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Ex-Bali Tourism Boss Charged with Corruption

Former Top Bali Tourism Official Gede Nurjaya Formally Charged with Corrupting Tourism Promotion Budget

(1/14/2011) The popular former head of the Bali Tourism Office (Kadiparda), Gede Nurjaya, has been formally named as a defendant charged with misappropriating tourism promotion funds totaling Rp. 97 million (US$10,800). The charges were read before the opening session in the case at the Denpasar District Court on Thursday, January 13, 2011, where the public prosecutor, Wayan Yusmawati, stated that the case traced back to the promotion of Bali at the World Travel Mart (WTM) held in London November 10-13, 2008.

Quoted by Tempo Interaktif, Wayan said, “the cost (of the promotion) was paid by the (Central) Department of Culture and Tourism.” Nurjaya, who worked as Bali’s top tourism official at the time, is claimed to have appointed his subordinate, Gusti Ngurah Putu Ambara, as the man in charge of the technical execution of the promotional event in London, requesting Rp. 297,570,000 (US$33,065) from provincial sources to cover the cost of Bali’s participation.

In the charges filed before the Court, it is alleged that after Nurjaya signed the fund authorization on November 6, 2008, A.A. Putri Adnyani, in the capacity of a finance official for the government, disbursed the monies from an account at Bank Pembangunan Daerah and delivered them to Ambara via Ni Ketut Sudarmi.

In the financial accountability report the above funds were used in the amount of Rp. 165,120,000 (US$18,355) for official travel, Rp. 120,804,000 (US$13,423) for stand rental, and Rp, 6,688,000 (US743) for registration - leaving a residual of Rp. 2,985,000 (US$332) which was returned to the province's general funds.

”The reality is that the stand rental of Rp. 120,804,000 was never paid by the Bali Tourism Office (Disparda Bali), because that expenses was paid by the Department of Culture and Tourism (Central Government),” explained Wayan. The prosecutor told the court that Rp. 10,982,046 (US$1,220) was used to pay sales tax (PPN) and Rp. 12,080,000 (US$1,342) income tax (PPh pasal 23). The remainder was, according to prosecutors and as reported by Tempo Interaktif, handed to Putu Ambara resulting in a total loss to the State of Rp. 97,741,704 (US$10,860).

Gusti Ngurah Putu Ambara is being tried separately in the corruption case before the Denpasar Court.

Nurjaya’s lawyer, Suryatin Lijaya, told the press that he will file legal exceptions to the charges while also seeking the Court’s agreement to allow Nurjaya to released from prison on his own recognizance during the course of the trial.