Academic journal article European Research Studies

Preventing Corruption in the Indonesian Public Sector

Academic journal article European Research Studies

Preventing Corruption in the Indonesian Public Sector

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

Corruption is a problem of multiple dimensions necessitating multi-dimensional approaches to cope with (Ageeva, Anoschenkova, Petrikova, & Pomnina, 2016). For this, understanding the behavioural elements of corruption is fundamental in developing an effective anti-corruption strategy. This is so since like any other types of fraud; corruption is essentially a human endeavour which involves deception, intention, desire and the risk of apprehension all of which are taken into consideration in offenders' decision-making process (Ramamoorti, Morrison, Koletar, & Pope, 2013).

In Indonesia, different governments result in different kinds of corruption due to presumably different bad leadership styles. For example, when Soeharto was in power, despite the rampant corruption, economic growth was evident in Indonesia whereas in other corrupt countries this has never been the case. In the post- Soeharto era, a different kind of corruption emerged. Due to the more diffused nature of power and authority of the time (i.e. the decentralization system), the once centralized corruption became more fragmented and decentralized. In short, as suggested by various cases, the migration to the decentralization system has made corruption even worse (Kuncoro, 2006). Another problem that arises from the decentralization system is the seemingly rising number of budget misallocation cases throughout the country uncovered by the authorities. For example, the audits by the Supreme Audit Board (BPK) in 2010 revealed that travel - related expense misuses within 35 minister offices and other agencies were estimated to be around Rp. 73.5 billion (USD 5.8 million) (Indonesian Forum for Budget Transparency, 2011, p. 7). Based on the same audits in the first semester of 2011, the figure rose to Rp. 89.5 billion (USD 7.1 million) across 44 minister offices and agencies (Indonesian Forum for Budget Transparency, 2011). This is believed to have been caused by the pressures brought to bear on politicians by the new decentralized system to maintain power.

Like a disease, corruption seems to affect more and more people by the day even those who seem outwardly honest and religious. Therefore, the need to understand the root of corruption is eminent as it is not just a legal problem but more of a multidimensional one. Such patterns will then be assessed to determine the causes of the problem as well as how to cope with it. In the case of corruption in Indonesia, we believe that it is being influenced by factors such as large amount of public resources, competing vested interests and politically connected networks, poorly paid civil servants, low regulatory quality and weak judicial independence (Syamsudin, Sriyana, & Prabowo, 2012). These were accompanied by wide discretionary power and resources and lack of proper accountability and enforcement mechanisms have made Indonesia a breeding ground for corruption among public officials. This study is part of the efforts to seek for the solution for the corruption problem in Indonesia by understanding the behaviour of corruptors. By examining court decisions related to corruption from the Supreme Court of Indonesia as well as corruption data from other agencies, this study attempts to identify the behavioural patterns of corruption in Indonesia.

2. Related Literature

In the 1990s, corruption, despite its broad definition, has attracted a great deal of attention (Tanzi, 1998, p. 559). Today, corruption becomes one of the most widely studied issues in social science. Nevertheless, so far as historical evidences are concerned, corruption may well be as old as human civilization itself. Although corruption has been around for generations, one question remains: Why would the otherwise good people engage in corruption? The answer is because it is perceived as a logical choice for solving the perceived problems faced by the offenders (Syamsudin, Sriyana, & Prabowo, 2012). …

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