The Jakarta Post
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's administration has spent at least Rp 90.4 billion (US$6 million) for digital activities involving so-called influencers since 2017, according to data collected by Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW).
The antigraft watchdog reported the findings it obtained from publicly available goods and services procurement data published on the electronic procurement service system (LPSE) of various ministries and government agencies.
ICW researcher Egi Primayogha said that there were 40 procurement packages containing the keywords “influencers” or “key opinion leaders” from 2017 until this year.
“The procurements are valued at Rp 90.45 billion [in total], and they began appearing in 2017,” he said during a discussion hosted by ICW on Thursday.
The five procurement packages in 2017 were worth Rp 17.6 billion, while 15 in 2018 were worth Rp 56.55 billion, 13 in 2019 were worth Rp 6.67 billion and seven in 2020 were worth Rp 9.54 billion.
The Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry accounted for the majority of the spending, with 22 procurement packages totaling Rp 77.6 billion, followed by the Communications and Information Ministry with Rp 10.8 billion spent on four packages.
Some of the procurement documents also mentioned the names of the social media influencers, such as that of the Education and Culture Ministry, which mentions actresses Gritte Agatha and Ayushita on the list of the ministry’s procurement to promote the 2019 public school enrollment (PPDB), which cost Rp 114 million.
Meanwhile, the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry spent Rp 5 billion from the 2018 state budget for a procurement titled "Publication of Tourism Branding through International Online Influencers Trip Package IV".
The funds for influencers’ involvement were among Rp 1.29 trillion worth of procurement the government approved for “digital activities" since 2014.