Lawmakers Will Question BPMigas Over Office Procurement Allegations

By webadmin on 04:30 pm Jul 25, 2012
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Markus Junianto Sihaloho

An opposition lawmaker said on Tuesday that the House of Representatives would summon state upstream oil and gas regulator BPMigas for questioning after a budget watchdog called for an investigation into the agency’s leasing of office space.

Dewi Aryani, a member of House Commission VII overseeing energy, said the commission would summon BPMigas officials when lawmakers reconvened after their Ramadan recess. The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) lawmaker also called for a reform of BPMigas and said President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, in his capacity as chairman of the National Economic Council, should lead it.

“He needs to make sure that efficiency measures are really implemented,” she said. This, she added, will help lift more Indonesians out of poverty.

The Indonesian Forum for Budget Transparency (Fitra) called last week for an investigation into what it said was an untendered office space procurement by BPMigas that could cost the state billions of rupiah. Fitra accused BPMigas of bypassing a tender to sign a deal with Sanggarcipta Kreasitama for office space in South Jakarta in a deal valued at Rp 376 billion ($40 million).

Fitra questioned the regulator’s decision to procure the space for Rp 76 billion and agree to pay Rp 300 billion in rent for five years, an amount it says is enough to build a whole new office space.

The budget watchdog’s coordinator, Uchok Sky Khadafi, said on Friday that BPMigas did not negotiate the procurement price with Sanggarcipta, as required under standard government tender procedures.

“This procurement reeks of corruption. There was no tender,” he said. “[The Corruption Eradication Commission] must step in to investigate.”

Fitra, citing the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK), said BPMigas started looking in September 2010 to move from its office space in the Patra Jasa building on Jalan Gatot Subroto in South Jakarta.