Ending the Dual Loyalty of KPK Investigators
The internal dispute in the KPK goes on. Following the clash between KPK Director of Investigation Aris Budiman and Senior Investigator Novel Baswedan, ending with Aris being reported to the police, KPK’s leadership continue to have differing opinions on the sanction to be given to Aris on his indisciplinary action, having appeared in front of the Parliament’s Inquiry Committee. Finally, several KPK investigators from the police have been found to delete, damage or eliminate evidence during the handling of a case involving a businessman. This, according to Tempo daily, is related to the stream of funds suspected as bribery from the businessman to several senior police officers.
Regarding these issues, the fourth generation of KPK leadership seems reluctant to resolve them in a prompt and firm manner. There is an impression that the KPK leadership does not have enough authority to resolve its internal disputes. Due to the protracted resolution of these issues, they have become known to the public.
The issue is worsened because in responding to them, the leaders of the KPK do not share the same position and view in placing the interests of the KPK as an institution and the agenda of corruption eradication as a priority, resulting in dissent in decision making.
When studied in more detail, the issues occurring in KPK have been caused by several factors. Other than weak leadership, a long-standing issue in KPK is the status of its investigators. The public have long pushed KPK to have a policy of recruiting its own investigators. The investigators recruited from other institutions are prone to issues, especially in their dual loyalty, in implementing their duties. This issue always arises when KPK is trying to tackle corruption cases involving senior police officials. The tale of “the lizard vs. the crocodile” is an undeniable fact.
The dual loyalty issue can be resolved, although there is no possibility of taking a drastic decision to make all KPK employees independent, especially those working in fighting corruption. However, KPK should formulate mid-term and long-term scenarios to gradually liberate the institution from its dependence to other institutions for human resources. Legally speaking, KPK does not have any serious impediments, as the decision of the Constitutional Court, supported by the opinion of legal experts, states that the KPK is allowed to recruit its own researchers and investigators.
The one thing that KPK needs to realize its independence is the courage of the KPK leadership to take the step. Now, the KPK leadership has the enormous responsibility to resolve the issue promptly and firmly, and at the same time create a plan to resolve the issue of dual loyalty among KPK employees working in the area of law enforcement. Without that attempt, it is impossible for KPK to be independent in handling corruption cases. *** (Adnan)
Kelompok masyarakat sipil melakukan aksi "Tolak Bala" di depan Gedung Merah-Putih KPK, 20 Desember 2019, menjelang pelantikan Pimpinan KPK dan Dewan Pengawas KPK Terpilih (Dok. ICW)
The participants of the Public Procurement Monitoring Training, representatives from local CSOs and journalists. Photo: NPPA, 2019