Mon, 14 Jul 2003

City Council does not know where its assets are

Bambang Nurbianto, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Poor documentation of contracts with private companies caused difficulties for the city administration in tracing a number of its rented assets, officials admitted on Saturday.

Assistant to the city secretary for economic affairs Hari Sandjojo blamed the situation on unclear records made by past officials and their private business partners.

"How do we know the status of our assets in a joint venture company if we have no documents on how the agreement was made," Hari told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.

He said the administration was investigating a number of unclear agreements made in the past.

Separately, head of the Jakarta Asset Bureau Rama Bhudi confirmed that the city administration had set up a team to investigate city assets.

But, the team, whose members comprise of officials from the asset bureau, legal bureau, economic bureau, and the city assets and investment management board, had not announced the results of the investigation, Rama said.

Among the assets under investigation was land in 12 locations formerly under the management of the now defunct City Investment Management Board (BPIPM), he said.

"The most difficult hurdle is investigating assets formerly managed by BPIPM," he claimed without giving further details.

However, the officials' statements drew criticism from councillors of City Council Commission B for economic affairs.

Commission B secretary Dani Anwar said the city administration officials could not just claim that they had no documents without conducting any further investigation into the assets.

"We need to establish that the city assets are safe as we have bad examples of this in the past," Dani of the Justice Party said on Saturday.

He said that some extensions of agreements on the rented assets, which might cause losses to the city, were made by the current officials.

He revealed that an agreement made between the city administration and PT Jaya Fibrindo Karsa Pratama to manage a property on Jl. Krapu No. 10, Pasar Ikan, North Jakarta was extended on Jan. 1 2001.

Meanwhile, Commission B member Ugiek Soegihardjo said that the city administration had lost the Kuta Jaya Hotel in Bali, which was one of its assets, when the hotel was sold when the city's business partner went bankrupt.

"The hotel was sold and the city administration got nothing," Ugiek said, adding that the majority of city administration' partners invested only a small amount of money and government land was used as collateral to borrow money from the banks.

He stressed the need to set up a special committee to clarify the current status of all assets being rented by the private companies.

Commission B has agreed to set up a special committee to try to secure 12 former BPIPM assets as the city administration could not explain its shares in those companies.

Besides those assets, the special committee will investigate other assets, including 10,000 square meters of land on Jl. Raya Sumur Timur, East Jakarta, 8,730.5 square meters of land on Jl. Pulo Kambing, East Jakarta, and 6,600 square meters of land in Pulo Gadung industrial estate in East Jakarta.