Indonesian Forum Seminar: Ethic Management and Corruption Eradication in Indonesia and Australia

Canberra – Obtaining good government with full intergrity has become a major concern of Indonesian scholars in Australia lately. In a cross-discipline and cross-country seminar organized monthly by Indonesian Forum held on 28th of May 2012 at University of Canberra, the fórum recommends the needs of ethic management in public service as a means to eradicate systemic corruption.

According to Ratih Maria Dhewi, the Chairperson of the Forum Indonesia, ethic management and corruption eradication in Indonesia has been choosen as the seminar’s topic because it is one of the priority agenda in Indonesian bureaucratic reform. Furthermore, corrupt practice in public sector has been seen as the result of the lack of ethic management in public sector. “Since public ethic acts as a foundation to build public trust and integrity government, ethic management in public sector should be conducted systematically and consistently” said Ratih Maria Dhewi who is also a PhD student in Human Resource Management at the University of Canberra.

In the seminar host by Yasmi Adriansyah, PhD student from Australian National University, each of the four speakers explore the topic comprehensively based on their expertise. Yari Yuhari Prasetya, Professional Doctorate student from University of Canberra and official of Indonesian Ministry of Finance’s DG of Tax, argues that to prevent employees from being corrupt and mantain their ethic, two approaches can be pursuit: compliance approach and integrity approach. From his doctoral research case of Indonesian Tax Reform, compliance approach is conducted through actions such as internalisation of organizational values and training on ethical behaviour. Meanwhile, complaint processing and SOP monitoring has been conducted as part of integrity approach. According to Yari, to mantain employee’s ethic, organization should promotes clear regulation and its enforcement.

Damian West, PhD candidate from University of Canberra and Group Manager of Australian Public Service Commission (APSC), states that APSC and Indonesian Government counterpart has worked closely in the past few years. Among the focus of cooperation related to Indonesian bureaucratic reform program are: reducing corruption, right sizing, and cost-efficiency. He recommends that strong leadership and quality of long term strategy is needed to prevent corruption as well as promoting ethical public service.

Meanwhile, from a different perspective, Dr Simon Butt sees that corruption eradication reform in Indonesia as an obituary. As a senior lecturer from University of Sydney who interested in Indonesian politics for a long time, he argues that corruption eradication in Indonesia has been weakened by efforts to minimize the power of Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). Therefore, Dr Simon Butt addresses the needs to strengthen KPK’s function in corruption eradication effort and building of ethical management.

Another outstanding speaker in the seminar is Tu Pham, Adjunct Professor at University of Canberra. In front of academics and practitioners, including Dr Don Flemming (Asc Dean of Research Faculty of Business, Goverment & Law UC), Prof. Anne Daly (Director of Graduate Studies Faculty of Business, Goverment & Law UC), and Dr Wahyu Sutiyono (Indonesia project converner); the former ACT Auditor General shares her knowledge and experience in public sector auditing. One of her suggestions is that the government should prioritize transparent service and regular monitoring to create integrity and ethical government.

Forum Indonesia, the knowledge sharing sessions, has been initiated by Ratih Maria Dhewi, Adi Budiarso, Achmad Soediro, and Gede Arya Wiryana. The objectives of this program are to provide the opportunity for gathering talents and knowledge in terms of seminar and discussion and to develop synergy among students and practitioners who have interest on topics relating to Indonesia or bilateral issue between Indonesia & Australia, and particularly in supporting reform and better governance in Indonesia. The speakers are mostly students who are currently doing their research on Indonesian context; but this forum is also open for faculty member of Australian Universities and practitioners/professionals from Indonesia and Australia. This forum supported by the Faculty of Business, Government & Law – University of Canberra, University of Canberra Indonesian Student Society (UCISS) / PPIA UC, Indonesian Embassy in Canberra, Indonesia Synergy, an education charity and fundraising program (GELAR) and Indonesian Ministry of Finance Link (Mofilink).

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