KPK backlog reaches more
than 16,000 cases

Because of its limited manpower and resources, of some 16,200 cases reported to the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), only a small number had been dealt with, a KPK official said on Tuesday.

In 2007, the KPK had only managed to complete its investigations of 19 cases, and was expecting to complete less in 2008, KPK public education division official Budiono Prakoso said.

"Our target for this year is to complete the investigations of 14 cases," Budiono said at a meeting to introduce bureaucrats and councilors to a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on corruption eradication, which was signed by the KPK and Indonesia's Regional Representatives Council (DPD).

The meeting was held at the Wiswa Sabha building of the Bali Governor's official compound in Renon, and was attended by dozens of local officials including Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika and representatives from various NGOs.

Prakoso said the KPK had received a total 27,000 reports from the public. However, only some 16,200 of these were deemed solid.

"The rest were baseless allegations," he said.

A large number of the solid reports informed the KPK of alleged cases of corruption and misuse of budget funds by government agencies at national and regional levels.

The commission had not been able to work to its optimum level because of manpower and resource constraints, Prakoso said.

"The main problem is the political will of the government at regional and national levels. Political will remains low. Everything is still at a lip-service level," he said.

The head of DPD's corruption eradication team, Marwan Batubara, said efforts to eradicate corruption had yet to reach optimum levels.

"There is a need for more professional, intensive, integrated and sustained efforts to eradicate corruption," he said.

The MoU between the KPK and DPD, Batubara stressed, aimed at optimizing such efforts at a regional level. The MoU covers sharing of information, gratification reporting, reporting of government officials' wealth, monitoring corruption cases, training and education.

Since its establishment in 2006, the DPD team had received at least 14 reports of alleged corruption from various regions in Indonesia. These cases inflicted estimated losses of more than Rp 100 billion to the state, including Rp 21 billion case from Bengkulu, Rp 90 billion from North Sumatra, Rp 36 billion from North Sulawesi, and Rp 10 billion from South Sulawesi.

Bali Corruption Watch (BCW) head Putu Wirata Dwikora asked the KPK to investigate corruption cases in Bali, directly. He lamented the commission's practice of handing over corruption cases in Bali to the local prosecutors office for further investigation.

"The KPK should be directly involved in investigations to create a deterrent effect," Putu said.

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