Sat, 02 Dec 2000

KPKPN is set to audit wealth of 50,000 officials

JAKARTA (JP): The newly established State Official Wealth Audit Agency (KPKPN) is set to audit the wealth of some 50,000 state officials, ranging from President Abdurrahman Wahid to officials at regency and mayoralty levels nationwide.

"Based on the 1999 government regulation, the 25-member KPKPN has designed a work plan to audit the wealth of around 50,000 state officials in provincial, mayoralty and regency administrations, legislative bodies, courts, the military, the National Police and state-owned companies," Amir Muin, KPKPN secretary general, said here on Friday.

He said that despite being late, the President and Vice President would be the first officials to expose their personal wealth to the public as examples to other state officials.

Amir said all ministers and officials in state agencies, Supreme Court, State Audit Agencies, central bank and state-owned banks are, therefore, obliged to announce their wealth.

He added that based on the law, the President, the Vice President and all legislators should have disclosed their wealth soon after their installation last year.

He said that at the regency level, precinct police chiefs, district military chiefs, regents, mayors and echelon IV officials were subject to audit and at the provincial level, governors, military command chiefs, provincial police chiefs and officials ranging from echelon I to echelon III would be audited.

Amir said KPKPN was set to start its work in January after its 25 members, whose appointments were based on a presidential decree issued in September 2000, were sworn in.

The installation of the 25 members was postponed when the House of Representatives asked the President to appoint eight more members from the 45 names it had proposed.

"The swearing-in ceremony is expected to be this month as the President has agreed to the House request," Amir said.

He said KPKPN, with the help of Yogyakarta-based Gadjah Mada University, has designed a computerized standard audit method to make it more effective in performing its mission.

John Pires, a member of KPKPN, said the agency would hand over its audit results to the President, the legislature and the State Audit Agency.

"The three state institutions are expected to follow up on the audit results through the check and balance mechanism," he said.

He said KPKPN also has the authority to call for further investigation by the Attorney General's Office and the police when evidence was discovered that indicated an official was involved in corruption, collusion or nepotistic practices.

"According to the regulation, police and prosecutors are obliged to investigate officials who are allegedly involved in corruption within three months after a case has been disclosed," he said.

He said KPKPN would be open for reports on state officials who were allegedly involved in corruption or tax evasion.

Abdullah Hehamahua, another KPKPN member, said the agency had authored a code of conduct and internal rules to ensure the integrity of its main mission to create clean governance.

He said that according to the code of conduct, KPKPN members were obliged to have their wealth audited by a public accountant and they were barred from receiving gifts, property or money from officials being audited.

"KPKPN members found guilty of accepting bribes will be discharged from the agency and face criminal prosecution," he said.

According to the internal rules, he said, KPKPN must work independently and its members are prohibited to have two jobs.

Hehamahua, also chairman of the Masyumi Party, said he would quit the party soon after being sworn in as KPKPN member. (rms)