Indonesia’s Southeast Asian Games organizers are insistent that problems related to procuring sports equipment have already been solved.
Reports emerged earlier this week that 11 sports federations had yet to receive equipment that their athletes will use during the Games. Of the 11, archery, cycling and rowing are still trying to track down equipment.
“Equipment for each federation is under the supervision of the Customs and Excise Office. We have dealt with the administration so the equipment can be distributed immediately,” said Rita Subowo, chairwoman of the organizing committee (Inasoc).
Rita blamed the delays on the Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs. The ministry transferred Rp 60 billion ($6.7 million) to the Indonesia Olympic Committee (KOI), the body in charge of preparing the athletes, in the middle of October.
That amount included Rp 15.7 billion for sports equipment.
Rita, who is also the KOI president, said Inasoc suggested directly appointing vendors for the equipment, claiming going through an open auction would take too long. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono signed a decree last month allowing organizers to bypass otherwise-mandated open auctions for government projects that cost more than Rp 200 million.
However, the ministry rejected direct appointment.
“It’s a lot of money that we have to spend carefully. I can assure you we have already handled the problems,” Rita said.
The Games’ opening ceremony takes place on Nov. 11 at Gelora Sriwijaya in Palembang, though football and rowing will begin this week.
Achmad Sutjipto, chairman of the Indonesian Rowing Association (Podsi), said infrastructure including roads, a boathouse and a finish tower at the competition site on Lake Cipule in Karawang, West Java, would be ready this weekend.
Podsi still has issues, though, as its boats have not arrived yet. Rowing events begin on Nov. 10.
“We have ordered two catamarans for judges, canoeing and rowing boats and more than 30 dragon boats, as well as furniture for the media center and VIP rooms. We will provide participants with boats because they can’t bring them from their countries,” Sutjipto said.
“If the equipment does not arrive on time, then we cannot hold the competition, especially dragon boat.”