Indonesia: Anti-Corruption

Corruption is a serious impediment to Indonesia's development and combating corruption has been a major priority of the reform era.  Indonesians elected President Yudhoyono in 2004 largely on his promises to fight graft and corruption, and that message has continued during his second term. The Indonesian Government bolstered numerous institutions tasked with fighting corruption, such as the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) and the national anti-corruption courts.  The Government has incorporated civil society and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) into the reform process to create multiple networks of anti-corruption actors.  

The Government of Indonesia also reformed key regulatory frameworks, such as business regulations and public procurement.   Indonesia's corruption perception ranking has steadily declined.  Investment climate surveys demonstrate significant improvement in local firms' perceptions of the severity of corruption.

Yet, corruption remains a serious problem and overall, progress has been slow.  One reason for the moderate pace of reform on corruption issues is the deeply embedded institutional culture of patronage.   Often, acts of bribery or corruption are not viewed by Indonesian authorities as corrupt practices.  Increasing the training and knowledge of the types of activities that constitute corruption is therefore key in changing these attitudes.

A second challenge to combating corruption is that Indonesia's oversight mechanisms are largely under-resourced.  Many agencies lack the capacity and advanced skills required to deal with complex cases of corruption and abuses of public expenditure, particularly in investigation, surveillance and interview techniques.  There is also a dearth of trainers capable of providing the necessary guidance and instruction on a continuing and consistent basis.  Further compounding reform efforts are weak communication and coordination amongst key institutions such as the Attorney General's Office (AGO), Indonesian National Police (INDONESIAN NATIONAL POLICE) and KPK.  This inhibits information sharing, the ability to pool resources and ultimately effective prosecution of corruption cases.