Antikorupsi Indonesia – the struggle against corrupton

By Milena Rampoldi and Denise Nanni, ProMosaik. The following is our latest interview with an organisation struggling against corruption in Indonesia. In the past we have already spoken to organisations in Cambodia about accountability and the struggle against corruption in government which you can find on the following links:
I would like to thank Adnan from Antikorupsi for the valuable information and photographs he sent us. Corruption is not something we have to accept by becoming fatalist, but something  in our lives that we have to strongly oppose. 
How was ICW founded and in which context?
ICW was established in 1998, a month after the fall of Suharto, the Indonesian authoritarian president who had been in power for almost 32 years. He was forced to resign from the administration mainly due to the student protest movement which demanded political reform because underSuharto Indonesia was very corrupt; devoid of human rights; and undemocratic. All these factors had led to economic crisis in 1998 so that in a sense, ICW was born out of the need to pursue the implementation of good and serious governance that would  combat the corruption which had been seen as a major factor in the economic collapse.
What are the main forms of corruption in Indonesia?
Corruption in Indonesia had been transformed into a new model, especially if we look at the transition from an authoritarian regime to more a democratic one. Under Suharto, there was a centralised corruption led by Suharto and his family. He established economic cronyism with his cronies enjoying  the economic benefits of his extremely corrupt policies. No one could question or refuse to accept his decisions. He was originally a king, not a president as there was no rule of law. Under Suharto, only a few people became very wealthy and the rest languished in chronic poverty. That pattern of corruption has since changed under democratic governance marked by the decentralisation policy that was officially implemented in 2000. The decentralisation policy has led to a more decentralised form of corruption which has  spread out to new regions where the local leaders enjoy new powers to control economic resources such as local budgets, licenses, local taxes, facilities, and other forms of economic benefits. Corruption in Indonesia exists at many levels and branches of government, whether it be in the executive, legislative, judicature, or private sector. Bribery is the main feature, followed by fraud in procurement projects, tax fraud, money laundering, and other conventional forms of corruption. 
Do you carry on awareness raising activities? If yes, how has civil society been responsive so far?
Public awareness campaigns are probably one of the basic approaches for the eradication of corruption. ICW also believes that public participation is a key factor for the success an anti-corruption agenda. So that’s why ICW’s tagline is hand in hand with people to fight against corruption. In order to raise the public awareness, ICW has been using many channels such as mass media, ICW’s own media and social media. Our main message is to explain the  direct impact of corruption on the daily lives of people, especially in education and health services. 
Which strategies do you implement to struggle against corruption in your country?
ICW has several strategies in fighting corruption. We focus on reducingcorruption by revealing corruption cases; by investigating and publishing the results so as to make the public at large aware; and by reporting such cases to law enforcement agencies. We also initiate public policy advocacy targeting new regulations that favour the anti corruption agenda such as the establishment of corruption eradication commission and its law, law of witness protection, law of access to public information, law of anti money laundering, etc. We carry out research to provide much stronger evidence for public policy advocacy in many sectors, including mining, natural resources, taxes, national and local budgets, etc. We also do capacity building targeting local NGOs in many aspects such as the skill of investigation, skill of research, public fund raising, etc. 
Do you cooperate with local authorities and institutions? If yes, how?
We call this “critical engagement.” We collaborate with government agencies that that have the capacity for change from within. We can only have such collaboration with leaders that ICW believes have a political will to combat corruption. We assist them to produce internal strategies to reduce corruption in public procurement, to report gratuities and gifts, assist them to report the wealthy declaration, and provide them with a tool or instrument that can be useful for the oversight of public policy implementation.