Friday, September 23, 2005



The government of Indonesia, which is led by a former general said to be friendly with the USA, appears to be as corrupt as ever.

From The Jakarta Post:


Jakarta, 22 Sept. (AKI/Jakarta Post) - Eleven months after becoming Indonesia's first elected president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's pledges to curb "systemic" corruption within government agencies, particularly the tax and customs services, have not being realized, according to the country's Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).

"The commission is very disappointed with the government's efforts to prevent corruption. Its efforts and its determination have yet to show progress," KPK Chairman Taufiqurrahman Ruki said.

His remarks came after a meeting with Yudhoyono held to allow the KPK put forward its views and evaluation of the government's anticorruption drive - labelled by the commission as "very slow and lacking commitment from the president's aides".

Ruki called on the government to speed up the anticorruption drive in the country's most corrupt institutions; the directorate general of taxation and the directorate general of customs and excise. Both institutions come under the supervision of the ministry of finance.

"There has been so much leakage from the tax and customs services as a result of collusion between taxpayers and officials. Our preliminary investigation shows that big fish corruptors are still sniffing at the doors of both services," he said.

A survey by watchdog organisation Transparency International Indonesia in February revealed that customs service was the country's most corrupt institution.

Indonesia is one of the world's 14 most graft-plagued nations, according to Transparency International's 2004 Corruption Perceptions Index.

The country has been relying on revenues from taxes and excise duties for the past five years to help finance government expenditure. This year's budget envisages 85 percent of revenues being contributed by taxes and excise duties. Based on the budget, the government hopes to collect 32.8 billion dollars in taxes and excise duties this year and some 39.3 billion dollars next year.

Analysts believe that the government could net more than 48.9 billion dollars in tax and excise revenue this year, by improving tax collection administration and tackling corruption.

The KPK also emphasised the need for the government to reform the public procurement system, as it found that leakage in this area often amounted to more than 30 percent of the procurement value.

"There has been no sign of seriousness from ministers, the heads of government agencies and state enterprise executives in preventing procurement leakage or securing revenue for the state," said Taufiqurrahman.

The KPK also highlighted a lack of coordination between the national police and the attorney general's office in investigating and bringing prosecutions in corruption cases. "Aside from poor coordination, the money allocated for processing corruption case in these two institutions is too low, about 245 dollars per case. President Susilo should seriously address these problems," Taufiqurrahman said.

Cabinet secretary Sudi Silalahi said Susilo acknowledged his anticorruption drive was still far from achieving its goal and promised to speed up the efforts. "The president responds positively to the KPK input and expresses his dissatisfaction over the current anticorruption efforts of his aides. The government will intensify its efforts and remain consistent to its goals," said Silalahi.
(Aki/Jakarta Post)



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