UNODC hosts talk on ways to improve anti-corruption efforts
Jakarta (Indonesia), 26 July 2010 - "We are rich in structure but poor in function", said Jimly Asshiddiqie, Professor in Constitutional Law at the University of Indonesia and keynote speaker at a public discussion on Indonesia and constitutional reform to improve anti-corruption efforts.
The event was the fourth in a series of talks held in 2010 and organized by UNODC on corruption-related issues. The series of talks brings together academics, anti-corruption experts and representatives of Indonesian civil society and the public sector.
Professor Asshiddiqie discussed the progress made in Indonesia's reform since 1998, focusing on legal and institutional developments and their implications for local efforts to prevent and eradicate corruption. He noted that considerable effort had gone into improving governance systems through the establishment of new government institutions and the design of new legal frameworks. He said that this had led to some improvements, notably an increased focus on protecting the rights of the most vulnerable through the creation of human rights institutions.
Professor Asshiddiqie highlighted the importance of the
Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission, which he said had enjoyed some outstanding successes in bringing corrupt officials to trial and in generating public support for the Commission's work. However, he called on the Commission to focus more on its corruption prevention mandate which, in his view, had been neglected.
Discussing the broader implications of the reform efforts, he pointed out that too many (over 50) institutions with overlapping roles, responsibilities and legal frameworks had been created in Indonesia since 1998. According to Professor Asshiddiqie, "the work of too many institutions overlaps because we adopted too many conflicting ideas"; it is time for Indonesia to consolidate the work of these institutions in order to simplify bureaucratic processes and the legal system. He strongly advocated the prioritization of law enforcement.
Describing Indonesia as a country in transition, he said that "we still have many of the old values but we are now working within a new system. We are working with new laws and new institutions. We need to consolidate and change our values to match the values of a democratic State".