Thu, 02 Oct 2003

BPK's findings

The Jakarta Post, on Sept. 25, 2003 carried the headline: BPK slams govt over corruption over its report that the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) had reported to the Attorney General's Office and the National Police, a total 6,162 suspected corruption cases since 2001 but that only 505 cases, or 8 percent, had been investigated by both law enforcement agencies. The BPK also claimed that it had discovered 174 cases of irregularities between January and June this year, which had potentially caused a total of Rp 233 billion in losses to the state.

On the same day, the media reported Vice President Hamzah Haz's "challenge" to the House of Representatives (DPR) -- to be more pro-active in following up the BPK's findings by using the latter's rights. This invitation from the Vice President -- that the executive would allow the legislative to help eradicate this chronic disease -- came as a surprise.

Every single Indonesian who feels frustrated and concerned over the rampant practices of corruption, collusion, and nepotism (KKN) must, of course, throw their weight behind the DPR for speedier eradication of these practices. The DPR's response to this challenge was unfortunately disappointing. Legislators requested the government to follow up the BPK's findings. These legislators seem to ignore their own role as one of an external supervisory body. They should have realized the impossibility of the government's quick correction of its own mistakes.

The "ball" -- in terms of graft cases -- to be kicked is now in the DPR's hands. If it is really concerned over the country's plight it should pro-actively clampdown on these dirty practices by holding consultations with the BPK. Not once or twice a year, but once a month as proposed by the Vice President.