City buys 60 buses without holding tender

Bambang Nurbianto, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Officials of the city administration revealed on Wednesday that they are purchasing 60 buses for the busway system without holding a tender, which is a violation of a presidential decree on the procurement of goods and services for government agencies.

Head of the city transportation agency Rustam Effendi said the buses which would be used in the first 12.9-kilometers of the bus rapid transit (BRT) or busway from Blok M in South Jakarta to Kota area in Central Jakarta would be Hino and Mercedes buses.

"Yes, the procurement of the 60 buses will be from Hino and Mercedes. It (The process) is completed," Rustam told the press at City Hall, adding that the assembling plant of the buses would be PT New Armada.

The city administration has allocated Rp 50 billion for procuring the buses from the city budget. The fund is part of some Rp 117 billion which has been allocated to fund the project.

The procurement of the buses is a direct violation of Presidential Decree No. 18/2000 on the procurement of goods and services for government agencies.

Article 17, paragraph 4 of the presidential decree stipulates that the procurement of goods and services may be implemented without tender under four conditions:

* If the value of the project is not more than Rp 50 million.

* In the case of consulting services, where it is hard to find participants who meet the requirements.

* In emergency or special conditions, upon approval of the minister/head of non-ministerial institution/governor/mayor/director of state-owned companies.

* If there is only one supplying company

According to Rustam, the city administration could not hold a tender due to the shortage of time as the buses were needed within six months.

"The presidential decree allows for direct appointment in an emergency situation," said Rustam.

Governor Sutiyoso said that he was not aware of the direct appointment of the companies for the procurement of the buses. He stressed, however, that he had no objection if there was a reasonable argument behind the appointment.

"The most important thing for me is that the project is expedited," he said.

Meanwhile, chairman of the Jakarta Residents Forum (Fakta) Azas Tigor Nainggolan slammed the direct appointment of the bus suppliers, saying that there was no reason for the city not to hold a tender for procuring the buses.

"How could they say it is an emergency situation when the plan to buy the buses had already been determined last year," Tigor told The Jakarta Post.


Another Rp 32 billions

Another Rp 32b sought for controversial busway project
Bambang Nurbianto, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The city administration said on Monday it would need an additional Rp 32 billion for its bus rapid transit (BRT) -- or busway -- project, an admission that points to the administration's poor planning of the project.

With the additional fund, which is to be taken from the city budget, the 12.9-kilometer busway stretching from Blok M, South Jakarta, to Kota, Central Jakarta, will cost at least Rp 117 billion.

"There will be significant changes in the designs of the bus shelters and bridges connecting pavements and the shelters located on the median strip," busway project leader Irzal Djamal said.

It was the second revision of the project's budget since the plan was introduced two years ago. Initially, it was estimated that the project would only cost Rp 50 billion. The figure was revised up to Rp 85 billion late last year. The implementation of the project has also been postponed several times already.

Even with the additional fund, Governor Sutiyoso said he could not guarantee that the busway would be completed in December according to the latest schedule, as there might be technical problems.

Sutiyoso said the new design for the 29 shelters would be similar to the busway shelters in Bogota, measuring 13 meters instead of the earlier design of 5 meters, and that owing to the increased space, no air conditioners would be installed as initially planned.

As for the 21 pedestrian bridges, Sutiyoso said they would be resigned as a winding, combined staircase and ramp to provide accessibility for disabled people, instead of a straight staircase.

Irzal explained that the redesigning of the bus shelter required an additional Rp 15 billion, while the change in the bridge design needed Rp 17 billion.

He did not say how much was currently allocated toward the shelters and connecting bridges, but from the previous budget of Rp 85 billion, Rp 35 billion is allocated toward the infrastructure: Shelters, connecting bridges, separators and traffic signs. Another Rp 50 billion will be used to purchase 60 buses.

He stressed that if the busway project was launched in December, the 165 buses now running along the designated busway corridors by eight bus operators -- including state-owned public bus operator PPD, Mayasari Bakti, Steady Safe and Bianglala -- would be rerouted.

Asked if the new buses would be able to accommodate the bulk of passengers who regularly travel from Blok M to Kota, Irzal could not provide an answer, but said that 140 busway buses would be available by 2004.

He also said that the buses for the busway could not use gasoline as planned earlier, because of technical problems, and would instead run on diesel fuel. It takes eight months to process the order for gasoline-powered buses, while another four months would be needed to assemble them.

However, he guaranteed that the emission from the buses would meet the international Euro II standard for environmentally friendly vehicles.

Developed countries generally use Euro III-rated buses.