The safety of the community is more important than the complicated procedures that we make
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) is in favor of the audit to be conducted by the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) in the management of state finances utilized for handling the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

"This outlook is part of the responsibilities of the government, including the central government, regional governments, other state institutions, Bank Indonesia, OJK (Financial Services Authority), state-owned enterprises (BUMN), public service agencies and regional-owned enterprises, as well as the Indonesian military (TNI) and the National Police (Polri), in addition to other institutions or bodies, " President Jokowi noted at the State Palace in Jakarta, Tuesday.

The president made the statement at the kick-off meeting to discuss the audit of management and responsibility of state finances in handling the COVID-19 pandemic in which the attendees comprised Vice President Ma'ruf Amin, ranks of the Advanced Indonesia Cabinet, and also BPK Chairman Agung Firman Sampurna, and other related officials.

"I warmly welcome this kick-off meeting today. We support this examination to be conducted immediately, so that it supports activities to find solutions for better ways to deal with the crisis," the president noted.

President Jokowi affirmed that BPK's steps also support the management of state finances for handling COVID-19 to be transparent, accountable, and effective.

"As we know, the COVID-19 pandemic has compelled the government from the central to the regions, including the TNI/Polri and BUMN, to take extraordinary steps in facing the health and economic crises," the president stated.

The government can channel efforts in areas, such as evacuating Indonesian citizens from the pandemic area; preparing hospitals, isolation houses, medical equipment, and medicines in a short period of time; and mobilizing all apparatuses to discipline the public to adhere to and follow health protocols.

"Everything must be done in an extraordinary way, an unusual way, a non-standard way. Everything must be done in a swift manner and by employing a simple procedure," the president noted.

These actions are aimed at ensuring the safety of society.

"The safety of the community is more important than the complicated procedures that we make," the president stated.

The government has also made extraordinary efforts in the economic sector, right from social assistance in the form of distribution of basic necessities to social assistance through cash.

"This must be done to save people, who suddenly became unemployed and have no source of income. Assistance for MSMEs, salary subsidies, and credit restructuring must also be done quickly," the president also affirmed.

As a consequence, the economy would not deteriorate further, and the community's economic activities could still run.

"I reiterate all of that to equalize the frequency that we are indeed in a crisis situation. The government must change the work channel, from ordinary to extraordinary," the president emphasized.

President Jokowi affirmed that in the wake of the pandemic, the government also needs flexibility in working.

"As with global conditions, in general, we still need time to emerge out of this crisis condition. The government still needs work flexibility and simplicity of procedures, so that all problems can be handled quickly, on target, and efficiently," the president noted.

BPK Chairman Sampurna pointed to several problems identified in the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic comprising data unreliability, lack of transparency of state apparatuses, as well as the varied social assistance from different ministries, with the same goals, so overlapping tends to be a looming risk.

"This examination is called a universal audit. We call it a risk-based comprehensive audit, and the president can obtain the results of audits regularly every month, so that governance issues and all emergencies can be immediately monitored," Sampurna noted in his remarks.
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Translator: Desca L, Azis Kurmala
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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