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200 BUMN officials probed over graft JAKARTA - At least 200 officials at state-owned companies (BUMNs) are being investigated for their alleged involvement in graft and abuse of authority, State Minister for State Enterprises Sugiharto said Saturday. Sugiharto said several of the officials being questioned had officially been named suspects, but he declined to give their names at this early point in the investigation.

The minister said he would not replace any of the officials until the authorities made a final decision on their legal status. "In principle, the officials being questioned can be replaced, but I have to abide by the principle of presumption of innocence," Sugiharto said after accompanying Vice President Jusuf Kalla to a meeting with the board of directors of state plantation company PT Perkebunan Nusantara IV in Medan.

The minister acknowledged the investigation had affected the performance of several state-owned companies, because the officials being questioned were hesitant to make any decisions or issue orders during the legal process. But Sugiharto said he had ordered the boards of directors and commissioners of all state-owned companies to carry on with their work during the investigation.

"There are still many BUMNs that are managed according to the principles of good corporate governance. Compared to the 6,000 officials at the 158 BUMNs, the 200 officials being questioned cannot be considered as representing the state of the BUMNs as a whole," he said. The minister said he fully supported the steps taken by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to rid state-owned companies of corruption, collusion and nepotism, as stipulated in a 2004 presidential instruction.

"I've taken steps to follow up the presidential instruction, establishing a special team to study and verify reports and signs of KKN (corruption, collusion and nepotism) at BUMNs. If its findings are enough to start the legal process, the team will file a report with the prosecutor's office and an interdepartmental anticorruption team," he said. The minister said the special team was set up in response to an increase in the number of complaints of corruption at state-owned companies. The status of the team is likely to be upgraded to that of an inspectorate in the Office of the State Minister for State Enterprises, to help it better monitor the performance of BUMNs.

"The process of establishing the inspectorate has entered the final stage. With this inspectorate, the Office of the State Minister for State Enterprises will have an instrument with the authority and legal power to supervise the management of BUMNs," he said. This decision was taken, he said, to help prevent financial malfeasance at state enterprises, which are increasingly being expected to make significant contributions to the nation's economy.

The 2006 budget estimates the value of dividends paid by BUMNs to the state at about Rp 23 trillion (US$2.42 billion), a more than 200 percent increase over the Rp 8.9 trillion in the 2005 budget.



Posted in Economy @ 06 February 2006 07:14 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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