Lenny Tristia Tambunan
The Jakarta administration obtained a clean bill of health for its 2011 finances on Wednesday, rewarding what the administration called its hard work over the past five years.
The Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) gave the city’s financial report for last year’s budget an unqualified opinion.
Blucer W. Rajagukguk, the head of the BPK’s Jakarta office, said at a hearing with the City Council that while the opinion did not mean that all the transactions recorded were necessarily true, the way they were presented was in line with government accounting standards.
Speaking after the hearing, Governor Fauzi Bowo said it had taken a lot of effort to finally get an unqualified opinion from the BPK.
He said that until 2007, the BPK had always given a disclaimer of opinion on the city’s financial reports, issued when an audit cannot be satisfactorily completed.
From 2008 onward, it gave the city a qualified opinion, meaning only a few points in the report did not comply with generally accepted accounting principles.
Fauzi said that this year, only two other provinces, West Java and West Nusa Tenggara, had obtained an unqualified opinion from the BPK.
Last year, six provinces were given the agency’s highest rating — East Java, South Sulawesi, North Sulawesi, Riau Islands, Riau and Gorontalo.
“The financial management of the Jakarta administration met the standards of government accounting and attained an unqualified opinion, which means that the report was presented in line with standards, followed good financial management practices, the information contained was adequate and was not open to misinterpretation,” Fauzi said.
He added that he hoped the city could maintain the same high standards in accounting over the coming years.
He said that to obtain the top rating, the city had worked hard to implement recommendations made by the BPK following the 2010 audit.
He said this included carrying out its own interim audits and encouraging all offices in the administration to avoid past mistakes in their budget reporting.
Ferrial Sofyan, the City Council speaker, praised the Jakarta administration for its achievement this year.
“One should never be discouraged even if it takes five years of struggle to get an unqualified opinion. This is because the budget managed by Jakarta is extraordinarily huge and the value of its assets is Rp 450 trillion [$47.7 billion],” he said.
Ruchiyat, chairman of the Jakarta office of the State Finance Development Comptroller (BPKP), said the next step for the city was to ensure that its finances were “clean from all irregularities.”
He said his office was assisting the administration on this point.
Blucer said despite the clean bill of health, there were still many issues that the administration needed to address. For one, he said, the Jakarta administration still owes the central government Rp 9.48 billion in revenue.
“Besides that, there were also findings of assets that had not been made use of, and data on revenue that was not integrated with data from the offices that received the money,” he said.
The BPK also mentioned three areas where it said the city administration could still make improvements.
They include accounting policies to separate loans from unclaimed investments, capital equity in city-owned enterprises and asset degradation.