Irregularities found in e-ID procurement: Watchdog
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A legal hearing at the Business Competition Supervisory Commission (KPPU) on Wednesday revealed the findings by a team of investigators into alleged corrupt practices in the procurement of the national electronic identity card (e-ID) system that cost the state Rp 5.8 trillion (US$602.68 million).
KPPU investigator Hadi Susanto said the procurement committee that worked for the Home Ministry did not comply with binding guidelines provided by the government’s Goods and Services Procurement Agency (LKPP).
For example, he said, the committee had conducted the procurement pre-qualification process through both electronic and regular systems, a direct violation of the LKPP guidelines. “As recommended by the LKPP, the committee should have chosen either electronic procurement or regular procurement, instead of using both methods,” Hadi said during the hearing.
Another example of a guideline violation was the signing of procurement contracts on July 1, 2011, with the two consortia that won the bidding process without waiting for a final resolution of appeals filed by the unsuccessful bidders.
The winners were consortia led by state-owned printing company PNRI and private firm PT Astra Graphia. The appeals were filed by state-owned securities paper and banknote printing company PT Perum Peruri and state-owned telecommunications firm PT Telkom. Responses to the appeals by Peruri and Telkom were issued by the ministry on July 6 and 11 respectively.
Another KPPU investigator, Verry Iskandar, pointed out at the hearing that irregularities were also found in the specifications set by the procurement committee, particularly on the demand for ISO-certified products, leading to a suspicion that the specifications were rigged to benefit the winners.
During the hearing session procurement committee head Drajat Wisnu Setiawan failed to show documents proving that PNRI and Astra Graphia had used ISO-certified products.
Drajat denied allegations that his team had set specific criteria to benefit certain candidates. “We don’t believe our criteria favored certain products,” Drajat told the session.
One of the presiding judges in the hearing, Sukarmi, said that the KPPU would issue its final ruling on the case next week after an extended session concluded on Thursday.
“If we can prove corruption and state losses in this case, we will send our recommendations to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) for further investigation. But if there’s any evidence of legal violations, such as fabrication of documents, we will hand it over to the National Police,” Sukarmi said after the hearing.
Soendoro Soepringgo, defense attorney for the team from the ministry, expressed his disappointment with the investigation, saying that the KPPU did not have sufficient evidence to investigate the case.
“They should have had at least two pieces of evidence before starting the probe,” he said, adding that the KPPU had also failed to present key witnesses to strengthen its grounds for tackling the case.
The e-KTP project was initiated in February 2011 as part of the government’s plan to establish a single citizen-identification number system nationwide.
The project, which aimed to issue 105 million ID cards by the end of 2012, has been marred by various corruption allegations and technical faults in its implementation.
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