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An Interview with Bagus Sudibya – Chairman of BTB

Bali Tourism Board Chairman Answers His Critics.

Bali News:
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As reported on [Bali Tourism Board Under Attack], the Chairman of the Bali Tourism Board (BTB) Bagus Sudibya has come under intense criticism in the local media surrounding the management of his organization and its financial accountability.

Through the kind coordination of BTB's Executive Director, Wiwin Suyasa, was able to obtain answers from BTB's Chairman, Bagus Sudibya, on some of the issues populating the current controversy.

THE INTERVIEW: Bagus Sudibya, Chairman -Bali Tourism Board What's your initial feeling abut the torrent of criticism unleashed against you in the press over recent days?

Bagus Sudibya: . . .understandable. You mean, it's true?

Bagus Sudibya: No, not at all. If the allegations are untrue, why haven't you responded to the stories in the Bali Post?

Bagus Sudibya: We (BTB) are prioritizing our energy and effort on the action that would give Bali the greatest potential return. Does this mean that the current polemic and the many negative allegations are not considered important by BTB?

Bagus Sudibya: (Joining the) polemic will not bring any good to anybody. Regarding charges of corruption in how recovery funds are handled that allege your company - Nusa Dua Bali Convex (NDBC) was appointed to handle recovery events – what's your response?

Bagus Sudibya: It's not true. But, excuse me, isn't it a fact that NDBC –was appointed to handle at least 7 separate BTB recovery events?

Bagus Sudibya: : Maybe, but I don't know exactly as I am not executing all activities of my Company. I am spending more of my time for BTB than on my own company. So, is it correct to say that your company got appointed to handle many of these recovery events?

Bagus Sudibya: I don't know. We have over a hundred activities. Why weren't the various stakeholders not actively involved in these programs?

Bagus Sudibya: I don't understand either. You've been accused of having an "One Man Show" style of management. Is that a fair description?

Bagus Sudibya: Maybe they (those that say such things) are right, but it should not be like that. So, are you admitting that you are an "one man show" type of chairman?

Bagus Sudibya: No, I am not saying that. But, do I have any other choice? Are you saying that you get little or no support from the BTB stakeholders?

Bagus Sudibya: No ...they have been very supportive, in their own way. You may (want to) ask them how many times have they been to BTB's office and lent a hand? Bali Post reports says that you have received two written letters asking for financial accountability from the BTB Supervisory Board and have not responded? Is this correct?

Bagus Sudibya: The first enquiry was answered via a meeting with stakeholders held at the Bendega (Editor: a local restaurant) in August. Please don't hold me responsible if people failed to attend. What about the second letter?

Bagus Sudibya: That will be answered at a meeting scheduled for October 31, 2006, but now moved to November 1, 2006, at the request of Mr. Hengky from the Department of Culture and Tourism. What do you want to say at that meeting?

Bagus Sudibya: First, the person authorized to use the recovery funds (pejabat pengguna anggaran) is Mr. Thamrin Bachri, the Director General of Tourism. Second, the person authorized to commit recovery funds (pejabat pembuat komitmen), is Mr. Hengky, the Secretary of the Director General of Tourism. Third, BTB is in a position to facilitate the whole process and ensure that programs will benefit Bali's recovery. Fourthly, BTB will facilitate anyone who wants to know about the usage of the funds and will provide contacts at the Ministry in order to obtain a better and clearer picture. When will the recovery funds be released?

Bagus Sudibya: Some of the funds have been released already. If documents and (the required) reports are done, the remaining funds could be immediately processed and released. Some event organizers and stakeholders are complaining that no fund have been released. Is this correct?

Bagus Sudibya: Well, it might be that they haven't completed the necessary reports and documents. What can be done to end the current atmosphere of extreme negativity?

Bagus Sudibya: Negative statements in the media help nobody. Therefore, lets us work in a positive manner. We have our promotional tag line ready to be launched. Let's show the world that Bali is entitled to their holiday visit and worthy of their admiration as a leading world tourism destination.

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