Weakened. That is the impression the public perceived as witnessing a series of events faced by KPK. Starting from the revision of KPK Law, problematic commissioner elections, the rejection of the judicial review by the Constitutional Court, to the dismissal of a number of KPK employees because they did not pass the civic knowledge test (TWK). One question arises: will this be the end of the KPK?
KPK Final Story (?)
The institution that was once known as a super-body, with its strong fangs to eradicate corruption, is now slowly falling down, and is in danger of dying. The decline in Indonesia’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) in 2020 (score 37, ranked 102 out of 108 countries), to the decline in public trust, is enough to make us think about the fate of the eradication of corruption in this country.
This story began from the initiative to conduct a civic knowledge test (TWK) which was initiated by the leaders of KPK. TWK was then used as an additional requirement in the status change of KPK employees to become State Civil Apparatus (ASN) which is regulated in KPK Regulation Number 1 of 2021. The change of status to ASN is an implication of the revision of the KPK Law. The regulations that once received a strong reaction from the public.
A total of 1,349 KPK employees finally joined the TWK from March-April. The TWK was carried out by the KPK in collaboration with the National Civil Service Agency (BKN) and involved a number of institutions, including the Department of Psychology TNI AD, the State Intelligence Agency (BIN), and the National Counterterrorism Agency (BNPT). As a result, 1,274 employees were declared eligible, while 75 others were declared ineligible.
In a press statement made by Firli Bahuri accompanied by Nurul Ghufron when delivering test results, there would be no dismissal of KPK employees. In fact, the KPK leaders issued a decree which essentially discharged and ordered the 75 KPK employees who were declared not qualify to hand over their duties and responsibilities to their boss until a certain time limit.
A number of employees who were declared ineligible and dismissed, besides senior investigator Novel Baswedan, there were several big and persistent names at the KPK who have been proven to have a highly significant role in the eradicatin of corruption. Among them were the Chairperson of the Employee Forum, Yudi Purnomo Harahap, the Director of the Network Building of Inter-Commission and Institutional Cooperation (PJKAKI) of the KPK, Sujanarko, to the Director of Education and Community Services (Dikyanmas) of the KPK, Giri Suprapdiono.
Before the existence of the new KPK Law, they firmly handled several corruption cases, such as e-KTP, Bakamla corruption cases, and other major cases involving high-level authorities in ministries, DPR/DPRD/DPD, and regional heads. They are even currently handling several major cases, such as the social assistance corruption handled by KPK investigator Andre Nainggolan, lobster seed bribery, Nurhadi, Harun Masikun whose whereabouts are not yet known, handled by KPK investigator Ronal Paul, and so forth.
Then, what about the handling of the case if they are dismissed? It is possible that the case being handled will just evaporate. We definitely do not want that thing to happen.
It is no wonder that criticisms arise from a number of circles regarding the process and results of TWK. In addition to the materials of TWK which are considered strange, as previously stated, those who are declared not passing the test were KPK employees who were known to have integrity and have achievements at the KPK. It is not surprising that this series of darkness from the KPK was considered as “the assassination scenario of KPK” by ICW researchers (Tempo Newspaper, 2021).
Since the beginning, TWK has been legally problematic because it contradicts the amendments to the KPK Law Number 19 of 2019 and Government Regulation Number 41 of 2020 with regard to the Status Transfer of KPK Employees, which are derivatives of the KPK Law. There is no mention that the status transfer has to go through a test. Even the Constitutional Court stated in the judicial review decision Number 70/PUU-XVIII/2019 that the transfer of status to ASN should not harm the employees.
With the ratification of the amendments to the KPK Law and PP 41 of 2020 regarding the status of KPK employees, we can translate that it only requires a transfer process, and does not require any tests because KPK employees have passed a strict selection. It is quite easy, yet everything is made difficult and exaggerated by the Regulations of the KPK.
Article 1 number 1 PP 41 of 2020 states that a transfer is a process of appointing an Employee of the Corruption Eradication Commission to become a State Civil Apparatus. So, how is the transfer mechanism? Legal expert Feri Amsari explained about the 5 stages of the transfer mechanism to be ASN that are lex specialis, as regulated in Article 4 PP Number 41 of 2020.
Firstly, adjusting the current positions at the KPK into ASN positions according to the provision of the legislation. invitation. Secondly, identifying the types and numbers of current KPK employees. Thirdly, mapping the suitability of qualifications and competencies as well as the experience of KPK employees with the ASN positions which will be occupied. Fourthly, transferring the KPK employees as referred in Article 2 to become PNS or PPPK based on the provisions of the legislation. Fifthly, determining the position class in accordance with the provisions of the legislation.
The requirement of TWK is known to have appeared in KPK Regulation Number 1 of 2021 concerning Procedures for Status Transferring of KPK Employees, which was signed by Firli Bahuri. In fact, the presence of this requirement is suspected to have only appeared at the end of the discussion on the draft of Commission Regulation.
The provisions regarding TWK are contained in Article 5 paragraph (4) of KPK Regulation Number 1 of 2021 which states that, in addition to signing a letter of statement to fulfill the requirements of being loyal and obedient to Pancasila , the 1945 Constitution, the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI), and a legitimate government, an assessment of the civic knowledge test by the KPK in collaboration with the National Civil Service Agency (BKN).
Now, a status transfer to ASN is clearly against higher regulations. The process and results of TWK along with the dismissal of a number of KPK employees by the KPK leaders can blatantly be believed to be acts of arbitrariness by state officials beyond the mandate of the legislation.
When the polemic of the employee affair of the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) escalated, President Joko Widodo finally spoke up, last May 17. The President emphasized that the TWK results could not be immediately used as a basis for dismissing 75 KPK employees who did not pass the test.
The President’s instruction was not immediately implemented by the KPK and BKN, with an excuse to coordinate first. Until finally on May 25, 2021, the KPK and other involved state institutions, namely the BKN, Kemenkumham, and Kemenpan RB decided to discharge 51 out of 75 KPK employees who did not meet the requirements of the civic knowledge test. In fact, the President had previously reminded that the results of the civic knowledge test could not immediately be used as a basis for dismissing employees who did not pass.
The KPK leaders reasoned that the decision to dismiss 51 employees was because it was no longer possible to provide assistance based on the assessment results of the assessors so that they could no longer join the KPK. It was even mentioned as “red”, without explaining the assessment parameters which were used. Furthermore, the other 24 employees were threatened with dismissal if they are considered fail to participate in the education and training in country defence and civic knowledge.
In accordance with PP No. 17 of 2020 concerning Amendments to PP No. 11 of 2017 regarding Management of Civil Servants, the President as the holder of the highest authority of ASN development has the authority to summon and ask for an explanation from the Head of BKN and KPK leaders regarding the process of status transfer of KPK employees. Not implementing the mandate of regulations and legislations, the decision of Constitutional Court, and the President’s instruction is a constitutional neglect and disobedience.
Keeping the Collective Spirit
The criticism, rejection and input given by various groups, ranging from civil society, students, to academics and professors, is nothing but a form of love given – not merely for the 75 people and the KPK, but also to make this country free from corruption. The public still has big hopes for the sustainability of the performance of corruption eradication in Indonesia.
The history of the death of an anti-corruption institution in Indonesia must not be repeated. The struggle, support and collective spirit should always be maintained. Therefore, instead of making improvements, TWK should not add to the long list of weaknesses which finally make the KPK just a story.
Sri Haryanti, an Activist of Gemawan
Initially published in the opinion column of Pontianak Post Daily on Thursday, June 3, 2021 entitled Due to TWK, Is KPK Just a Story?