Wed, 14 May 2003

Parks official flatly denies BPK reports

Bambang Nurbianto, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The head of the City Parks Agency, Mauritz Napitupulu, rejected on Tuesday a report by the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) that it had found irregularities in the agency worth Rp 11.36 billion related to 2002 budget spending.

Mauritz said that his office would not follow up on the BPK findings because no discrepancies had occurred in the agency's projects.

"I don't understand why the BPK released the report ... it was a report made without any confirmation from us," Mauritz told the media at City Hall.

The BPK findings were based on the audit of the City Parks Agency's Rp 83.88 billion spending for the year.

The BPK categorized the Rp 11.36 billion of irregularities into city losses of Rp 908.74 million, money lost due to inefficiency Rp 440.3 million and other irregularities of more than Rp 10 billion.

As an example, the BPK audited the Rp 8.85 billion cost of fencing in the National Monument (Monas) Park and found that the project was tendered through unhealthy competition.

It says that companies participating in the tender and the tender committee at the City Parks Agency had arranged the outcome of the tender. It also questioned why two of the three winners of the project came from companies owned by the same person.

Such a bidding mechanism violated a joint decree signed by the minister of finance and head of the National Development Planning Agency on technical guidance for the procurement of goods and services at government agencies.

The BPK also found the quality of materials used in the project was not the same as the stated specifications. According to the BPK, the total value of irregularities in the Rp 8.85 billion Monas fencing project was Rp 1.14 billion.

Other irregularities were also found by the BPK in the upgrading of a green zone along Muara Angke River, the procurement of park equipment and in a project at the agency's breeding center.

According to Mauritz, the BPK report was a result of incomplete work that lacked accuracy. "I think the BPK worked in haste as the House of Representatives was waiting for its report," Mauritz said.

Most officials in the city administration played down the BPK report, which revealed total irregularities of Rp 820 million in eight city administration institutions and four city-owned companies.

Governor Sutiyoso has criticized the BPK report, calling it illogical and slanderous.

The eight institutions are Central Jakarta and North Jakarta mayoralties, the City Land Transportation Agency, City Education and Training Office, City Tourism Agency, City Population and Civil Registration Agency, Religion and Education Office and the City Parks Agency.

The four city-owned companies are the PT Bank DKI, PT Food Station Tjipinang Jaya (a rice market), city property company PT Jakarta Propertindo and Ragunan Zoo.