In Depth Analysis: MPs State-Funded Tourism

In spite of public disapproval, members of the House of Representatives (DPR) continue to go on ‘working journeys’ abroad, contending that they are attending conferences or collecting information for revising laws.

25 members of DPR made such a visit to Morocco, and then intended to go to Spain. This activity was funded by the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK). Their main agenda was supposedly to attend the 22nd Climate Change Conference and 12th Kyoto Protocol Conference in Morocco on 7-18 November 2016.

In Spain, they proposed two agenda items. First, members of DPR’s Commission IV were to visit the Ordesa National Park in Huesca, Spain, to collect information for Law Number 5 of 1990 regarding Biological Natural Resource Conservation. Second, members of DPR’s Commission VII were to visit wastewater treatment installation in Madrid. This visit proposal was approved by the Speaker of DPR, Ade Komarudin, as it did not use DPR budget, even though the continuing visit to Spain was ultimately cancelled.

Additionally, 15 MPs from the Special Committee on the Revision of the Anti-Terrorism Law sought a visit to UK. They did not use the term ‘working visit’, but a ‘diplomatic visit’. The purpose was to conduct a comparative study with the UK that has a body that oversees the performance of anti-terrorism law enforcement agencies. The visit was supposed to be funded by the DPR Secretariat General. However, this proposal was rejected by the Speaker of DPR.

MPs have tried various ways to make their ‘working-sightseeing visits’ abroad to be paid for by the state. This despite the agreement on 18 January 2016 between the leadership and all DPR fractions to limit such visits. This agreement was intended to save IDR 139 billion while increasing the legislative productivity of MPs. To date, DPR has only managed to pass nine out of 50 draft legislations listed in the national legislative program as 2016 priorities. However, this agreement apparently failed to stem the MPs touristic desires.

The DPR still has much homework to do than sightseeing abroad. There is no proven direct correlation between the MP visits abroad and their productivity. The lack of integrity, morals, ethics, and sensitivity of DPR members in matters that please their self-interest that bring no benefit for the nation’s prosperity will continue to undermine the public trust for the institution.***


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