Jakarta – The national antigraft agency organized a forum on the perils of the double role assumed by civil servants employed by state-owned enterprises, inviting the Ombudsman of the Republic of Indonesia and the Indonesian Civil Service Commission, or ICSC, to its office in South Jakarta on Thursday (04/05).
Ombudsman Alamsyah Saragih, ICSC member Waluyo Martowiyoto and Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) chairman Agus Rahardjo spoke about the conflicts of interest and vulnerability to corruption in state-owned enterprises that employ civil servants as their commissioners.
"Conflicts of interest are the roots of corruption, this should be fixed by the government," said Waluyo, a former director of state-owned energy company Pertamina.
Double dipping – when officials are billing both the state agencies and enterprises that employ them – was a common practice in the Suharto era.
"It started when civil servants in the Suharto era were obtaining insufficient salaries, so they searched for other jobs, the easiest way was through state-owned enterprises," Agus said, adding that the double role is most commonly assumed by top-level officials. This form of governance, however, is not only unethical, but also against the law.
"It is actually against the Law on Public Service, Article 17," Alamsyah said. "If a director at the Ministry of Agriculture serves as commissioner at a fertilizer company, will he be on the farmers' side? I don't think so," Agus added.
The double dipping practice has been observed especially at the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Public Works, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Health. According to the Ombudsman, it currently involves 222 commissioners at various state companies.
"People from these ministries account for majority of double dipping cases, however, the Ombudsman can't take an action, we can only send a recommendation to the president," Alamsyah said.
"For example, one person at the same time is a supervisor at the financial authority [OJK] and a commissioner at a financial company, I can't mention his name though," he added.
"There are only two institutions that can fix this problem, the Ministry of Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform and the Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises," he said.