Admonished by KPK – again

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Timboel Siregar BPJS Watch Advocacy Coordinator

 IO – The Corruption Eradication Commission (Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi – “KPK”) is currently reviewing two Government programs, the National Health Security (Jaminan Kesehatan Nasional – “JKN”) program and the Pre-Employment (“PraKerja”) Card program. These are strategic programs that that directly deal with basic necessities of the people. KPK has made clear that it finds the implementation of the programs to be problematic. Irregularities must be resolved in order to prevent losses to the State and benefit the people. 

KPK’s review of the JKN shows that KPK has issued six recommendations by mail to the President on 30 March 2020, for ways to improve the JKN Program, specifically in terms on how to resolve deficits. In response, the President, via the Minister of State Secretariat, has requested three Ministries, i.e. the Coordinating Ministry of Human Development and Culture, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Home Affairs to follow up on these recommendations. 

These six recommendations are enduring issues, ones that have been frequently discussed by social security practitioners, academicians, and other public-issue experts. However, the President has failed to respond to the suggestions submitted by these JKN stakeholders. I don’t know whether the National Social Security Council (Dewan Jaminan Sosial Nasional – “DJSN”) also reviews these matters like KPK or not, enabling them to make recommendations like KPK did, but according to Article 7 of the National Social Security System (Sistem Jaminan Sosial Nasional – “SJSN”) Law (Law Number 40 of 2004), the function and duty of DJSN is to create and review social security programs – including JKN. Article 7 Paragraph 2 of this law states that DJSN’s function is to formulate general policies and to synchronize the implementation of SJSN. Article 7 Paragraph 3.a states that DJSN has the duty of performing studies and reviews in the implementation of social security, while Article 7 Paragraph 4 states that DJSN has the authority to monitor and evaluate the implementation of social security programs. 

But if DJSN has previously reviewed JKN’s deficit and other problems, then recommended solutions to the President, why did he not respond? Why did the President only react quickly and seriously when KPK publicly announced the review and recommendations? It looks like the President does not consider DJSN to be important: He considers the results of DJSN’s annual review and monitoring and evaluation reports – all of which are funded by the State Budget – to be mere administrative work according to the provisions of Article 7 of the SJSN Law. The results of DJSN’s studies and reviews can be published so that they are known to the public, allowing the people to pressure the Government to act on DJSN as necessary. DJSN should follow KPK’s example of openness to the public and publish the results of their reviews, including the results of social security monitoring and evaluation. Let’s hope that the three Ministries appointed by the President to follow up on KPK’s recommendation do their assignment and thoroughly resolve JKN’s deficit and service issues, and help JKN improve its work in the future. 

KPK also reviewed the PraKerja Card Program and shared seven recommendations after it evaluated the implementation of the First to Third waves of the programs. These recommendations include items such as registration, cooperation with eight digital platform companies, and materials for training. In response to KPK’s recommendation, the Government postponed the PraKerja Card scheme from the Fourth wave onwards, without issuing any information about when and how the program will start again. Or if it will recommence. 

KPK’s recommendations are actually the same as what the public has been complaining about when the PraKerja Card was first issued. However, the Coordinating Ministry of the Economy refused to listen, and continuously discounted all input from the public. I believe that it is correct to bring in KPK to resolve this issue. In fact, KPK should not stop at reviewing the program and making recommendations to resolve issues – it should investigate possible losses to the State and conflicts of interest in relation to the digital platform used to implement the Card program. 

As the PraKerja Card is very helpful for workers who have lost their employment, the Government should speed up the improvements recommended by KPK and continue with the Fourth wave etc. After all, there are so many workers who have lost their jobs due to the Coronavirus; they need the Government’s help in order to get new work that would allow them to take care of their families. 

The Government can facilitate registration by contacting companies that have implemented massive layouts and request official data about the dismissed workers (citizen ID card, Family Card, corporate ID card, and contact information) from them. This would focus the target of PraKerja Card users, and help unemployed workers who have no online access to register. The Government can also select workers more precisely. For example, workers who are awarded large severance pay – say IDR 50 million or more – should not be prioritized for PraKerja Card. Furthermore, dismissed workers can also register via online independently and the Government can confirm their information to former employers. 

Training provided by the eight digital platform companies should be delayed until offline (face-to-face) training sessions take place. I think that during the new normal transition period, offline training can start in green zones with the proviso that the Government’s health protocols are adhered to. Offline training is provided for technical skills, specifically for occupations that cannot be taught online, such as welding, repairing cellphones and computers, etc. 

We hope that the Government can finish implementing all KPK recommendations for the JKN and PraKerja Card programs so that deficits in both programs are avoided, and so the people promptly receive proper health and employment services, despite the current COVID-19 pandemi