Whistleblower System Put in Place in Govt Institutions to Crack Down on Extortion

The Jakarta Globe – Jakarta. The Administrative and Bureaucratic Reforms Minister Asman Abnur said on Tuesday (18/10) the government will have a whistleblower system running in ministries and government institutions as part of its public service reform.

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo promised to crack down on extortion in government institutions, known locally as pungli, after a sting operation at the Transportation Ministry earlier this month saw three officials arrested and more than Rp 90 million ($6,900) in cash and Rp 1 billion in bank receipts seized.

The Administrative and Bureaucratic Reforms Ministry issued a circular letter ordering the crackdown on extortion to heads of government institutions, ministries, the National Police, the Indonesian Military and governors, mayors and district heads on Tuesday.

According to the letter, each institution is responsible for identifying potential extortions and taking firm actions against officials engaging in the practice.

Minister Asman said government institutions should also make full use of information technology to offer services which will improve public transparency and avoid irregularities.

“We will have a whistleblower system running to crack down on extortion,” Asman told a press conference in Jakarta.

The government has also created a social media app called Lapor. The acronym stands for Public Complaints and Aspiration Service — an app that the public can use to submit complaints on public services and developments, including slow progress on construction of public utilities or long queues in government offices.

“Sanctions for extortionists, including officials, should be announced publicly. That might help deter others from committing it,” Asman, also a politician from the National Mandate Party (PAN), said.