Independent Report Implementation UNCAC in Indonesia

31 Dec 2020

Is it true there is a clear reciprocal relation between democracy and corruption? Expert say corruption is one of the causes of a country's failure in democracy. On the contrary in a democratic country -where public's political participation has been running effectively- there is a bigger chance for the creation of cleaner governance and more effective corruption eradication efforts. 

Let us reflect on Indonesia. Indonesia has proudly claimed itself as an advanced democratic country especially compared to its neighbouring countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Brunei Darussalam. However international community also recognizes Indonesia as a country with deep-rooted corruption problems. even in domestic level, public have experienced how corruption practices become a serious threat for the realization of welfare and social justice for all Indonesian citizens.

If we believe that democracy has an important contribution in corruption eradication, Indonesia can actually has a higher or at least similar corruption perseption index score with Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam.

This report represents civilian perspective seeing the dynamics of law enforcement as a way to fight against corruption in Indonesia especially related to institutional development aspect, norms and procedural aspect as mandated in the second chapter of UNCAC. All data and analysis in this report have strenghened our assumtion that democracy in Indonesia faces some serious problems. We cannot fully rely on immature democracy to maintain efforts to develop clean governance. High resistance toward corruption eradication agenda shown by politicans, ineffective implementation of national corruption eradication strategy, ineffective leadership from the executive, weak political support and intense political pressure toward anti corruption institution have confirmed the assumption. Instead of giving political support for corruption eradication efforts, many politicians and public official are part of the corruption problems itself. 

In regard to UNCAC implementation especially from law enforcement aspect, effective corruption eradication is not solely depend on law enforcer instutions. Political factors related to law enforcement proved to have a significant influence because i) parliament's and the government's roles are crucial in determining legislation politic in the development of corruption eradication's legal frame, ii) parliament and the government determining budget allocation for anti corruption institutions and other law enforcer institutions and iii) parliament and the government have big authorities in supervising anti corruption and law enforcer institutions. 

Indonesia's experience gives important lessons on how crucial and urgent political reformation is. Political reformation must be included as a national agenda that must be done to pave the way for effective corruption eradication as well as improving the quality of democracy. In regard to Indonesia, such attempt is like cutting a vicious circle. In an effort to improve the effectiveness of UNCAC implementation by member countries, this report recommends by member countries, this report recommends urgent need to find a better approach to involve political parties, politicians and parliaments. 

Indonesia still has a chance and big momentum to develop its democracy and realize clean governance.