State Enterprises Minister Dahlan Iskan said on Monday that only 30 percent of government contracts and projects were acquired by state-owned companies through legitimate means.
“The rest secure contracts through corruption,” he said at a discussion at the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) office in South Jakarta.
The remarks came as the KPK is investigating Adhi Karya and Perusahaan Perumahan, both state-own companies, over allegations of bribery linked to two government construction projects.
The KPK is also investigating corruption inside state utility Perusahaan Listrik Negara, gas company Perusahaan Gas Negara and agricultural firm Rajawali Nusantara Indonesia.
Dahlan, the former PLN chief, said he had done unofficial research on corruption inside state-owned companies and concluded that 70 percent of the projects they acquired were tainted with graft. He did not say when he had done the research.
“My priority as minister is to appoint boards of directors for state-owned companies that have integrity,” he said. “Whenever I look for a director for the State Enterprises Ministry, I always consider his integrity. Then I ask him to find other people with integrity to join the team.”
Dahlan said he was constantly looking for ways to cut out corruption at state-owned enterprises, but added that the private sector also needed to help.
“SOEs are out looking for projects, they don’t own the projects. If the owners can conduct a fair and clean tender process there shouldn’t be any worries,” he said. “But in most cases, you can’t win a tender without bribing somebody.”
In August 2010, Budiarto Maliang, former commissioner of state-run pharmaceutical company Kimia Farma Trading and Distribution, was sentenced to five years in prison for his role in a Rp 2.1 billion ($223,000) graft case in 2007.
That same year, the Anti-Corruption Court in Jakarta sentenced Djoko Pramono, the former finance director of PGN, to more than two years in prison for giving lawmakers Rp 1.6 billion in bribes to help the company get approval for a stock market float.
Several PGN officials also went to jail for their roles in a Rp 3.6 billion extortion case linked to a network expansion project in East Java.
The KPK is currently questioning Adhi Karya officials in a bribery case linked to the construction of the Hambalang sports complex in West Java, while officials from construction company Pembangunan Perumahan are being questioned about bribery linked to preparations for this year’s National Games in Riau.