Independence and effectiveness of the anti-corruption agency
To ensure the independence and effectiveness of the anti-corruption agency as deemed by the article 6 and 36 of UNCAC by implementing the Jakarta Principles, including improving the capacity of Indonesia’s anti-corruption agency.
The commitment targets a sufficiently narrow policy and moves Indonesia towards achieving recognised international standards in the area of anti-corruption agency work.
The commitment identifies actions that can be construed as measurable but which may require some interpretation, such as requirements by article 6 and 36 of UNCAC.
The strengthening of the anti-corruption body in Indonesia has been hindered by insufficient political support. Through the Ministry of Law and Human Rights, the government officially ratified the amendment to the Corruption Eradication Commission Law (KPK Law) as Law Number 19 of 2019.1
Transparency International Indonesia considers that the entire substance of the bill has the potential to threaten the independence of the KPK.2 The new KPK law will reduce the independence of human resources at the organisation, strengthen dual loyalty and increase conflicts of interest because investigators can only come from law enforcement institutions.
In addition, the presence of the supervisory board weakens the KPK’s potential to carry out law enforcement duties, both in the investigation and prosecution of cases, such as having pro Justitia powers by permitting wiretapping of people suspected of corruption, searches and confiscation of evidence. The KPK commissioners were also not independent since they are appointed by the president. Obstacles can arise if the KPK handles cases involving, for example, power, officials or businesspeople from ruling groups. The standards for ethics and conflicts of interest for members of the supervisory board are also lower than for KPK leaders and employees. The KPK’s sting operations have also become more challenging due to the increased complexity in wiretapping authorisation.3
The KPK has identified 26 risk areas in the revision of the law.4 These include the inclusion of KPK as a state institution in the executive branch, which will reduce its independence. KPK employee status will change to state civil apparatus under the executive control, and therefore no longer independent in carrying out their duties. This change will disrupt the investigation of corruption cases within the government. The transfer of employment status can also disrupt corruption case handling at any time since KPK’s staff can be transferred to other state institutions.
The new KPK law can also reduce investigators’ independence too because every KPK investigator will become a civil servant investigator (PPNS). Article 7 paragraph (2) of the Criminal Procedure Code states that PPNSs carry out their duties under the police’s coordination and supervision.
Challenges to effective commitment implementation
TI Indonesia’s monitoring report on KPK’s performance in Indonesia conducted in 2019 found that the government has little political will to strengthen the KPK’s institutional independence and effectiveness as mandated by UNCAC and the Jakarta Principles.5 The finding confirmed the two main factors that weakened the KPK, namely the amendments of the KPK Law,6 which revoked its autonomy, and the appointment of people who had a dubious track records to KPK leadership positions from 2019-2023. Under the new act, the KPK cannot conduct law enforcement independently, which could undermine the level of public trust.
Opportunities to accelerate commitment implementation
An independent and effective KPK is the main requirement to fulfil various other anti-corruption commitments. If the KPK does not have adequate authority in enforcing anti-corruption laws, it will undoubtedly affect the achievement of several anti-corruption reform agendas. Since the new KPK law became active and in the absence of any other oversight mechanisms, it will be left up to CSOs and the public to oversee the KPK.7 In this case, it is important to pay attention to capacity building and the involvement of civil society groups and quasi-state agencies to continue corruption monitoring.
Ensure the independence and effectiveness of the KPK, as enshrined in UNCAC and the Jakarta Principles.
Repeal the new KPK law and revert to the old one.
Strengthen the sustainability of the anti-corruption national strategy led by the National Corruption Prevention Joint Secretariat.
- The Jakarta Post, Legislative Assault on KPK, https://www.thejakartapost.com/academia/2019/09/18/legislative-assault-on-kpk.html2019
- TI Indonesia, President of Indonesia Urged to Reject Revision of Corruption Eradication Commission Law, https://ti.or.id/melawan-nalar-publik-revisi-uu-kpk-harus-ditolak/2019
- 2019 Indonesia Anti-Corruption Update Presented by Dadang Trisasongko, Former TI Indonesia secretary general at the COSP Forum Abu Dhabi16 December 2019
- KPK, KPK Identifies 26 Points with Risk of Weakening in the KPK Bill, https://www.kpk.go.id/id/berita/siaran-pers/1255-kpk-identifikasi-26-poin-yang-beresiko-melemahkan-di-ruu-kpk26 September 2019
- TI Indonesia, TI Indonesia’s Monitoring Report on ACA’s Performance in Indonesia,
https://ti.or.id/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/TIINDONESIA-english-KPK-ASSESSMENT-RESULT-2019.pdf4 July 2019
- KPK, Amended KPK Law 19/2019, https://www.kpk.go.id/images/pdf/Undang-undang/UU-Nomor-19-Tahun-2019.pdf2019
- Tempo, Jokowi Inaugurates 5 Members of the KPK Supervisory Board, https://en.tempo.co/read/1286085/jokowi-inaugurates-5-members-of-kpk-supervisory-board20 December 2019