Social Development and Welfare Expert of Faculty of Social and Political Sciences UGM, Hempry Suyatna, said the corruption case of social assistance funds occurred at the Ministry of Social Affairs (Kemsos) is an irony. Because, amidst many people having difficulties due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the state officials are corrupting the aid funds instead.
“There are still many who do not get social assistance as a result of mistargeting. We need to evaluate the commitment of officials to the people,” he said when contacted on Monday (7/12).
For a similar incident not to happen again, Hempry emphasized the need for strict and firm supervision. The tender mechanism or direct appointment is necessary to amend because it is very vulnerable to causing political corruption cases. With Indonesia's political conditions that tend to have transactional political nuances and reciprocity, it is often paving the way for political corruption to continue.
To minimize the risk of misuse of social assistance funds, changing the mechanism of the distribution may provide a solution. Distribution in the form of goods that have been carried out by the government through the Ministry of Social Affairs is converted into cash or cash transfers.
“With cash transfers, the transparency of social assistance distribution can be more accountable,” he explained.
The next thing on the list is to keep updating data on aid recipients. This is because so far the validation and verification of data on social assistance recipients in the country have not been carried out properly, which has triggered a mistargeted program and the potential for political corruption.
Confiscating the Corruptors Assets
Center for Anti-Corruption Studies (PUKAT) UGM appreciates the KPK’s sting operation to several officials in the Ministry of Social Affairs which also involved the Social Minister Juliari Peter Batubara.
PUKAT UGM researcher, Yuris Rezha Kurniawan, said that amidst a fairly limited authority, KPK is capable of showing its competence.
“KPK is still able to demonstrate its capacity even with the condition of the new KPK Law which limits some of its powers,” he said when contacted separately.
Yuris said that social assistance funds are very prone to corruption. This is because the management of aid in the country lacks transparency and accountability. Especially during the current disaster/pandemic, they opt for shortcuts by breaking through the principles of social assistance management that come from state funds.
“Not to mention the often use of aid as a covert campaign, for example by regional head candidates in the election era. The social assistance fund which comes from the APBN/APBD is set as if it were from individuals or the candidates,” he explained.
On the threats of the death penalty for social assistance corruptors, Yuris said that Law No. 20 of 2001 concerning the Eradication of the Crime of Corruption (Tipikor) has regulated these provisions. Article 2 stipulates that corruption in disaster management funds is punishable by death.
However, the death penalty referred to in article 2 is related to corruption in state financial losses. Meanwhile, the KPK's suspicion of social assistance corruption within the Ministry of Social Affairs is included in the bribery or gratification article.
“We at PUKAT see the death penalty as not the sole option. There are still other alternatives that are more effective in providing a deterrent effect on the perpetrators of corruption, for instance by optimizing the confiscation of their assets,” he explained.
Photo: ANTARA FOTO/detikfinance