The Jakarta Post
Dozens of city administration officials have been trawling through stacks of documents in the newly-established Jakarta Goods and Services Procurement Unit (ULP) at City Hall after the deadline for the submission of tender documents passed last week.
It is now their job to scrutinize and assess more than 5,000 tender documents filed with the unit before declaring them complete, and opening the bidding on the eprocurement website lpse.jakarta.go.id.
The ULP has been tasked with carrying out the tender process for all agencies and working units within the city administration, the agencies and units had previously processed their tenders themselves.
The assessment process is far from simple, however, as many of the agencies and units have submitted incomplete tender documents.
ULP head I Dewa Gede Soni said that the unit had been obliged to play a greater role than that of assessor.
'We have also had to act as consultants because most documents submitted do not meet requirements, so we have had to supervise them and to revise the documents,' he said at his office recently.
Soni provided a tender document as an example. The document requested a tender to procure medicine, explaining in its tender background that the central government had determined 44 items of standard medicines that had to be available at city-run hospitals and community health centers (puskesmas).
It did not, however, provide details regarding which medicines or the amount of medicines needed.
'The standard explanations should include details like the amount of items, the types and the price of the items, when and where the items should be delivered etc ' basically 5W1H questions [who, when, where, what, why, how ]' so suppliers who read them can immediately conclude whether or not they should prepare a bid,' Soni said.
After assessing the documents, the unit ' which is divided into 17 working groups overseeing different agencies and working units ' return incomplete documents to the relevant agencies asking them to revise them within 24 hours.
'This one has been revised three times,' a unit official, Muhalis, said while assessing a tender document submitted by the Maritime Affairs and Agriculture Agency.
Despite the fact that many agencies, which should have been capable of preparing tender documents, had failed to submit complete and proper documents, Budi, an official at a city agency, said that there were no significant differences between the previous and current procedures.
'It's just the same. Only now we have to go back and forth from my office to the ULP office,' he said.
Soni declined to comment when asked how well the tenders had been carried out previously.
'You can make your own judgement,' he said.
The unit was established to centralize the tender processes for all city projects and thus increase oversight to minimize endemic corruption.
Deputy Governor Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama has repeatedly said that previously tenders were often carried out without detailed documents and where therefore prone to fraudulent practices.
To prevent the unit from misusing its authority, Soni said that he had issued a decree which mandated regular rotation within the unit.
'Every a few months I will transfer officials to different working groups so they won't be overseeing particular agencies or working units for too long,' he said.
He has also imposed strict regulations for his officials.
'They are not allowed to accept hospitality from tender participants. I am determined to run an accountable and transparent unit,' he said.
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