Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's National Food Agency (Bapanas/NFA) is striving to improve governance to expedite the distribution of the government's rice aid and ensure its accuracy.

"In the end, it (rice aid) will help control the inflation rate. Hence, the evaluation of the execution of the aid distribution is one of the important aspects, so we can ensure that the aid is distributed to all eligible recipients," Head of the NFA Arief Prasetyo Adi remarked in Jakarta on Sunday.

Adi noted that his agency evaluated the aid distribution process on October 26-28 of 2023 in collaboration with the Indonesian Ombudsman, state logistics agency Bulog, state-owned food company ID Food, the National Police's Food Task Force, and relevant government agencies from all provinces.

The NFA's Director of Distribution and Food Reserves, Rachmi Widiriani, said that based on the evaluation, three aspects should be improved, namely the accuracy of recipient data, the quality of the aid, and the reimbursement mechanism.

"We continue to improve the mechanism of the distribution by taking into account suggestions from various stakeholders. In accordance with the directives of Mr. President (Joko Widodo), we strive to ensure that the aid is received by those in need," she stated.

Regarding the data of eligible recipients, she noted that the NFA had corrected the number of beneficiaries from 21.353 million to 20.66 million.

The data correction was based on the validation conducted by the Ministry of Social Affairs, which showed that several factors have been causal to the change of the data, including the death, relocation, and improvements in economy of the registered recipients.

Furthermore, Widiriani noted that the NFA would prepare tracking devices for transporters, so the agency can monitor the movement of food distribution on the field to minimize potential damages to the goods during delivery.

"In addition, we will prepare a hotline and special unit to handle complaints received from the public. This unit will comprise officials from various ministries/agencies that will act fast to respond to both complaints and suggestions from the public," she elaborated.

Meanwhile, an official from the Indonesian Ombudsman, Yeka Hendra Fatika, affirmed that his party would continue to oversee the implementation of public services offered by government agencies and institutions, including the NFA, Bulog, and ID FOOD.

He highlighted the importance of ensuring that the distribution of food aid is free from maladministration since such an activity is part of public services.

"Ombudsman is striving to strengthen regulations to solidify the duties and authorities of the National Food Agency, while improving its infrastructure and preventing maladministration," Fatika noted.

Related news: Bapanas prepares additional rice aid for late 2023, early 2024
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Translator: Kuntum Khaira, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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