Jakarta (ANTARA) - Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati on Friday stated that the government's spending during the COVID-19 pandemic was documented and can be accounted for, even though it was made amid an emergency situation.

"All decisions involving the Finance Ministry were stored and recorded," she said after attending the presentation of the 2023 First Semester Examination Results Summary (IHPS) in Jakarta.

She noted that during the pandemic period, the government had to make quick decisions regarding the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines for domestic needs as they were still in the production stage and in high demand globally.

Discussions on vaccine procurement were also recorded, starting from the number of doses that had to be imported to the price, she disclosed.

To regulate COVID-19 response programs, her ministry regularly invited law enforcement agencies, including the police, prosecutors, the Financial Supervisory Agency (BPK), and the Financial and Development Supervisory Agency (BPKP).

During that time, she also reminded her ranks to always make the right decisions, even in an emergency situation.

"That was an unprecedented emergency. We made careful decisions, which we documented thoroughly," Indrawati said.

She expressed the hope that the entire series of activities, which are well-documented, can be accounted for when problems arise.

"We can explain the reason for making such a decision during the pandemic. There was no corruption and conflict of interest, that was an emergency situation," she emphasized.

However, if corruption is detected during an investigation, auditors can carry out further investigation, Indrawati emphasized.

She made the statement in response to the Corruption Eradication Commission's (KPK’s) investigation into alleged corruption in the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 pandemic at the Ministry of Health. The investigation began on October 9, 2023.

The alleged corruption case pertains to the procurement of 5 million sets of PPE worth Rp3.03 trillion (around US$212.4 million) at the Health Ministry's Crisis Center in 2020.

The state is estimated to have lost hundreds of billions of rupiah in this case.

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Translator: Andi Firdaus, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Anton Santoso
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