An audit of government financial reports has identified hundreds of trillions of rupiah from the 2011 state budget still unaccounted for.
The results of the audit by the State Audit Agency (BPK) will likely be utilized by opposition parties to attack President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s administration and could also prompt legal enforcers to investigate the discrepancies.
The audit results have prompted Yudhoyono to warn all ministries and officials to make sure all the state money was used efficiently and was not stolen.
“State money should not be embezzled and what belongs to the state must be put inside the state’s coffers,” he told a press briefing after receiving BPK chief Hadi Purnomo at the State Palace in Jakarta on Wednesday.
The president said he invited all his ministers to the meeting so that they could listen directly to what Hadi said they should do to fix the problems in their financial reports.
The BPK gave only 67 out of 87 ministries and state institutions unqualified opinions, meaning there were no problems in their report. The others received qualified opinions, indicating that some state money was unaccounted for in the audit.
Hadi said his office’s audit has found at least two problems in fixed assets valuations in many ministries when considering the former assets of the now-defunct National Banking Restructuring Board (BPPN).
First, the audit found discrepancies between the value of fixed assets recorded in the reports and the BPK’s valuations.
The BPK found Rp 4.13 trillion ($438 million) in discrepancies across 10 ministries and institutions. In addition, in the Public Works Ministry, the audit found Rp 109 trillion in discrepancies.
The audit also found Rp 3.88 trillion awry in three ministries while in 40 ministries and institutions, the audit found Rp 1.54 trillion in discrepancies.
The BPK also cannot verify Rp 6.89 trillion recorded in the financial reports of 14 ministries and institutions as they could not find the fixed assets to which the reports referred.
Regarding BPPN’s cashier checks, which have been reported to be worth Rp 18.25 trillion and Rp 11.18 trillion respectively, the BPK could not find the supporting documents.
Hadi, however, said that in the last eight years the government has gradually increased the quality of its financial reports.
The government, he said, had reported an income of Rp 1,211 trillion and an expense of Rp 1,295 trillion in 2011.
“State income increased by Rp 216 trillion or 22 percent compared to 2010, when it stood at Rp 995 trillion,” Hadi said.
Yudhoyono, meanwhile, said that ministries and institutions should fix their official travel systems so that they don’t waste state money.
According to the BPK audit, several ministries duplicate travel expense records while many trips were not supported with documentation.
“We found unaccountable trips in 28 ministries, worth Rp 29.32 billion and $150,000,” he said.
Yudhoyono ordered his ministers to investigate all discrepancies reported by the BPK, lauding the audit agency for helping the government prevent corruption and embezzlement of the public’s money.
Additional reporting from Antara