Jakarta Officials Suspended Over Suspected Corruption, Bid Rigging
Jakarta. The Jakarta government will suspend two education officials named as suspects by police for their involvement in the irregular procurement of uninterruptible power supply devices to schools across the capital last year.
The National Police on Monday charged Alex Usman and Zaenal Soleman, the procurement’s project managers for West Jakarta and Central Jakarta, respectively, on suspicion of corruption and bid rigging.
Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama said with the two now embroiled in a criminal case, by law the city can suspend them from active duty.
“As they have been named suspects, it is better if they concentrate on their cases. We will replace them,” Basuki said, adding that he would soon look for potential candidates to replace the suspects.
Alex and Zaenal are currently the West Jakarta education agency’s facility chief and the city’s youth and sports agency chief, respectively.
Jakarta Deputy Governor Djarot Saiful Hidayat said on Tuesday that the suspension would have to wait for more development into the case.
“Once the [legal] process continues, we will evaluate whether they need to be replaced immediately or not,” Djarot said.
Meanwhile the governor appeared reluctant to have the city provide the two accused with legal counsel.
“I don’t know if we can provide [counsel] for a corruption case,” the governor said on Tuesday.
Last year, the city spent Rp 330 billion ($25 million) on the UPS equipment for 55 schools in the capital, in a program that Governor Basuki says his administration never proposed.
The schools say they neither needed nor requested the devices, which at a price tag of Rp 6 billion each are highly inflated compared with retail listings of no more than Rp 20 million per device.
The companies listed as tender winners for the procurement were also deemed suspicious. Addresses listed were found to be empty warehouses and small shops.
The UPS machines were distributed to schools across West and Central Jakarta between last October and January this year.
Police say they have found indications of state losses amounting to at least Rp 50 billion, which was reportedly pocketed by several city officials.
National Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said investigators are looking to charge more suspects.
“From the flow of funds, it is likely that there will be more suspects. We will question [Alex and Zainal] next week,” he said.Jakarta Education Officials in Hot Water for Shady Purchase of UPS Devices
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Source: The Jakarta Globe