The high potential for corruption of village fund distribution has become a concern of various parties, including in West Kalimantan. The government is asked to conduct a comprehensive evaluation so that the program for the village community development runs as expected.
This insistence emerged after a sting operation of a bribery case in regard with an alleged misuse of village funds in Pamekasan Regency, East Java.
The Program Manager of JARI in West Borneo, Faisal Reza, said the use of both the allocation of village funds (ADD) and village funds (DD), must really be based on the village community interests since it is indeed the right of the village.
Do not let it oppositely become a political bargaining tool for officials such as village heads, regents or even law enforcers. This thing, he continued, has already happened in West Kalimantan. “The regent distributed money, then it became the APBDes by reason of it must fit the regent’s vision and missions. That is it. There are two cases in West Kalimantan, firstly as a means of political commodity, capitalizing as political capital in the future, this practice occurs.” he explained to Pontianak Post, Friday (4/8).
In addition, another crucial thing which needs to be considered in relation to this issue is the matter of human resources (HR). The village government is still considered new to receive a big budget, while the human resources are still weak. One of the examples is for financial reports. The personnel in the village definitely needs to learn accounting.
“If there is maladministration, then the regent will ask the inspectorate to conduct an audit. The village head then will meet the regent, and there the bargaining can happen again. If, for example, he disobeys, it will be reported and so on.” he said.
Likewise, from the law enforcement side. The prosecutor’s office certainly has a control team to supervise it, including reports from other parties such as NGOs. “In the end, bargaining can take place again, from the examples of the two cases.” he explained.
Faisal encouraged the supervision aspect to also be improved. Therefore, there are village facilitators in which the function is to provide assistance on the village fund management. “How far is the function of the facilitators.” he questioned.
Then after the supervision, the thing that is equally important is the capacity building of the village apparatus. Because it will be useless if the supervision is good, but the capacity of the administrators is not improved. “Capacity building is urgent, since this has not been proportional. There are many people who monitor this, yet only a few who increase the capacity.” he added.
The last thing to highlight is that there is a need for a review of the practice of village fund distribution policies. Besides being recognized by the Village Consultative Body (BPD), there must also be transparency to the community. The village head is supposoed to do it.
“There is an obligation to open or have transparency, such as putting up announcement for every activity, like a project signpost. The village head has to make it. If it is already transparent, it will not be able to be a bargaining tool.” he concluded.
Similar thing was stated by Gemawan’s activist, M Zuni Irawan. He mentioned that the conditions in the field, in general, the village government was still not open regarding the use of APBDes funds, whereas the village government is obliged to inform or socialize the implementation of development, either through information media, meetings, websites, or announcement boards.
The openness of information about planning and development is a main requirement in good governance in the village. That is for the existence of community participation in assessing and supervising the development in the village, not only by BPD. “All people are able to supervise whether the development is right on target or there are indications of corruption,” said Zuni.
One of the village facilitators in West Kalimantan, whose name did not want to be mentioned, revealed that the use of Village Funds (DD) is quite vulnerably leading to corruption or state loss. Its greater allocation for (physical) development activities can become a gap.
For example, he said, sometimes the village head does not optimally function the village staff or what is called the project management team. “For everything, it is the village head who shops, or entrusting everything to one consultant, while not all jobs require a consultant,” she said, Friday (4/8).
In addition, sometimes there is a job which seems to be forced so that, from the quality aspect, it does not last long. “Sometimes, in only one year, it has been wrecked, even though it is actually for the benefit of the society,” added the woman who has been a facilitator for a year.
Looking at the case in Pamekasan, East Java, which involved the regent and the head of the prosecutor’s office, she assessed that in her area there were no indications going to that direction. However, actually the distribution of DD is regulated through a Regent Regulation (Perbub). “Probably, that is where the gap is. Well, perhaps.,” she concluded.
Separately, a member of Commission III of West Kalimantan DPRD, Lutfi A. Hadi who is in charge of finance, said that problems with village funds had been found since it was first disbursed. KPK had dissected the data and studied it. “Normally, the problem is found in the rest of the funds, the facilitator recruitment system, to the accountability or financial report of village funds,” he said.
The misuse of village funds is prone to occur because of the unpreparedness of the village in managing the budget. Therefore, in depressing the misappropriation of village funds, the village government and its apparatus must receive guidance and consultation by each local government.
Lutfi continued, the lack of understanding of the village apparatus related to the on-target budget allocation and the non-optimal function of village facilitators can also be a gap for the misappropriation.
“The village fund budget is very big per year. On the other hand, the supervision of the budget use is classified as still weak. The use of village funds also becomes the full authority of village heads. It is often that arrogance arises regarding the management of village funds, “he explained.
Arrogance from village heads often arises because they feel they have full authority to manage the budget. The money that is managed is not functioned for the benefit of the community. “Arrogance is vulnerable to do by the village head, for example by appointing the organizational structure under him who is still his siblings, there is a family factor. The village secretary is his brother, and so is the treasurer. It’s normally like that, “he said.
Another gap is the cooperation between village heads and the Village Deliberation Agency (Bamusdes / BPD) is still low. Between the two of them, there is often arguments over the distribution of village funds. Therefore, he hopes that the supervision will not only rely on regular checks twice a year. Consultation and coordination should be carried out as often as possible.
Evaluation of Local Government Authorities
Meanwhile, the Executive Director of Indonesian Village Government Association (Apdesi) Iwan Sulaiman Soelasno expressed his concern on Pamekasan case. According to him, in this case the political and legal elites were arrested for being involved in the bribery of the fund use which was supposed to be used for development and empowerment of village communities.
“We asked the Ministry of Home Affairs to conduct a total evaluation on the duties of the regency government in managing village funds,” said Iwan, Friday (4/8).
Iwan explained that Law Number 6 of 2014 concerning Villages needs to be revised, limited to the duties and functions of the regency government.
Apdesi suspected that the practice of alleged corruption like in Pamekasan actually also occurs in other regency governments in Indonesia. As a result, the village heads become the victims and are restrained by the regent’s policy which intervened the village administration too far. “It is time for the central government to directly reach out to the village government,” he explained.
He regretted that instead of carrying out coaching and supervising tasks, the regency government under the regent had turned village funds into a new corruption, collusion and nepotism field. “Hence, a village fund task force at the regency level is needed which involves elements of civil society,” he said.
Chairman of Committee I of DPD, Ahmad Muqowan, believes that the idea of forming a village fund evaluation team was very appropriate in responding to the rampant irresponsible use of the village revenue and expenditure budget. Even, he said, currently there are more legal cases originating from or resulting from village development programs.
According to Muqowan, the formation of the Village Law was not followed up properly by the government. Whether it is the follow up in regulations, institutions, coordination at the central and regional levels, or in terms of guidance and supervision by the central and regional governments on the village development.
“If the government’s awareness emerges, even though it has been late, but it is better than no awareness. Therefore, the strategic steps will be taken, among others, to return village development programs and activities in Indonesia to the spirit, political will and vision and missions for the formation of the Village Law,” he explained, Friday. 4/8). (Bar / den / ody)