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Jakarta Post

Watchdog urges BPK to assess state losses from salaries paid to graft convicts

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, February 21, 2019   /   11:17 am
Watchdog urges BPK to assess state losses from salaries paid to graft convicts An estimated 1,466 civil servants convicted of corruption between 2011 and 2018 are still on public payrolls. (Shutterstock/kenary820)

Antigraft watchdog Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW) on Wednesday urged the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) to calculate state losses arising from the payment of salaries to 1,466 civil servants convicted of corruption between 2011 and 2018.

According to the National Civil Service Agency (BKN), 2,855 civil servants have been convicted of corruption. Their dismissals were supposed to be completed by the end of last December in accordance with a joint decree signed by the Home Ministry, the Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Ministry and the BKN.

Meanwhile, only 1,389 of the convicts have been dismissed from their civil service posts to date, meaning the remaining 1,466 are still on public payrolls and, therefore, still get monthly salaries.

The termination of employment for civil servants, according to the 2014 Law on the state civil service, requires a decree issued by each of the civil servant’s supervisors, including ministers, governors, mayors and regents.

Previously, Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) spokesman Febri Diansyah said the failure of the concerned officials to sign the required paperwork had caused the additional losses to the state.

ICW researcher Wana Alamsyah said the delays had caused an estimated Rp 6.5 billion (US$462,748) per month or Rp 72 billion per year in state losses.

He said that estimate was not official, as it was based on the 2015 government regulation on civil servant salary increases, and only the Supreme Audit Agency had the authority to calculate the precise number.

“Their salary accounts must be blocked immediately,” Wana told reporters after submitting ICW’s report to the audit agency's main office in Central Jakarta.

Civil Service Agency's spokesman Mohammad Ridwan told The Jakarta Post that the government planned to grant the various government institutions still listing the convicts on their payrolls more time to process the required dismissals.

“However, a deadline will be given. If they cannot complete the dismissals before the deadline, they will face penalties,” he said.

Ridwan said most of these convicted civil servants were from regional administrations, which are led by governors, mayors or regents. These officials generally took the stance that they were not responsible for the dismissal of the convicts. They laid the blame for the delayed dismissals on the officials who were in office at the time of the convictions.

“They say: Why should we be responsible for dismissing them?” Ridwan said.

He added that currently serving officials were also questioning who was responsible for returning the money stolen.

“This is one of the most concerning things,” Ridwan said.

According to him, the officials have not received letters on court rulings, which would be the basis for the dismissals.

Ridwan said the Civil Service Agency along with other institutions, including the Home Ministry, the Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Ministry, the KPK and the BPK, had discussed alternative ways to overcome the problem.

He added that one of these alternative methods was stipulated by the technical team compiling the joint ministerial decree.

"If the officials dismissed them, the Supreme Audit Agency and the Development Finance Comptroller would be required to calculate the accumulated state losses,” Ridwan said. (das)