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Anti-graft agency finds numerous irregularities in Jokowi's toll road projects

CNN Indonesia - March 8, 2023

Jakarta – The government's Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has discovered potential state losses of as much as 4.5 trillion rupiah in the construction of toll roads in Indonesia under the administration of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo.

The KPK found there were critical or vulnerable points for corruption in the weak accountability of tenders, conflicts of interests and toll road business agencies' (BUJT) failure to carry out their obligations.

The KPK has released the problematic findings in a list of Indonesian toll road management projects, which since 2016 have experienced a drastic growth reaching a length of 2,923 kilometers.

The KPK uploaded this on its official Twitter account @KPK_RI on Tuesday March 7. The following are the toll road management problems that have occurred under Widodo's watch and highlighted by the KPK.

Planning process

The KPK found problems with toll road management arrangements that still use old regulations. As a result, the development plan does not take into account new perspectives such as the competence of toll road construction companies and the allocation of land acquisition funds.

Tendering process

The KPK found that the tender documents did not contain sufficient information on the technical conditions of the toll roads. As a result, the winning bidder had to make adjustments which resulted in construction delays.

Oversight process

In this case, the KPK highlighted that there had been no mitigation of recurring problems related to the fulfillment of the BUJT obligations. As a result, the implementation of BUJT obligations was not properly monitored.

Potential conflicts of interest

The KPK also highlighted development investors, which in this case were dominated by 61.9 percent of development contractors, namely the state-owned construction company BUMN Karya. As a result, there was a conflict of interest in the process of procuring construction services.

No follow up regulations

The KPK believes that there are no rules on the further handover of toll road managers. As a result, the mechanisms following the handover of concession rights from BUJT to the government were ambiguous.

Potential state losses

Weak oversight has resulted in a number of BUJTs failing to pay their obligations, potentially causing state losses of up to 4.5 trillion rupiah.

KPK's recommendations

Furthermore, the KPK claimed to have submitted an evaluation and recommendation of their findings to the Ministry of Public Works (PUPR). This is aimed at improving the management of Indonesia's toll roads and closing the corruption loopholes found by the KPK.

The KPK's recommendations include that the government is able to formulate a complete toll road planning policy and stipulate this through a PUPR Ministerial Decree, and implement a detailed engineering design (DED) as a reference for toll road concession tenders.

Then, evaluate the completion of BUJT obligations and increase future implementation compliance, and evaluate the PUPR Minister's regulations in order to draw in more quality investors.

Finally, the government was also asked to draw up regulations on conflicts of interest, formulate derivative regulations related to the technical takeover of concessions and toll road concessions, and that the government collect and ensure full payment of obligations from BUJTs.

There has been no response from the government regarding the KPK's findings. CNN Indonesia has also tried to contact the PUPR Ministry to request a response to the findings, but no response has been forthcoming. (khr/gil)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Daftar Masalah Proyek Tol Era Jokowi yang Jadi Sorotan KPK".]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20230308073610-12-922233/daftar-masalah-proyek-tol-era-jokowi-yang-jadi-sorotan-kp