The Jakarta Post
The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has urged the Social Affairs Ministry and Manpower Ministry to improve data validation for recipients of government social aid and wage subsidies.
After a meeting with Social Affairs Minister Juliari Batubara on Wednesday, KPK commissioner Lili Pantauli Siregar said that improving recipients’ data validation process was important as the antigraft agency had received 1,074 complaints related to social aid distribution as of Sept. 4.
Out of the complaints that were received through KPK’s digital platform JAGA Bansos, Lili said that 500 came from people that did not receive social aid, even though they were registered as beneficiaries.
“Data validation is indeed the key to prevent or minimize complaints like that,” Lili during a press conference on Wednesday, adding that the government needs to increase education on social aid to prevent confusion among the public.
Juliari said that the complaints related to social aid distribution would be verified by the KPK and followed up by the respective regional administrations, which also had the authority to update social aid beneficiaries’ data.
The Social Affairs Ministry was tasked with distributing around Rp 127 trillion of the governemnt’s Rp 203 trillion COVID-19 relief budget through several social assistance programs such as the Family Hope Card (PKH) and staple food distribution.
On the same day, KPK leaders also met with Manpower Minister Ida Fauziyah, where the latter gave an update regarding the ministry’s wage subsidy program.
The subsidy consists of Rp 600,000 in monthly assistance for four months for workers with a monthly salary of less than Rp 5 million who are registered with the Workers Social Security Agency (BPJS Ketenagakerjaan).
Ida said that more than 4.8 million workers would receive the monthly subsidy from the first and second distribution phase, which is nearing completion, adding that it is currently validating the beneficiaries’ data for the third distribution wave with the BPJS Ketenagakerjaan.
“We hope [the KPK] would help us with this program so that it would not miss its target. This program is meant to maintain and increase workers’ economic capabilities amid the COVID-19 [pandemic],” Ida said.
KPK commissioner Alexander Marwata said that the ministry also needed to improve beneficiaries’ data validation for the program, such as by cross-checking BPJS Ketenagakerjaan data with tax records to make sure the workers really earned less than Rp 5 million a month.
Furthermore, amid many forms of social aid being distributed, Alexander warned the government to prevent overlapping assistance that could cause some people to receive more than others.
“This is again a matter of data, keep updating who is entitled to the assistance and who is affected worst [by the pandemic],” he said.