LHKPN, A Toothless Regulation
The General Election Commission (KPU) requires candidates to submit the State Officials' Asset Report (LHKPN). Unfortunately, there is no sanctioning mechanism for candidates whose reports of assets are dishonest.
The legal basis on the obligation of candidates for regional heads to submit asset reports is the Regulation of the General Election Commission (KPU) No. 15 of 2017 regarding the Amendment to the Regulation of the General Election Commission No. 3 of 2017 Article 4 paragraph 1 point K. Another regulation is Law No. 28 of 1999 on Clean and Corruption, Collusion, and Nepotism Free State Administration and Law No. 30 of 2002 on the Anti-Corruption Commission.
The opening of the assets of candidates for regional heads has a dual function. First, it can be a reference for the community to make their choice. Based on LHKPN data, people can judge which candidates are honest or lying. It is easy enough to compare the candidate’s wealth with his total contribution to the campaign costs. Alternatively, it can be done by verifying how the data match the actual wealth.
The second function is preventing abuse of authority if the candidate is elected. LHKPN can be a control tool for the community and KPK. They can compare the increase in the wealth of the regional head before and after taking office. Irregular increases in wealth may indicate abuse of authority. For the regional head, LHKPN can be an internal control. They will not dare to increase their wealth through irregular means because the people already know the amount of their wealth.
Until the deadline of reporting time (Friday, January 19, 2018), not all candidates for regional heads have submitted their asset reports. Based on KPK data (accessed on January 27, 2018), 1,168 regional heads or 91 percent of total candidates who participated in the elections in 2018 have sent their LHKPN. These include 58 candidates for governors and 58 deputy governors, 390 candidates for regents, and 383 deputy regents, and 141 candidates for mayors and 138 deputy mayors.
On the other hand, much of the data given by candidates for regional heads are thought to be dishonest. The most common mode is reporting less wealth than actual. In fact there are candidates who reported negative wealth, namely Rp 119 million and Rp 94 million.
KPU has the authority to give sanctions for candidates of regional heads who do not submit their report, among others, by disqualifying their nomination. However, KPU cannot do anything for candidates who have given fictitious or dishonest reports. Similarly, the KPK’s authority is limited to verification and announcing the results.
The absence of sanctions for prospective regional heads who lie in filling the LHKPN fill is because it is not regulated in the Election Law and KPU Regulations. Prospective heads are only required to submit reports, regardless of its honesty, which is beyond the authority of the KPU.
Worse yet, the KPK, which in charge of receiving and verifying data, does not have the authority to impose sanctions. Their final step is limited to announcing the verification results. Just like the KPU, the main obstacle of the KPK is that there is no specific rule such as the Government Regulation on LHKPN authorizing them to give sanctions to officials and candidates who are not reporting, or reporting fictitiously.
If only the rules have provisions on sanctions, LHKPN is not only a reference for the community to make choices or monitor public officials, but also can be an initial screening in the selection process of candidates such as regional heads, DPR and DPRD. Those who from the beginning have lied should not be allowed to participate in the selection.
Therefore, it is time for the regulations for the election of candidates for public officials to be improved. The reporting of assets in an honest and open manner must be an important part of the nomination requirements. If the asset report of a candidate for a public official such as a regional head is proven to be deceitful, their nomination should be disqualified. KPK's move to encourage the formation of a Government Regulation on LHKPN should be supported. Public officials should be forced to constantly update their wealth reports on a regular basis. (Ade)
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