House alleges BPK tampered with audit
Most legislators are unconvinced by the results of the Supreme Audit Agency’s (BPK) second audit of the Bank Century bailout that found no trace of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s inner-circle profiting from case.
Several legislators have even demanded that the BPK conduct a third audit or seek a second opinion from private auditors because there were indications of flaws in the agency’s investigation.
The forensic audit, which was officially submitted to the House of Representatives by BPK chairman Hadi Purnomo on Friday, revealed no new findings other than reconfirming the role of several high-profile figures in profiting from the bailout.
“There’s nothing new in the audit. Difficulties cited by the BPK in tracing the bailout money were unjustifiable,” said legislator Akbar Faisal of the People’s Conscience Party (Hanura).
“We’re suspicious that the BPK tampered with the audit. That is why we will demand it does a more comprehensive audit or hire private auditors.”
The BPK’s forensic audit, which was carried out over a six-month period following a request from the House, focused on the money trail of the bailout funds.
Golkar Party legislator Bambang Soesatyo said there were indications of political intervention in the audit that resulted in the agency working halfheartedly in tracing the money.
“We can definitely feel it [the intervention],” said Bambang, who is also a former member of the now-defunct House special committee assigned to investigate the bailout.
Bambang was suspicious of BPK deputy chairman Taufiequrrahman Ruki, who led the audit, whom he said had close ties to the Yudhoyono camp.
Before the completion of the audit, expectations ran high over the results as many senior BPK officers said on several occasions that the audit would implicate many high-profile figures.
Legislators have another reason to suspect the integrity of the audit because BPK chief Hadi has the potential to be investigated in a graft case at the tax office while serving as the office’s chief between 2001 and 2006.
The Attorney General’s Office recently detained several of Hadi’s former officials in a graft case revolving around IT equipment procurement.
“There’s the potential for horse trading to have the audit result tampered in exchange for terminating the case,” said Bambang.
Hadi denied the allegation, saying there had been no outside intervention in the audit and that he had nothing to do with the procurement case.
Ruki also strongly denied allegations of having links with the Democratic Party that could influence his work as an auditor.
The Bank Century controversy centered around suspicions that part of Yudhoyono’s 2009 presidential campaign fund was financed by money from the bailout, which eventually multiplied tenfold to Rp 6.76 trillion (US$716 million) from the initial estimate.
In late 2008, then finance minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, now a World Bank managing director and then central bank governor Boediono approved a bailout to salvage Bank Century, now renamed Bank Mutiara, amid raging global financial turmoil.
Several parties, including Yudhoyono’s Democratic Party coalition partners the Golkar Party and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), have continued to use the issue as a political bargaining chip since 2009.
Golkar allegedly used the issue in mid-2010 to form a House inquiry committee to unseat reform icon Sri Mulyani as finance minister, due to her standoff with the party’s chairman-cum-businessman Aburizal Bakrie.
House deputy speaker Anis Matta of the PKS said the House monitoring team on the Bank Century case would grill the BPK to get to the bottom of the case.
The monitoring team, whose working mandate was recently extended until the end of 2012, is tasked with ensuring that those profiting from the bailout are prosecuted. Thus far, no government or central bank officials have been prosecuted in the case.House speaker Marzuki Alie urged fellow politicians to accept the BPK audit and end the lengthy political tussle.
“There was no controversy in the bailout. I think it’s time to put the case to rest,” he said.
High-profile figures dragged down by the audit
1. Legislator Emir Moeis of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P): An irregularity in Emir’s receipt of US$392,110 from Bank Century
2. Bank Indonesia deputy governor Budi Mulya: Budi received a Rp 1 billion bank transfer from PT CBI, which was owned by the mother of Bank Century’s owner Robert Tantular, who was sentenced to nine years in prison for a banking crime
3. Late businessman Boedi Sampoerna: Boedi was involved in the withdrawal of US$18 million during the Bank Century crisis
BPK audit flaws according to legislators
1. Failure to interview various key witnesses because most are on the run or abroad
2. Confidentiality regulations abroad hinder the BPK from accessing data
3. BPK did not do enough to access documents on Bank Century held by law enforcement agencies
4. As a supreme auditor, it was unjustifiable that the BPK could not access documents from the Indonesia Stock Exchange and the Capital Market and Financial Institution Supervisory Agency
5. BPK auditor team head I Nyoman Wara does not have a certified fraud examiner certificate, and therefore is not eligible to conduct a forensic audit