The Jakarta Post
A year on from his inauguration on Nov. 19, 2014, Jakarta Governor Basuki 'Ahok' Tjahaja Purnama has said that he is still focused on healthcare and education.
The governor said that working units in his administration could cut budget allocations for low priority programs, but had been told to 'never cut allocated budgets for health and education programs'.
Ahok admitted that the city administration needed to develop the capability of its officials to decide on the priority level of different projects or programs.
Ahok said that there were still many unnecessary expenses being incurred by certain working units, such as the organization of some festivals, fashion events and food shows.
According to the governor, the city administration did not need to organize such events themselves, but rather, needed to commission other parties to organize such events.
'All of those events are good, but which ones should be our highest priorities? Should we spend Rp. 40 billion on a community health center or on organizing a festival? The answer should be on constructing the health center," Ahok said at City Hall on Wednesday.
Ahok said that each working unit needed to cut between 10 and 20 percent of their allocated budgets, particularly those in low priority fields if the higher priority programs needed more funding. 'If we understand our priorities, we can cut budget allocations for less important things to finance higher-priority projects,' he added.
The governor also advised his officials to improve their budget spending efficiency. As an example, he suggested that land purchasing for certain projects could be carried out earlier, even before the city budget was approved, so that officials had time to negotiate with land owners.
"If we want to purchase a plot of land to build a hospital, for example, we could negotiate it first. We don't need to wait for budget approval," Ahok added. (bbn)
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