Concerned by a meager absorption of this year's city budget, the Jakarta administration is collaborating with several other institutions to help city agencies spend funds that have been allocated to them.
The institutions, grouped under the Regional Development Watch (TP4D) team, are the Jakarta Police, the Jakarta Prosecutor's Office, the National Land Agency (BPN), the Development Finance Comptroller (BPKP) and the National Procurement Agency (LKPP).
Representatives of the institutions on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to help the agencies spend the allocated funds without violating existing regulations.
Jakarta Prosecutor's Office head M. Adi Toegarisman said many people believed that the low absorption of state and regional budgets was caused by the fear of many government officials of being named as graft suspects in connection with the spending of their respective agencies' funds.
"There is a belief that the current low budget absorption is caused by the fear of heads of agencies about becoming targets of law enforcement," Adi said after signing the MoU in Jakarta on Wednesday, adding that the objective of the new team would be to ensure that all projects funded by the city could take place smoothly, without violating any regulations.
Jakarta Police chief Tito Karnavian said the police officers who would join the team would ensure that there were no abuses of power in budget spending. Tito said he appreciated the efforts of Jakarta Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama, who invited the police to join the team.
Ahok hoped that with the establishment of the team, fewer Jakarta administration officials would be named corruption suspects.
"Next year, we are going to use an e-catalog for the tender of city projects. With help from the team, there's no reason for officials to be afraid of using their allocated funds. If they are afraid, they only need to ask the team," Ahok added.