Critics Lambast West Java Governor

The West Java administration’s recent accountability reports have drawn fierce criticism and allegations of data manipulation and markups.

Donny Setiawan, the spokesperson of a grouping of NGOs said they had asked the National Audit Board to investigate alleged embezzlement in the West Java budget.

“Controversial issues taking place in 2010 were not included in the reports. Those issues were the production of Lebaran greeting cards which cost between Rp 850 million (US$97,750) and Rp 1.7 billion; the recruitment of the governor’s expert staff, which was not based on the regulations and potentially caused wasted funds,” he said in Bandung on Tuesday.

He was speaking on the sidelines of a legislative session held to evaluate the governor’s reports on March 25.

NGOs joining in the criticism were environmental forum WALHI, Initiative, Budget Discussion Forum and West Java Institute.

They said signs of possible embezzling were found in health programs, which cost a total Rp 66 billion in 2010 but produced a 0.1 increase in the health index compared to in 2009, when 18 billion was spent on health.

They said Governor Ahmad Heryawan and Deputy Governor Yusuf Macan Effendi’s administration had scored a 72.08 on the people’s achievement index, having promised during their campaign to increase the score to 73.51.

Criticism also came from the legislative council, with Yod Mintaraga hitting out at the governor’s claims that it reduced unemployment.

He said the administration’s claim that it had produced 1,063,302 new jobs was false according to a report from the labor agency that showed that many of those new jobs were in the informal sector, and not in investment projects as the government had said.

“Almost 300,000 of them are scavengers. I feel ashamed that the West Javanese are looked down upon in such a way,” Yod, who is deputy chairman of the council’s special committee, said.

Yod said informal sector jobs were rarely created by government activities.

Source : Yuli Tri Suwarni Yuli, The Jakarta Post, Bandung | Wed, 04/20/2011 9:57 PM | The Archipelago, (access 4/26/2011 11:01:34 AM)