TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian Corruption Watch (ICW) researcher Almas Sjafrina opined that the medical devices mafia amid the COVID-19 pandemic might exist as revealed by State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) Minister Erick Thohir.
“During the pandemic, we have not received such information, but there are possibilities. The procurement of medical equipment has been corrupted thus far,” Almas told Tempo on Wednesday, April 22.
Erick Thohir had once talked about the mafia in the medical kits import as the import value reached 90 percent.
Almas elaborated that based on ICW data throughout 2010-2019, 44 percent of corruption cases handled by law enforcers were related to the health sector, especially the procurement of medical devices. The figure was the highest among corruption cases in other sectors.
Moreover, she added, high demand during the ongoing pandemic is also attributable to the existence of mafia or corruption. “The distribution and the price can be exploited,” Almas said.
According to the ICW researcher, the corruption of medical kits is prone to occur due to the mechanism of rapid procurement for emergency conditions. Hence, the public also faces difficulties in overseeing the process.
The scheme of rapid procurement during an emergency is mandated in the National Public Procurement Agency (LKPP) Regulation No. 13/2018. Almas added that the commitment-making officials (PPK) could select providers to procure goods or the government could purchase them on its own.