Conflict of interest? Public questions government’s relationship with start-ups

first_imgThe government’s relationship with the country’s start-ups during the pandemic have raised eyebrows as the latter have been invited to get involved in national-scale programs, including the multitrillion rupiah preemployment card program, with lack of transparency, experts have said.Recently, an expert staff member to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, Andi Taufan Garuda Putra, was criticized for sending out a letter bearing the Cabinet’s Secretariat’s letterhead asking district heads across Indonesia to support a COVID-19 relief program led by his fintech start-up, Amartha.He issued the letter on April 11 without acknowledgement of the home minister, who supervises regional leaders, prompting the public to question the government’s impartiality. Andi has since revoked the letter and issued an apology, saying that his intention was to do something good as quickly as possible. There have been other cases like that of Andi’s. Adamas Belva Devara, another presidential expert staff member who is also education start-up Ruangguru CEO, also got caught up in controversy as his company was appointed by the government as among several start-ups to provide training in the preemployment card program.On Wednesday, he clarified the situation on his personal Twitter account following complaints from netizens, saying he had asked State Palace officials if there was a conflict of interest despite the fact that he was not involved in the program’s partner selection process. He said he was ready to step down from the position but the decision “should be discussed with the palace”.Adamas Belva Syah Devara (JP/Seto Wardhana)The program, which aims to reskill and upskill laid-off workers amid the pandemic, has been allocated Rp 20 trillion (US$1.2 billion) from the state budget fund to cover around 5.6 million participants. Each participant will receive Rp 3.55 million, of which as much as Rp 1 million is for training costs, Rp 2.4 million for living cost incentives for four months and Rp 150,000 for job survey fees.If the program’s goods and services procurement was carried out through an appointment, the decision violated Presidential Regulation (Perpres) No. 16 /2018 on government procurement, which states that procurement valued at Rp 200 million and above should be done through a tender, Misbah said.“Even during the pandemic, the procurement and bidding must be transparent, accountable and open for all eligible providers through the Electronic Goods and Services Procurement [LPSE] system,” he said.He went on to say that since the program has been rolled out, the next thing to do would be for the National Public Procurement Agency (LKPP), the Government Internal Supervisory Agency (APIP) and the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) to audit the procurement process, including the start-ups involved in the program.Read also: COVID-19: Jokowi staffer criticized for requesting local leaders to support his companyRuangguru CEO Iman Usman addressed the issue on his Twitter account @imanusman on Tuesday. He said procurement for the preemployment card was more like social aid programs, such as the Indonesia Smart Card (KIP), in which aid recipients could use the money they received to buy books, for instance, in partnering bookstores that “have fulfilled certain requirements”.“The preemployment card is similar, people can choose courses from the eight digital platforms that have qualified,” he said in one of the tweets without specifying the qualifications.   Other than Ruangguru’s Skill Academy, education start-ups MauBelajarApa, Pijar, Pintaria and e-commerce unicorn Tokopedia-backed Tokopedia Pintar, among other start-ups, are also engaged in the program. Meanwhile, e-wallet GoPay, OVO and state-owned companies-backed LinkAja will channel the funds to the participants’ digital wallet.Corporate affairs chief Nila Marita of Gojek, which will be involved in the preemployment card program through its e-wallet GoPay, told the Post that the start-up had been “officially appointed by the government” to be a payment partner in the program.Tokopedia, also stated in a press release on March 23 that it had been “appointed as an official digital platform by the Office of the Coordinating Economic Minister to launch the pre-employment card features.”Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (Indef) economist Bhima Yudhistira said the government could use free and existing facilities, such as university websites, to offer online lessons for the preemployment program, instead of spending money on start-up platforms.Read also: Govt partners with food, ride-hailing companies to guarantee food supplies during outbreak“Some start-ups are cozying up to the government to keep getting projects and sustain their business,” he told The Jakarta Post over the phone on Tuesday. Such practice, he added, would create a bad precedent for future start-ups as they might think that businesses needed the government as a patron to ensure sustainability, creating new generations of oligarchs.Throughout March and April, other government bodies have partnered with start-ups in other sectors as well.The Agriculture Ministry signed a memorandum of understanding with ride-hailing apps Gojek and Grab to sell staple foods from the ministry’s marketplace Toko Tani Indonesia Center as well as partnered with e-commerce platform to sell rice.Meanwhile, the Health Ministry signed an MOU last month with 11 telemedicine start-ups, including Halodoc and Good Doctor Technology Indonesia, which can be accessed through Gojek and Grab, respectively. Topics :center_img Andi Taufan Garuda Putra (JP/Seto Wardhana)“There is clearly a conflict of interest that could lead to abuse of authority,” said Indonesian Forum for Budget Transparency (Fitra) secretary-general Misbah Hasan in a text message to The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.“CEOs should step down prior to working in the government to be neutral. But I think the government was wrong in the way it recruited these CEOs because these appointments could hinder their creativity in improving their start-ups,” Misbah said.Read also: Underprivileged millennials: Being young and poor in Jakartalast_img read more

