The Urgency of Otsus Funds Audit

By : Ananda Rasti

 Through the Special Autonomy (otsus) scheme for Papua and Aceh, central government has allocated dozens trillion Rupiah to accelerate the development and increase the welfare of the society. According to Act No. 11/2006 about Aceh Governance, Rp 42 trillion has been received by Aceh during 2008 – 2015. In 2016, the budget is increased as much as Rp 618 billion to become Rp 7.675 trillion in total. Meanwhile, the allocation for Papua (both Papua and West Papua) is regulated under Act No. 21/2001 about Otsus Papua. The government has allocated otsus funds and additional funds for infrastructure development amounting to more than Rp 60 trillion in total. For 2016, the otsus funds for Papua will increase to Rp 7.7 trillion (Rp 5.4 trillion for Papua and Rp 2.3 trillion for West Papua). The additional fund is amounting to Rp 2.2 trillion for Papua and Rp 1.1 trillion for West Papua.

The otsus funds for both Aceh and Papuan people do not come without obligation. The funds must be allocated in accordance with the regulation and principles of accountability. These are required so that the use of the funds can be focus in order to accelerate the development and increase the welfare of the people in line with principles of managing state budget stated in the regulation. For instance, otsus funds for Aceh are regulated in UU PA suggesting that the funds are only for infrastructure development and maintenance, empowering the economy of the local, poverty eradication, education, social issues, and healthcare.

Distortion Potential

Unfortunately, some facts indicate that the otsus funds are not well-managed and well-allocated. The use of the funds are also not in line with the principles of good governance. The accountability of otsus funds management is very poor. The management also creates some opportunities for corruption. According to the Audit Board of the Republic of Indonesia (BPK) Aceh chapter, there are around Rp 5.1 trillion or 24.17% of total Rp 21.1 trillion of the funds that is misallocating in the period of 2008 – 2012. BPK also found Rp 3.1 trillion otsus funds for the same period that have not been used. Furthermore, the audit suggested a distortion in the implementation. The findings indicated that the funds have not created the expected impact which is increasing the welfare of people in Papua and West Papua. The audit mentioned that the distortion of the otsus funds reached up to Rp 4.2 trillion of Rp 19.12 trillion being audited in 2002 – 2010 period.

This situation was admitted by Papua Governor Lukas Enembe when he received the reports (Laporan Hasil Pemeriksaan /LHP) for otsus funds 2011-2012 from the Main Auditor of State Finance VI BPK RI,Syafrudin Mossi.Enembe said that the government of Papua is bearing the responsibility to fix BPK’s opinion on the unfinished findings regarding otsus funds in 2006-2012 period. The funds do not create welfare as expected because there are still many weaknesses in the planning and the implementation as well as the evaluation of the scheme. It has led to ineffectiveness and distortion. Thus, the government needs to evaluate all flaws in the use of otsus funds.

Political Maneuver and the Urgency of Audit

Such distortion in the otsus funds allocation is now the concern of people of Aceh and Papua that needs a response from central government. Responding to this, Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) will do a supervision in 6 priority areas namely Riau, North Sumatera, Banten, Aceh, Papua, and West Papua to prevent corruption practices. Especially for Aceh, Papua and West Papua, the preventive measures will focus on otsus funds allocation that so far is considered lack of accountability. Aceh will be the pilot project in this year.

The commitment of central government in responding the aspiration of the people is reflected in the statement of the Coordinating Minister of Political, Legal, and Security Affairs (Menkopolhukam)Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan and the Chief of State Intelligence Agency (BIN) Sutiyoso in a working meeting with Committee I Regional Representative Council (DPD) in Jakarta (9/2/2016). Luhut suggested that Papua has received a significant amount of otsus funds but the development there is very slow and need to be accelerated and audited to avoid any abuses. Meanwhile, Sutiyoso said that his agency holds the data of 128 cases of otsus funds misuses in Papua during 2002 – 2010. Therefore, the audit on the otsus funds must continue and be followed up by law enforcement measures to create deterrent effects.

This audit and law enforcement plan has indeed create a fear among a group of people. The maneuver and political propaganda are then spread by some local officials in Papua bringing the issue that they will return the otsus fund. Some civil servants hold some protests supporting the refund. Certain groups seem very worried about the otsus funds problems being revealed because it will involve some officials. However, the central government, BPK, KPK and the society both in Aceh and Papua must stand firm. The otsus fund is actually for the people, not for the officials. Thus, such political maneuver will not stop the efforts to realize the aspiration of the people to audit the funds and enforce the law in Aceh and Papua, should there be any corruption and misuse of the funds.

This audit is important to protect the interest of the people in Aceh and Papua from the abuse by some bad officials. It is also important to develop the welfare of the people. The audit is a part of the implementation of public accountability as a whole, not only fiscal accountability, but also legal accountability as a responsibility to obey the existing regulations, program accountability as a responsibility in running the program, process accountability as a responsibility in following the procedures, and outcome accountability that shows the responsibility of the results.

By implementing the accountability principles, the local officials are forced to be responsible in managing and controlling their resources as well as in running the policies that have been passed to them to achieve the expected goals. They must report this periodically. Accountability is important to avoid abuse of power. It is also crucial to improve the performance and professionalism of the organization. Finally, we all hope that the otsus funds will create benefits for people in Aceh and Papua as a whole.

*The writer is an observer at Lembaga Analisa Politik dan Demokrasi (LAPD) Jakarta and communication master candidate. Residing in Semarang.

*Seluruh isi tulisan menjadi tanggungjawab penulis.