only one supplying company

According to Rustam, the city administration could not hold a tender due to the shortage of time as the buses were needed within six months.

"The presidential decree allows for direct appointment in an emergency situation," said Rustam.

Governor Sutiyoso said that he was not aware of the direct appointment of the companies for the procurement of the buses. He stressed, however, that he had no objection if there was a reasonable argument behind the appointment.

"The most important thing for me is that the project is expedited," he said.

Meanwhile, chairman of the Jakarta Residents Forum (Fakta) Azas Tigor Nainggolan slammed the direct appointment of the bus suppliers, saying that there was no reason for the city not to hold a tender for procuring the buses.

"How could they say it is an emergency situation when the plan to buy the buses had already been determined last year," Tigor told The Jakarta Post.