BLOG: Three Reasons Why Ride-Sharing Is Important for Pennsylvania

first_imgBLOG: Three Reasons Why Ride-Sharing Is Important for Pennsylvania The Blog Last Friday in Pittsburgh, Governor Tom Wolf took an Uber. This likely makes him the first sitting Pennsylvania governor to share a ride.Here’s why supporting ride-sharing is important for Pennsylvania:Innovation in transportation is important – just like many other industries. Ride-sharing creates competition for on-demand private transportation and provides new, reliable options for traditionally under-served communities.Ride-sharing companies are investing in Pennsylvania, especially Pittsburgh. Uber is already investing hundreds of millions of dollars in the commonwealth and is poised to invest more after choosing Pittsburgh to be its hub for testing self-driving vehicles and the site of its worldwide headquarters for advanced technology research.In addition to thousands of drivers sharing rides and earning income across the commonwealth, Uber has also already hired several hundred employees for its Advanced Technology Center in Pittsburgh.Governor Wolf has been a strong proponent of ride-share since becoming governor. He recently stood with Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto to ask the Public Utility Commission to reconsider its action to levy a record high fine on Uber.Governor Wolf will continue to work with the General Assembly to support ride-sharing and further innovation and economic growth as a result. Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: May 11, 2016center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitter By: J.J. Abbott, Deputy Press Secretarylast_img read more

Dream home in Bushland Beach for sale

first_img110 Goicoechea Drv, Bushland BeachPOSITIONED  at the top of one of Bushland Beach’s most exclusive streets with panoramic ocean and mountain views, 110 Goicoechea Drv is sure to pull at the heart strings of even the most discerning buyer.The four-bedroom, three bathroom, three car space home was built by New Home Solutions and has 394sq m of under-roof space. 110 Goicoechea Drv, Bushland BeachIt’s on the coveted ocean side of the street and has both ocean and mountain views with expansive outdoors areas to enjoy them from.The property is being marketed by Ray White Townsville agent Wendy Litser.“The views are just fabulous,” she said. “They are uninterrupted views because there is an easement to the front of the property, so there is no chance of someone building in front of you. 110 Goicoechea Drv, Bushland BeachAs well as a double remote garage the home has a workshop while there is another carport perfect for housing a boat or caravan.The home is on a 817sq m block with low-maintenance gardens. Entry to the property is through a sliding automated gate, which adds another level of security to the home. 110 Goicoechea Drv, Bushland BeachThe open plan lounge, kitchen and dining areas all take in the magnificent views while concertina sliding doors link the inside with the outdoor deck.All the bedrooms have either walk-in wardrobes or built-ins and there is a dedicated study area for anyone who works from home.The house is fully airconditioned and fitted with solar while there is an in ground pool directly off the patio. More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020110 Goicoechea Drv, Bushland Beach“It has a most gorgeous entrance with beautiful timber stairs.“It’s a great family home but I think it would also suit retirees who have family come up because there is a designated guest bedroom with its own ensuite.“I could happily live in the kitchen and it has bench space for miles, a double oven, Smeg appliances and a walk-in pantry.” last_img read more

