Pictures depicting rust patina on a number of new China-made buses procured by the city administration circulated over the weekend, raising procurement questions.
The pictures showed several damaged components, including power-steering, engine mounts, machine pulleys and air filters. Another picture showed a water coolant leaking. In another, a broken windshield, dashboard instruments unscrewed and mold on the air conditioner unit.
Damage was reportedly found on 15 buses ' 10 single buses and five articulated buses ' produced
Governor Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo responded to the reports Monday, calling on the relevant institutions to push for an inquiry into the matter.
'I have asked the [city] inspectorate about the matter. I will receive the report later,' Jokowi told reporters at City Hall, adding that, 'someone should be held accountable for this'.
Separately, Deputy Governor Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama alleged that fraudulent practices during the procurement process had come to light.
'Who wants to buy rusty goods? Someone may have received kickbacks to let the damaged buses go through, but we'll have to wait for an investigation to make sure,' he said.
Later on Monday, Jakarta Transportation Agency head Udar Pristono blamed bad weather for the condition of the buses.
'The buses were delivered when bad weather hit, enforcing the ship to return to the port in Shanghai. The buses were supposed to be delivered within two weeks but actually took six weeks to arrive. The rust was allegedly caused by sea water corrosion,' he told a press conference.
Udar emphasized that the procurement project tender had been carried out in compliance with city regulations, pointing out that the importer was prepared to repair
'We will sort this out, please don't generalize, it was only a minor damage. Not all the buses were damaged,' he said.
Udar rebutted accusations that the buses were second hand, saying that those particular buses only operated in Indonesia.
'Buses with high decks only operate in Bogota [Colombia] and Jakarta, and the ones in Bogota use diesel while we use CNG [compressed natural gas]. These buses were made to order,' he said.
Udar said that the city had only paid 30 percent of the total contract, which was Rp 1 trillion
( US$82 million ).
Importer company PT San Abadi president director Indra Krisna, claimed the buses were delivered in a good condition but his company would be responsible for any damage. 'I can be sure the vehicles were not corroded,' he said, adding that the new parts had yet to be delivered.
Indra said that all articulated buses were delivered built, while the single buses were assembled here.
'So if there was broken glass, it was purely accidental,' he said.