Tue, 26 Sep 2000

Input for BPK

The Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) is the high institution of state which is charged with the task to auditing everything related to the state finances so as to ensure that they will be efficiently and transparently managed for the benefit of the state and the majority of the people.

It is, therefore, only proper that the BPK set an example for other state institutions in respect of financial management. In this regard, the BPK must not only set an example by managing its financial affairs efficiently and transparently, but must also prove that it is free from corruption, collusion and nepotism.

In this context I would like to suggest the following to the BPK:

1. By Oct. 1, 2000 at the latest, it should declare to the mass media the assets owned by its chairman, deputy chairman, officials and staff members (up to civil service grade IV), as well as by their wives and children.

2. Luxury cars made available for office use should be returned to the finance ministry and the BPK chairman and deputy chairman be assigned a Kijang instead. The make of the cars allotted to other staff members for official use should be adjusted in accordance with their respective grades.

3. By the end of this month of September at the latest, the BPK chairman should send an open letter to the top leadership of the executive, judicial and legislative establishments as well as the leadership of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) -- this letter should then be passed on to all subordinate civil service grades, that is to the level of sub-district/village head or grade IV/section head level -- calling on all of them to declare their assets as required by Law No. 28/1999 with Oct. 15, 2000 being set as the deadline.

4. The BPK chairman must thoroughly study the draft state budget drawn up by the government before it is approved by the People's Representative Assembly (DPR) to ensure that there will be no wasteful spending. It may, for example, suggest slashing to a minimum or even scrapping particular budget provisions for internal expenses, transportation, entertainment, anniversary celebrations, ceremonial and inauguration events. Budgeting practices now are still the same as during the New Order era: anything is put into the budget which the parties concerned think they will be able to get away with. Such practices are not in keeping with the present atmosphere of deep concern. Real efforts must be made to scrap the facilities which legislators, both in the DPR and in the regional legislative assemblies, are accustomed to demanding, such as loans for the purchase of land or houses or separation payments, because this spending is not productive and will only burden the state budget.

5. The BPK chairman should require every minister to account for the spending undertaken in their ministries every quarter. Actual spending should be compared with the budget and any discrepancies should be accounted for.