Palm Cove owners buy house and land in front to ensure coastal views

first_img Hillside luxury.“We had a lot of interest in the house but a lot of people wanted more usable land versus just the view. This is a house that was more about lifestyle in that aspect. It took a little while to find a buyer.”The home sits in an exclusive gated community and the kitchen features a polished concrete island bench with suspended bench top. An infinity design pool and a timber deck area with suspended day bed offer a great spot to relax and unwind. 28/9 Savaii Cl, Palm Cove.A FAR North couple went to great lengths to make sure the views from their new home on the northern beaches would never be built out.The new owners of Lot 28 9 Savaii Cl in Palm Cove bought the stunning four-bedroom, four-bathroom property showcasing cutting-edge architecture for $1.275m after a lengthy campaign by First National Real Estate agent Mark Carmady.To make sure no one built out the expansive views to Double Island the Coral Sea, the owners also picked up the vacant block at Lot 29 adjacent to the home for $425,000.“I haven’t seen buyers do this often but I certainly have seen it,” Mr Carmady. The stylish kitchen.“Like everything it comes down to the individual property. I said to the buyers because you don’t have any control over what the neighbours might build and they may build up and block your aspect, they decided to get the vacant land.“It does come back to budget though. 28/9 Savaii Close, Palm Cove.More from newsCairns home ticks popular internet search terms2 days agoTen auction results from ‘active’ weekend in Cairns2 days agoThe are no rear neighbours, fully irrigated self-maintained gardens and no yard maintenance.Mr Carmady said the million dollar-plus property market was becoming “more robust” but the most strength was coming from mid-range properties between $500,000-700,000.“Usually big buyers aren’t fazed by banking or finance,” he said. “They seem to have enough collateral to buy property whenever they want. One of the bathrooms.“Palm Cove is certainly a sought-after suburb especially for people from interstate. I’ve had a lot of inquiry about Palm Cove — it is like the mini Noosa.“It has that holiday atmosphere with the restaurants and cafes and all the bits and pieces.”last_img read more

Qilak LNG secures feedgas for proposed Alaskan project

first_imgIllustration purposes only (Image courtesy of Qilak LNG)Alaska-based Qilak LNG, a Lloyds Energy company, signed a heads of agreement with ExxonMobil Alaska Production for the supply of natural gas from the Point Thomson field to Qilak LNG’s proposed Alaska North Slope liquefied natural gas (LNG) export project. The HOA foresees ExxonMobil providing at least 560 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) of natural gas to Phase 1 of the Qilak LNG 1 project, based on the design concept of offshore liquefaction and loading, and icebreaking LNG carriers, to export 4 million tons per year (mtpa) of LNG over a 20-year term, Qilak LNG said in its statement.“The Qilak LNG 1 project would deliver on Alaska’s long-held goal of commercializing North Slope natural gas,” said former Alaska governor Mead Treadwell, chairman and CEO of Qilak LNG.“With this HOA and our recently completed pre-feasibility study, Qilak will now begin extensive feasibility efforts, including preliminary permitting, with a target of reaching Final Investment Decision (FID) by 2021,” he said.The Qilak LNG 1 Project seeks to capitalize on recent developments in Arctic LNG technology allowing natural gas to be directly exported from the North Slope of Alaska.  This concept would significantly reduce the capital cost compared to projects that require a long-distance pipeline and a large minimum LNG order.Phase 1 of the Qilak LNG 1 project would have an export capacity of 4 mtpa, with the option for additional capacity to come online in future phases as determined by gas supply and global demand.Qilak LNG targets delivery of gas to Asian markets, including Japan, with competitive shipping costs compared to many other sources of LNG in the US and other global LNG projects.Qilak LNG is also in discussions in several Asian countries to engage potential stakeholders in various parts of the Qilak LNG 1 project.“ExxonMobil sees the development of the Qilak LNG 1 project as an opportunity to develop Alaska’s gas resources,” said Darlene Gates, president of ExxonMobil Alaska.Qilak LNG 1 is to be supported by Japan’s Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), as it helps fulfill Japan’s commitment to foster investment in U.S. LNG production capacity and to bring new LNG supplies to Indo-Pacific region.This cooperation is expected to grow as the next phase project feasibility is determined.Qilak LNG’s deal with ExxonMobil comes after a pre-feasibility effort which examined the technical challenges of shipping directly from a facility offshore in the Beaufort Sea.Based on this process, Qilak LNG has concluded that with the available gas supply, competitive project economics, and a partner willing to utilize Alaska’s gas for power and city gas use in Asia, the Qilak LNG 1 project can be economically and technically viable.last_img read more

