Senayan and a New Chapter in the e-ID Corruption


The major corruption case regarding the procurement of the Electronic Identity Card (e-ID/e-KTP) has entered a new phase. Having determined two suspects, Director of Population Administration Information Management Sugiharto, in April 2014, and former Director General of Population and Civil Registration of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Irman, in September 2016, the case of the Rp 5.9 trillion worth project would begin the session on 9 March 2017.

The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has stated that the e-ID corruption does not involve only officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs, but also a number of Senayan politicians (parliamentarians). The names were listed in the indictment to be read out at the inaugural session.

Golkar and Democratic Party politicians of the 2009-2014 period were said to have received the largest proportion of the funds. Major names have been mentioned, including Setya Novanto and Anas Urbaningrum, chairmen of Golkar and the Democratic Party at the time, respectively. (Source; Koran Tempo, 8 March 2017, "Politikus Golkar dan Democrat Diduga Terima Dana Terbesar E-KTP)

Not only to the Chairmen of the Fractions, the flow of project funds expected to function as a single identity number integrated with the entire system of public service is also thought to flow to the House leadership, and political parties. As a result, this case does not only trouble the public, due to the enormous state loss, Rp 2.3 trillion, or 39% of the project value, but also the political parties as well.

The e-ID scandal once again shows how the government and Parliament conspired in high-level corruption. Earlier, many corruption cases involving both parties have been uncovered, with a similar mode, namely marking up the budget, as well as providing insider information to partners.

In the case of the e-ID project, the value ballooned from Rp 2.55 T to Rp 5.9 T. The 49% mark up was allegedly the result of lobbying between the government and the Parliament. In addition, a number of partners in the implementation of the project have affiliations with members of the Parliament. One of them is PT Quadra Solution, a part of the consortium implementing the project, whose leadership was known to have a personal relationship with Setya Novanto, and obtained important information before the bidding process began. (Source: Koran Tempo, 2 March 2017, "Quadra, Setya Novanto, dan Biomorf)

There are several causes of corruption of the budget involving the government and the Parliament. First, the budget discussion process is not transparent, opening space for transactional compromises. Bargaining in this process can lead to mark up of the budget and interlocking mechanism between the parties. The mechanism of budget deliberations should be made more open, and involving the Corruption Eradication Commission, in particular on high-value projects. Second, the financial needs of politicians and political parties, either due to greed or high political costs. Third, high conflict of interest between the authorities and the partners is caused by lack of regulations to minimize conflicts of interest.

Hopefully, the investigation of the e-ID corruption case that has entered a new phase can have a deterrent effect for the government, Parliament, and the private sector, so that corruption of the state budget is not repeated. The deterrent effect may occur if all the parties involved, including the political parties, are legally processed and given maximum punishment. (Almas)

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