Saturday, December 10, 2005

Decentralization of corruption

Early this year, I attended a lecture of Professor Tommy Firman at UC Berkeley. He was visiting professor for urban studies at the university known in Indonesia as Mafia Berkeley for its alumni. He said goot thing about decentralization as one of key results of former president Soeharto's downfall is that local and regional administrations have more power in their hands to do a city planning.
They have the freedom to design urban infrastructures, for example. They could synchronize with local budget and more importantly, a greater participation of the society. In short, local administrations tend to take bottom-up approach in urban planning, in contrast with top-down model under Soeharto.
The problem, he said, the more the money flows from central government to local administrations, the more corruptive those local officers. That's what people call it the decentralization of corruption. Under Soeharto's regime, corruption was centralized in Jakarta. But now, as the local leaders emerged as kings in their territory, corruption spreads to the provincial cities and the districts.
Imagine how people in West Papua complaining about the irregularities over the spending of special autonomy funds amounts to US$500 million in the last three years. Look at how local administrations bribes house of representatives (DPR) to have escallated budget approved? Reports in the local media would be the best evidence of rampant corruption at local levels.
This is contrast with World Bank's research in 2000 saying fiscal decentralization in governments expenditures is consistently associated with lower corruption. Someone has to test this thesis empirically in Indonesia.




Anonymous Grace said...

Yosef, I need your help as I'm not familiar with Indonesia's ministries. I need to contact someone who can speak on the current situation on minimum wage in Indonesia as I'm organising a conference on Compensation & Benefits. Would you know who's the person of authority who can speak on the said subject? Would it be the Ministry of Manpower & Transmigration of Indonesia? If so, which director-general will be the right person?

I hope you can help me. Please reply to THanks!

March 07, 2006 6:51 PM  

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