PH temporarily halts issuing visas to foreigners

first_imgBut visas already issued to foreignspouses and children of Filipino nationals remain valid. MANILA – The Philippines has temporarilystop issuing visas to foreign visitors and will also soon cancel existing visasdue to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Also, all previously issued Philippinevisas to foreign nationals “are deemed cancelled,” he added. Department of Foreign Affairs secretaryTeodoro Locsin Jr. made the announcement on Twitter on Thursday evening afterconsulting with Department of Tourism secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat “Starting today, all our embassies andconsulates will temporarily suspend visa issuance to all foreign nationals aswell as the visa-free privileges of all foreign nationals,” Locsin tweeted.center_img The rapid spike in COVID-19 cases in thePhilippines— which was 217 as of Thursday— prompted President Rodrigo Duterteto place the entire Luzon under “enhanced” community quarantine./PN Over a hundred countries— includingAfrican, European, and South American nations— enjoy the visa-free policy inthe Philippines. Before the announcement, Locsin said thegovernment may consider suspending visa issuance at least for the month-longquarantine period enforced in Luzon, where the country’s main airport islocated.last_img read more

2020 Primary Election Candidates for Franklin County

first_imgCOUNTY OFFICESJudge of the Circuit Court Div 2                              Kellerman, Clay M (R)                                                                                                             Recorder                                                                      Maxie, Hollie R (R)                                                          Treasurer                                                                     Beneker, Jolene M (R)                                           SurveyorBailey, Glenn (D)Seig, Robert G (R)County Commissioner Dist. 3 (Districts includes Blooming Grove, Laurel, Posey, Salt Creek 1 & 2, Ray 1 & 2, Oldenburg and Batesville)Wilson, Thomas E (R)County Council At Large (3 members)Shorter, Kirk P (R)McQueen, Dean (R)Oglesby, Rebecca (R)Precinct Committeemen (Republican Party – elected at Primary)Beneker, Jolene MCampbell, Brian GFritz, DennisKoch, JoannRoberts, ErvinSizemore, Joseph MStokes, Gary M Brookville, IN—The Franklin County Clerk’s Office has released this list on cadidates that have filed as of Friday, January 17.  Deadline to file for candidacy for the 2020 primary is until 12 o’clock noon on Friday, February 7, 2020.President/Vice PresidentGovernor/Lt. GovernorAttorney General (Nominated at Party convention and Elected at General Election)Superintendent of Public Instruction (Nominated at Party convention and Elected at General Election)U.S. State Representative 6th District State Senator District 42 (District includes Ray 1 & 2, Salt Creek 1 & 2, Butler, Posey, Laurel, Batesville and Oldenburg)Leising, Jean (R)State Representative District 55 (District includes Batesville, Oldenburg, Posey, Ray 1 & 2, and Salt Creek 1 & 2)Ziemke, Cindy (R)State Representative District 68  (District includes bath, Blooming Grove, Brookville 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5, Butler, Fairfield, Highland 1 & 2, Laurel, Metamora, Springfield and Whitewater 1& 2)Lyness, Randy (R)State Convention DelegateBeckman, Kimberly TLoos-Johnson, Stacey LPersson, Christina AVohland, Thomas W BROOKVILLE TOWN OFFICESClerk-TreasurerGillman, Gina (D)Ward 1Marmouze, Gary “Gig” (D)Leffingwell, Brooke (R)Ward 3Campbell, Chuck (R)Ward 5Ward, Curtis (R)last_img read more

