ICW: Corruption still runs rife

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Transparency International Indonesia (Transparansi Internasional Indonesia – “TII”) research reports that Indonesia’s Corruption Index (Indeks Persepsi Korupsi – “IPK”) score is 38 percent. (photo: IO/Dan)

IO, Jakarta – The rampant spread of corruption crime in Indonesia has changed little over the years. Trans­parency International Indonesia (Transparansi Internasional Indone­sia – “TII”) research reports that In­donesia’s Corruption Index (Indeks Persepsi Korupsi – “IPK”) score is 38 percent. In fact, Indonesia’s IPK in 2016 and 2017 was stuck at 37. Corruption Eradication Commis­sion (Komisi Pemberantasan Korup­si – “KPK”) data per January 2019 points out that 107 regional heads have been convicted for involvement in KPK since its establishment in 2002. During the same period, a to­tal of 72 members of the House of Representative (DPR) have been con­victed for the same issue, and until November 2018 a total of 24 deviant judges were convicted as well.

Naturally, this means that the fight against corruption must be expanded and deepened. Corrupt practices can be found at all levels, whether in the Executive, Legislative, or Judicial powers, as well as among private parties.

Therefore, President Joko Widodo has repeatedly stated that he pro­poses to strengthen corruption pre­vention functions through the Cor­ruption Prevention National Strategy (Strategi Nasional Pencegahan Ko­rupsi – “STRANAS-PK”) Program. The Program is based on Presiden­tial Regulation Number 54 of 2018 concerning Corruption Prevention. It focuses more on corruption preven­tion in the Government’s priority sec­tors, such as Commerce Permits and Administration, State Finance, and Law Enforcement and Bureaucratic Reforms. It also emphasizes synergy and collaboration between KPK cor­ruption prevention efforts and efforts in ministries, agencies and regional governments, which have been per­formed separately so far.

Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) considers that STRANAS-PK has not yet been properly implemented as of 2019. ICW does however approve of the program as a good concept. ICW researcher Tama S. Langkun an­nounced this conclusion along with the results of ICW joint research with a number of civil community organi­zations in seven cities, i.e. Suraba­ya, Malang, Pekanbaru, Makassar, Banda Aceh, Jember, and Jakarta. “The concept is actually quite good, but the problem is in the implemen­tation. When we talk about imple­mentation, the onus should not be on the National Team only. It must be divided among regional teams,” Tama said in a public seminar held in KPK’s ACLC Building on Tuesday (24/09/2019).

Currently, KPK’s Prevention Divi­sion collaborates with 34 provincial governments, which oversee 542 re­gency and municipal governments. The Commission encourages various improvements with this effort, start­ing from reorganizing governance (in­cluding planning, budgeting, permit issuance, procurement of goods and services administration systems) to strengthening the participation of the Government’s Internal Monitor­ing Apparatus (Aparat Pengawasan Intern Pemerintah – “APIP”). It also seeks to optimize regional tax in­come. This is perfectly possible, as in 2017 alone, KPK has succeeded in saving IDR 2.67 trillion of State funds from corruption through pre­ventive efforts.

Preventative steps are necessary to complement the punitive actions so far taken by law enforcement. It is impossible to eradicate corruption if we negate the effectiveness of corrup­tion prevention.

In order to monitor the imple­mentation of the STRANAS PK 2019-2010, ICW cooperates with civ­il community organizations, i.e. the HR Study and Development Agency of the Nahdatul Ulama (NU) and oth­er partners in four provinces (Aceh, Riau, East Java, and DKI Jakarta) and six cities and one regency (Sura­baya, Malang, Pekanbaru, Makassar, and Banda Aceh and the Regency of Jember) to develop monitoring in­struments for this purpose.

A study of 10 regions shows that all of them already have spe­cific regulations concerning the es­tablishment of Goods and Services Procurement Work Units (Unit Kerja Pengadaan Barang dan Jasa – “UKP­BJ”). These regulations vary in form: there are Gubernatorial Regulations, Mayor’s Regulations, and Regent’s Regulations. There are many chal­lenges faced in the effort, most prom­inently the lack of human resources. Many regions are still having trouble in getting members for UKPBJ. This is a natural consequence of the es­tablishment, which would naturally require additional personnel to fill in the organizational structure. “This is regrettable, as it is already the ninth month of the year. STRANAS plan­ning by now should have all regions establish all UKPBJs, but many re­gions still don’t have them,” Tama said.

Another major challenge is re­stricted use of information technol­ogy. The modernization of goods and service procurement requires HR capable of exploiting computerized systems. There is great resistance in the establishment of the relevant institutions, as some offices prefer to procure necessary goods and ser­vices by themselves. State Apparatus are not interested in taking procure­ment functional positions, as there is a high legal risk (criminalization) to face. Finally, the public finds it diffi­cult to access information concern­ing the establishment of UKPBJs.

“Our findings show two primary issues concerning State finances, specifically concerning the procure­ment of goods and services. In the first year, there are still many issues to resolve in the implementation of the STRANAS PK.

Most of these are related to the procurement of goods and services and to the improvement of an inte­grated governance of justice. STRA­NAS PK is now gradually imple­mented for procurement – there are regional initiatives for them, even though there are still HR issues and the capacity to operate computerized systems. The two regions that have optimized implementation of STRA­NAS concept are DKI Jakarta and Malang,” Tama said.

ICW recommends that the peo­ple should be given access for the ongoing processes, specifically at re­gional government and regional law enforcement levels. The Government needs to seek solutions relating to regional level needs. It should also resolve insufficiency of budgeting and staff, and build the capacity of the technical operators of the tech­nologies used.

There must also be resolution of user and community complaints concerning the implementation of STRANAS PK, and of implement­ing reward and punishment mech­anisms. “We need to appreciate regional governments and law en­forcement for having implemented STRANAS PK properly. We need to ensure that both supervisors and executors implement STRANAS PK optimally,” Tama said. (Dan)