Minister: State, Regional Budgets Should Become Instruments to Speed Up Recovery
State Budget and Regional Budgets should become state financial instruments to speed up COVID-19 recovery, Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati has said.
“Hopefully, we can continue to maintain our state finances, the State Budget and Regional Budget, in a responsible manner, the instruments for Indonesia to recover together, recover stronger,” the Minister said in her keynote speech at the 2021 Government Accounting and Financial Reporting National Working Meeting, at the Dhanapala Building, Ministry of Finance, Thursday (09/22).
The Minister also demanded government institutions to establish state and regional financial governance in an accountable, transparent, and responsible manner, as well as to earn Unqualified Opinions (WTP), the highest audit rating from the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) for their financial reports.
“Looking at the journey of the Republic of Indonesia in developing accountable, transparent, and responsible governance of state and regional finances, we hope that it is not only in terms of Unqualified Opinion audit results from the BPK, but it is equally important to make sure that the State Budget and Regional Budgets are truly beneficial, the state financial instruments at the central and regional areas can solve problems of the nation and state,” she said.
Sri Mulyani stated that this year, there was an increase in the number of ministries, institutions, and regional governments receiving Unqualified Opinions. At the regional level as many as 500 regions or 92.25 percent obtained Unqualified Opinions. For the record, last year’s percentage was 89.7 percent. Meanwhile, 83 of the 87 financial reports of ministries/institutions earned Unqualified Opinions.
The Minister also expressed appreciation to all ministries, institutions, and governments for their efforts in carrying out government functions while maintaining accountability on the use of state finances amid the pandemic.
During the pandemic, many changes in the budget must be quickly made as the State Budget and Regional Budgets are countercyclical instruments in handling the pandemic and economic recovery. The Minister assessed that a budgeting policy that is responsive to the situation but remains accountable is a combination that is challenging.
In addition, to ensure an accountable use of the budget in handling the pandemic and economic recovery, she said that the Ministry also consulted and coordinated with among others, the Finance and Development Supervisory Agency (BPKP) and the BPK.
“I can see that at almost all decision-making points, we even invite law enforcement officers to see for themselves, so we want to show that the good intentions are visible and proven, because one of the things considered as corruption is in the mens rea, the intentions are not good. So, when we face a very, very complicated situation where we must change the budget allocation, the criteria, and the rules, at least it is clear that we have no bad intentions,” she said.
The Minister also called on all ministries, institutions, and regional governments to continue to use the State Budget and Regional Budgets in a responsible manner when dealing with uncertain situations and global challenges.
“The point is that we must not be complacent despite your extraordinary achievements. Some received Unqualified Opinions 15 consecutive years, some were more than 10 consecutive years. But that should not be the reason for us to be complacent because the challenges today and in the future will be very, very complicated, in terms of state and regional finances,” she remarked. (FID/UN) (FI/MMB)