Ellsworth’s Clarke seeking best year yet to spark resurgent girls’ swim team

first_img Latest Posts Ellsworth runners compete in virtual Boston Marathon – September 16, 2020 Bio Latest posts by Mike Mandell (see all) ELLSWORTH — No matter who’s in the water, Ellie Clarke knows their name.Since she was just 3 years old, Clarke has been a staple at the Down East Family YMCA pool. After spending a decade and a half doing everything from taking swim lessons as a youth to competing for DEFY’s club team and Ellsworth High School, she can rattle off everyone from her teammates and coaches of nearly 15 years to beginning swimmers more than 10 years younger.“My mom put me in the pool when I was very young, and I loved it right away and haven’t stopped since,” Clarke said. “If I couldn’t swim, I think I’d honestly be lost a little bit because it’s just what I’ve always done. The people and the swimming community here are like a second family to me.”With another swim season about to begin, Clarke is back to spending nearly every day at the place she’s been competing for as long as she can remember. As a high school senior, she’s hoping to make her final year representing Ellsworth in her favorite sport her best one yet.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textAfter years of swimming competitively with the DEFY Dolphins, Clarke began doing so for the varsity team during her freshman year in 2015-16. The school’s girls’ team consisted of nine members the year before, and with the Eagles even younger following the departures of several seniors, their newcomers had opportunities to prove themselves right away.Clarke did so in her first competition, a dual meet against Bangor in which she won the 100-yard freestyle and competed as part of the Eagles’ 200-yard medley-winning squad. She became a Penobscot Valley Conference champion two months later with wins in the 50- and 100-yard freestyles, setting team records in both events.“That first year was really good because I showed that I was able to come in and have success right away,” Clarke said. “When I was able to swim really well like that and then became captain as a sophomore, I was really excited to go out there again and build on that.”After learning of her captaincy, a rare honor for an underclassman athlete, Clarke was eyeing another successful campaign. Instead, she was unable to compete for length stretches of both the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons as she began dealt with the ramifications of a chronic condition known as multidirectional instability. With the condition causing the socket in her left shoulder to loosen, the pain was often too much to bear.Ellsworth’s Ellie Clarke swims the 200-yard individual medley during a high school meet against Washington Academy on Senior Night last season at the Down East Family YMCA. FILE PHOTODespite those periodic setbacks, Clarke was able to compete in the conference and state championships both seasons. She took home first place in the 100-yard backstroke at the 2017 PVC championships and won the same event last season’s PVCs while also adding another 50 freestyle crown.“A lot of kids who have what Ellie has would have walked away a long time ago, but that’s just not in her DNA,” said Matt Montgomery, who taught Clarke swimming lessons at DEFY and later coached her on the club team. “She’s just somebody who embodies toughness and resilience, and she’s done whatever it takes to be there for her teammates.”Whether swimming for DEFY, where she’s competed on four record-setting relay teams during her middle school years, or the high school, Clarke’s coaches have seen her steer athletes of all ages toward the pool. With the varsity and YMCA teams sharing a venue, DEFY’s up-and-comers and veterans from years’ past are never far from one another.“Those younger kids really idolize and adore these high school athletes, and Ellie has definitely encouraged a lot of them to stick with the sport,” Ellsworth head coach Jim Goodman said. “When these girls are learning hands-on from someone who’s been through the Y’s swim program and then has had the success she’s had in high school, they say, ‘Wow, I could be like her.’”This year, Clarke is one of 10 returning swimmers who finished in the top 20 in at least one category for Ellsworth at last year’s PVC girls’ championships. Lilja Hanson, Caitlin MacPherson and Abby Mazgaj are among the other returnees, as is Clarke’s fellow co-captain, Miriam Nelson.Having strong performers across a multitude of different events is a boon for this Ellsworth girls’ team, which Goodman and Montgomery believe could the Eagles’ strongest in years. Although Clarke’s favorite race format is the freestyle, her willingness to compete in any event asked of her adds yet another strength.“She’s an all-around good swimmer, and I can throw her in any race and know she’ll do it and do well in it,” Goodman said. “The type of flexibility she has with that is the type of flexibility we want all of our swimmers to be able to reach.”As to where swimming will take her in the future, Clarke isn’t sure just yet. She’s expressed interest in competing at the NCAA level, but the big thing on her mind at the moment is her final high school season, which begins when the Eagles host Hampden Academy at 7 p.m. next Tuesday, Dec. 11.“It’ll be interesting to see what’s next, but for now, this is it,” Clarke said. “It was always going to be exciting because it’s my senior year, but to have the girls we have and to know how far we can go makes it even better.”center_img Mike MandellMike Mandell is the sports editor at The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander. He began working for The American in August 2016. You can reach him via email at Hospice volunteers help families navigate grief and find hope – September 12, 2020 MPA approves golf, XC, field hockey, soccer; football, volleyball moved to spring – September 10, 2020last_img read more

