“L’etat, c’est moi.”
Louis XIV of France
While Indonesia’s legislators give themselves overseas shopping trips some 28 million of the population, c.11%, live in absolute poverty. Is it any wonder that the legislature is viewed as the most corrupt institution in the country? However, that viewpoint is not necessarily correct.
According to this report from the NGO Indonesia Corruption Watch (NCW), in 2016 law enforcement agencies including the Prosecutor’s Office, the police and the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) handled 482 corruption cases. From the 482 cases,1,101 suspects have been named, with Rp.1.45 trillion (c.$2 billion) in state losses and some Rp 31 billion paid in bribes.
Of those 1,101 suspects, civil servants ranked first followed by private-sector parties.
ICW researcher Aradila Caesar said last Saturday: “There is a high possibility that the procurement of goods and services remains the favorite sector to garner profits.”
A high-profile trial on alleged corruption in the procurement of electronic identity cards (e-KTP) in 2011 and 2012 is currently underway. Defendants in the case include Irman, the former director general for population and civil registration at the Home Ministry, and Sugiharto, the former managing director at the same directorate general. The project value was Rp.5.9 trillion (US$442.31 million), of which KPK has indicated Rp.2.3 trillion in state losses.
Apart from the state’s losses, it’s the rakyat, citizenry, who also lose because many of those without the new electronic ID cards were unable to vote in the recent round, and may be unable to vote in the run offs due to take place next month. Sadly, those who voted were ‘robbed’ as well with many elected officials enriching themselves. One notorious example is former Banten governor Ratu Atut Chosiyah [who] has been indicted for allegedly inflicting Rp 79.79 billion (US$5.95 million) in state losses by allegedly abusing her authority as governor to enrich herself and other parties.
Moreover, the 2014 Law on regional administration has not diminished corruption in the regions.
The following is sourced from a paper – Problematizations of Organizational Reform Policy at National Institute of Public Administration (pdf) – written by Andi Wahyudi, a researcher with the Center for Public Administration Studies and Government Official Training III National Institute of Public Administration (PKP2A III LAN) in Samarinda, East Kalimantan. (LAN is the local successor to the OSVIA I described here.)
One of the critical issues in the Indonesian public sector is the bureaucratic reform program which in 2004 was implemented as a pilot project in three central agencies, i.e. the Ministry of Finance, the National Finance Auditor Board, and the Supreme Court.
The central government revised it in 2010 through the Presidential Regulation (Perpres) No. 81/ 010 concerning Grand Design Bureaucratic Reform 2010-2025. Eight changes were expected to result bureaucratic areas, including organization, business processing, regulation, human resources, scrutiny, accountability, public service, and the officials’ mindset and culture set.
Law No. 5/2014 on State Civil Apparatus (pdf) is a further legal basis for bureaucratic reform, and is expected to make a difference as it stipulates that promotion and rotation should be free from conflicts of interest The law acknowledges meritocracy as the only consideration for the appointment of civil servants to certain jobs as the recruitment process should provide a level playing field for all.
Compliance with the system will prevent elected leaders from handpicking their cronies for strategic posts as a reward for their support in elections as well as those people who are willing to ‘pay’ for jobs.
This series of posts remains a ‘work in progress’ with an ultimate focus. That I am as yet unsure of the how and when of the conclusion, I am contenting myself in trying to understand the ‘mindset’ of Indonesians who act as the ‘barrier’ between those who make decisions and those seeking social justice.
The next post will include these two words: prevarication and complacency.