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Jakarta Post

New regulation issued to shield officials from prosecution

  • Fedina S. Sundaryani

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Sat, September 26, 2015   /  05:05 pm

Amid concerns that corruption eradication campaigns could deal a blow to government programs, the government is preparing a regulation that would force an institution'€™s internal monitoring division or a state auditory institution to evaluate a potential violation against government officials or businesspeople before handing it over to law enforcement agencies.

National Police chief Gen. Badrodin Haiti confirmed on Friday that the government was working on a draft regulation and maintained that it would hinder the work of law enforcement agencies.

'€œIf there is a violation, we have to first make sure that it is a criminal violation [because] there are [other] violations that could be categorized as administrative and civil violations. Because of these, we must be more careful,'€ he said at the National Police headquarters in South Jakarta.

Badrodin said that the government regulation would prevent law enforcers from starting investigations willy-nilly without confirmation from an institution'€™s internal monitoring division or a state auditory institution, such as the Supreme Audit Agency, that there had been a criminal violation committed by members of an institution.

He emphasized that not all violations uncovered while a government project was underway could be categorized as a crime and said that the planned regulation would make it clear as to who would take responsibility in investigating different types of violations.

'€œIf it is only an administrative violation, then we will hand over [the case] to be dealt with internally. If it'€™s a civil law case, then we will hand it over to whoever has the authority. If it is a crime, then we [law enforcers] will start investigating it,'€ Badrodin said.

Previously, President Joko '€œJokowi'€ Widodo had expressed concerns about the effects that corruption eradication efforts had on existing development programs.

Following his statement, State Secretary Pratikno said in late August that the government was currently preparing a regulation '€œthat would be a foundation, a room for discretion, so that new innovations can appear'€.

Pratikno said that such a regulation would encourage officials to be more active in the decision-making process, without being too concerned about its legal implications.

Government officials have expressed concerns that the National Police'€™s detective division, under then detective division chief Comr. Gen. Budi Waseso, had gone too far in investigating several graft cases involving ministries and state-owned enterprises, including an alleged graft case which led to a raid at the state-owned port operator'€™s headquarters in Tanjung Priok last month.

According to data collected by the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) from 2004 to May 2015, of the 459 people named graft suspects in the past decade, 116 were from echelon I, II and III positions. This was closely followed by those who worked in the private sector, with 114 suspects.

Meanwhile, Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) researcher Agus Sunaryanto expressed concerns over the planned government regulation as an internal oversight division could likely be biased in its evaluation of violations taking place in government institutions.

'€œI'€™m worried that since the internal oversight division is not a separate entity from it'€™s ministry or institution, it would seek to resolve the case informally,'€ he told The Jakarta Post on Friday.

He added that it would be better if the authority to evaluate and investigate violation of regulations was given to law enforcement agencies.

'€œThe police force and Attorney General'€™s Office [AGO] investigate cases to see whether a crime occurred and if they have made a mistake, they have the authority to drop the case. I don'€™t see the point in adding another step in the process,'€ he said.

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