GRFU Guinness Sevens on today

first_imgRUGBY fans will have the opportunity to see high class VIIs action when the Guyana Rugby Football Union (GRFU)/Guinness tournament commences today at the National Park. In the first game, Yamaha Caribs will take on Guyana Defence Force from 13:30hrs and 20 minutes later the Panthers will rock the nest of Pepsi Hornets for a fiery fight.Pepsi Hornets ladies will then be in action against GDF ladies in the third game, after which male action returns, featuring Police Falcons against Yamaha Caribs, Pepsi Hornets versus GDF and Panthers opposing the Falcons.In game seven female action returns with GDF clashing with Yamaha Caribs followed by the first break of the evening.After the break, Police Falcons will challenge Pepsi Hornets, Yamaha Caribs take on Panthers, and GDF face Police Falcons.Ladies’ action follows, as Hornets take on Caribs then back to the males, with Pepsi Hornets playing Yamaha Caribs, and GDF opposing Panthers.Then there will be a novelty break and the semi-finals for male, as well as the finals of both the male and female divisions.The one-day tournament will have in excess of $300 000 in prizes.last_img read more

Indian Premier League IPL 2018, SRH vs KKR, Qualifier 2: Who will face CSK in the Finals?

first_imgNew Delhi: In the super exciting Qualifier number 2 between SunRisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders, the second contender of the IPL trophy will be clear by the end of the day.Sunrisers Hyderabad will be looking to thrash Kolkata Knight Riders after facing defeat at the hands of two-time champions Chennai Super Kings while Kolkata Knight Riders will eye to continue with the momentum gained after beating Rajasthan Royals in the Eliminator.On one hand, SunRisers Hyderabad lost their last four games and will enter the ground at arrest their losing streak, on the other hand, KKR certainly gained momentum with four consecutive wins and will look to capitalise the home ground advantage.Winning momentum is very essential in the Twenty20 International matches and can do wonder, if it is of right kind.Speaking on the batting line-up on both sides, skipper of both SRH and KKR Kane Williamson and Dinesh Karthik has been important pillars in the squad respectivelyApart from the skippers, KKR has Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn and Robin Uthappa while SunRisers Hyderabad has Shikhar Dhawan and Manish Pandey as the leading run score for their respective squad.On the bowling side, Sunrisers Hyderabad has Siddarth Kaul and Rashid Khan as the key bowlers while KKR has Sunil Narine and Kuldeep Yadav as the leading wicket-taker in the squad.Match Predictions – Statistically, SRH and KKR have faced each other on 14 occasions where KKR has outshined Sunrisers nine times.KKR has exceptionally good record of five out of six wins at The Eden Gardens alone.As per the record and the positive attitude of the team in the last few matches, Kolkata Knight Riders has a little edge over Sunrisers Hyderabad.The winner of the match will face MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium on May 27. For all the Latest Sports News News, Indian Premier League News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more