Ghina Ghaliya, Jakarta – The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has made a request to the House of Representatives for an additional Rp 825 billion (US$55.48 million) for its 2021 budget to hire more graft-prevention agents, the agency's chief, Firli Bahuri, said on Monday.
"[I requested] an additional Rp 825 billion for the 2021 budget and we will use it to increase the number of anticorruption counselors and integrity experts," Firli said during a hearing with House Commission III overseeing legal affairs at the House complex in Central Jakarta on Monday.
Anticorruption counselors and integrity experts are part of the KPK's program to promote anticorruption education and awareness under Firli's leadership following its recent focus on prevention over enforcement.
He argued the KPK needed more people in those positions to assist ministries and government agencies, as well as provincial, district and city administrations. The agency currently has 827 counselors and 28 experts.
"Corruption is caused by a lack of integrity. We are continuing to increase the number of integrity experts assigned to all ministries and institutions," he said.
Firli said the additional funds requested were meager figure compared to the Rp 90.5 trillion state funds the agency had saved through graft prevention
The KPK initially requested Rp 1.881 trillion for its 2021 budget. However, the government agreed to allocate only Rp 1.055 trillion.
"I think asking for Rp 1.8 trillion is fair considering our accomplishments. We have secured more money than we were asked for," Firli said.
House Commission III approved the request for additional funds in the meeting and will pass the proposal on to the House budget committee (Banggar).
United Development Party (PPP) lawmaker Arsul Sani expressed hope the additional funds could boost the KPK's prevention efforts, adding that some regional leaders and bureaucrats wanted the KPK's assistance in executing major programs, such as the village funds program.
Arsul added that the KPK should also utilize the funds to make significant progress in major unsolved cases.