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Jakarta Post

State audit agency begins five-month inspection into six ministries’ books

  • Norman Harsono
    Norman Harsono

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, January 6, 2020   /   03:15 pm
State audit agency begins five-month inspection into six ministries’ books Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) chairman Agung Firman Sampurna talks to reporters in Jakarta on Monday. (JP/Norman Harsono)

The Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) kicked off its annual inspection of six ministries’ 2019 financial reports on Monday, with a particular emphasis on that of the Public Works and Housing Ministry, the 2018 report of which had the most room for improvement.

A BPK official told reporters in Jakarta that the remaining five ministries were the Agriculture Ministry, the Office of the Coordinating Maritime and Investment Minister, the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry and the Environment and Forestry Ministry.

“In general, we will be looking at their goods expenditures, capital expenditures, non-tax state revenues and debts,” said BPK chairman Agung Firman Sampurna, noting that inspections would run from January to May this year.

BPK member Isma Yatun added that out of the six audited ministries, the energy, agriculture, public works and environment ministries were of particular importance “in that their financial reports would affect the central government’s overall report”.

The BPK, she continued, would focus on auditing the capital expenditures and assets of the public works ministry, which was the only institution whose 2018 report was deemed “reasonable with exception” – the second-highest level, while the other five ministries received an “unqualified opinion” – the highest level.

It has set its eyes on several main issues in each ministry.

“For [the energy ministry], we will look into state capital injection for Pertamina and PGN, non-tax state revenue from the mining sector and the assets of former contracting oil companies," she said. Meanwhile, the BPK would look into the fisheries ministry's aquarium design and building program, modern fish market program and floating net cage clean-up program.

It would also scrutinize permit issuance for forest areas, which falls under the environmental ministry, and work trip expenses under the coordinating maritime ministry.

Coordinating Maritime and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan, whose office heads all the audited ministries except the Agriculture Ministry, expressed reservation about the work trip expense restrictions. He basically argued that spending more state funds on work trips was needed “to supervise his subordinates”.

The BPK’s Agung countered that the agency only enforced work trip expense guidelines as drafted by the Finance Ministry. Therefore, reservations over such expenses were best taken to the Finance Ministry instead of the BPK.