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Personal accounts managing public funds? The KPK is not amused.

Jakarta Post - July 23, 2020

Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) will investigate five state institutions found to have used personal bank accounts to manage public funds.

"The KPK will investigate the findings to see if there is an indication of crime or if this is merely an administrative mishap," KPK deputy chairman Nurul Ghufron said on Wednesday.

The Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) announced on Tuesday that five ministries and state institutions had used personal bank accounts to manage a total of Rp 71.78 billion (US$4.9 million) in state funds.

They are the Defense Ministry, the Religious Affairs Ministry, the Environment and Forestry Ministry, the Elections Supervisory Agency (Bawaslu), and the Nuclear Energy Regulatory Agency (Bapeten).

According to the BPK, Rp 48.12 billion in state funds was found in 62 personal bank accounts within the Defense Ministry, Rp 20.71 billion in several personal bank accounts and in cash within the Religious Affairs Ministry and Rp 2.93 billion within the Bawaslu office in Lampung.

If the use of personal bank accounts was an administrative error, Ghufron said, the matter should immediately be addressed by each of the institutions.

He said the KPK would take "strict measures" if the investigation revealed that the state institutions had been using personal bank accounts for their own profit while managing the state budget.

In response to the BPK's report, Defense Ministry spokesperson Brig. Gen. Djoko Purwanto said the personal bank accounts were used by the ministry only for administrative purposes – to manage the budget for Indonesian defense attaches stationed around the world who needed ready access to funds for their activities.

He added that the ministry had filed a request with the Finance Ministry regarding the opening of bank accounts to provide for defense attaches.

"The Defense Ministry's inspector general has given a detailed explanation to the BPK regarding its findings," Djoko said as quoted by kompas.com.

Religious Affairs Ministry acting inspector general Muhammad Thamrin said the ministry had immediately responded to the BPK's findings by wiring the Rp 20.71 billion back to the public service agency (BLU) that managed state funds and providing ministry financial reports.

Bawaslu secretary-general Gunawan Suswantoro said the use of a personal bank account in Bawaslu, Lampung, was merely an "administrative mishap", adding that the Rp 2.9 billion – which was what remained from direct purchases and stockpiling – had been returned to the state. (dpk)

Source: https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/07/23/personal-accounts-managing-public-funds-the-kpk-is-not-amused.html