Independent Auditor Investigates Findings at Askrindo
Investigation by an audit committee formed by Askrindo's board of commissioners of the company’s finance in 2019 found indications that the commission paid to Askrindo Mitra Utama (AMU), a subsidiary which is also an insurance sales agent, was a cover for bribes to the company board of directors. Robertus Bilitea, Chief Executive Officer of Indonesia Financial Group (IFG), a state-owned insurance holding company, answered Tempo’s questions regarding the alleged corruption within one of IFG’s subsidiaries.
OFFICIALLY formed in October 2020, Indonesia Financial Group (IFG), a state-owned insurance and underwriting holding company, is now facing an alleged corruption by one of its subsidiaries, Asuransi Kredit Indonesia or Askrindo. Investigation by an audit committee formed by Askrindo’s board of commissioners of the company’s finance in 2019 found indications that the commission paid to Askrindo Mitra Utama (AMU), a subsidiary which is also an insurance sales agent, was a cover for bribes to the company board of directors
IFG Chief Executive Officer Robertus Bilitea confirmed the issue. However, IFG plans to further investigate the findings by holding a special audit together with independent auditor. “This is part of our commitment to improve the governance in IFG Group,” said Robertus to Tempo journalists Aisha Shaidra, Khairul Anam, and Retno Sulistyowati, on Friday, March 5. IFG also sent some of its written answers to complete the interview.
Why does Askrindo’s financial report of 2019 remain unpublished?
IFG is currently implementing improvements to strengthen governance in both the holding firm and its members, including Askrindo. Among other means, this is done through audit consolidation by independent auditor. The work is in progress, still in data collection. The audit is being slowed down by data that are not centralized in one financial accounting application system.
The audit committee formed by the board of commissioners found indications of corruption involving Askrindo directors and former directors.
We uphold the presumption of innocence principle. We have done a preliminary audit toward the suspicion, the result of which is still being examined by independent auditor. We are committed to improving governance. This includes signing a cooperation agreement with the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) on the implementation of the integrated whistleblowing system on March 2.
This suspected corruption allegedly took advantage of the of agency commission fee...
Commission is permitted in the insurance industry, so long as it goes in line with regulations.
But part of that agency commission fee was allegedly transferred to Askrindo’s management, as in the commission payment for AMU. How do you respond to this?
We still need to carry out the special audit, using independent auditor.
Considering the method, could every agent commission ever issued by the agency turn out to be problematic?
Not really, it cannot be generalized like that. Some of them might be legitimate. Therefore, they need to be sorted out. We need to differentiate between direct business (Askrindo) and those obtained by the AMU. Direct business should not have involved commission to AMU, should they?
How is the state-owned enterprises (SOEs) ministry responding to this case?
They are strict, sending us letter (around December 2020) requesting firm action. One strategic objective of the SOEs ministry is improvement to governance. It is pushing state-owned enterprises to implement good corporate governance.
What is being done by IFG to fix the situation in Askrindo?
We are currently reviewing the governance in corporate management, decision making with the four eyes principle in underwriting, investment, and product development, as well as strengthening the role of actuaries. We are also conducting review to strengthen the holding firm’s role in the mechanism of the investment committee. There will also be a risk management committee in the holding, and a product committee.
We heard that the case has been reported to the KPK.
The KPK has yet to request information from us regarding this. In the case of the KPK sending inquiries, we will support it by delivering information as requested.