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Hey, Look Me Over

US$5.8 million in X-ray Screening Equipment Sits Idle with Bali Police Six Months After Delivery

(6/17/2013) Expensive and sophisticated X-ray machines intended for installation at the Bali seaports of Gilimanuk and Padang Bai in order to thwart terrorist and inter-island movement of contraband goods sit in their shippingcrates unused, six months after delivery to the Bali Police.

The non-deployment by the Bali police of equipment seen as essential to Bali’s security is drawing strong criticism from members of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali).

The equipment was purchased with Rp. 58 billion (US$5.8 million) in funds from the 2012 Provincial Budget. 

The inaction of the police and their seeming reluctance to put the equipment in operation is fueling suspicions that the province overpaid for the equipment and concerns in some quarters that certain partty prefer, for whatever reasons,  the X-ray equipment remain in shipping crates.

The chairman of the PDI-P faction of the DPRD-Bali, Ketut Tama Tenaya, is leading criticism focused towards the police, saying: “We regret the X-ray machines have arrived but are not being installed. If the X-rays are left in their shipping crates or in warehouses they may suffer damage.”

Speaking to The Bali Post, Tenaya said the security of Bali remains a matter of vital life-and-death urgency for the people of the Island. He is urging the police not to be negligent in carrying out their assigned duties to safeguard the island’s seaport by failing to quickly install the X-ray units.

Tama Tenaya says he plans for his office to undertake coordination with the Bali police headquarters to discover why the expensive and essential equipment remains idle several months after being formally handed to the police by the governor. He is also asking the DPRD-Bali to formally summon the Chief of Police for Bali to seek a formal explanation in the case.

The PDI-P politician from Nusa Dua told the press that if there is a technical, manpower or operational impediment in installing the X-rays this should be coordinated with the DPRD-Bali. Adding: “We are asking if these machines are completely ready or if there is some deficiency? If there is a deficiency let’s look for a solution together.”

He called on the police to take all steps necesary to commence operation of the X-ray machines, including allocation space for their placement, staff to operate the equipment and funds to sustain their operation.

A Need for Due Process?

The spokesman for the Bali police, Drs. Hariadi, admitted the X-ray machines have remained unused six months after their delivery to the Bali police. Said Hariadi: “Indeed the equipment is not yet operating. In other words, they have not been put in place at Bali’s gateways. The reason is that the installation of the X-rays must follow a certain process.”

Urging that the matter be left for the police to resolve, when pressed on the continuing delays, Hariadi said there were technical issues. “The responsibility for their installation rests with the police precincts in which they will eventually operate. The installation and operation of the X-rays must follow a process and in order to fit into their new environment, an appropriate place for the machines installation must be found,” said Hariadi.

Hariadi claimed the X-rays were still undergoing trials to find the best location for their permanent installation.

Incredulous at the police response, one tourism observer suggested the arrival halls at both of the ports might represent the "best" location for the X-ray machines.