Watchdog seeks city probe into alleged school graft
Wed, Mar 03, 2010
The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network
INDONESIA Corruption Watch (ICW) has filed reports of alleged graft at a junior high school and an elementary school with the city inspectorate, urging swift action on the cases.
ICW senior researcher Febri Hendri said Monday the suspected corruption at the two schools was just the tip of the iceberg, and should thus be investigated posthaste.
"We reported this case to the city division because they can hand down administrative punishment to civil servants proven guilty in the case," he said.
"We'll also file a report with the prosecutors' office."
In its report, ICW alleges officials at State Junior High School No. 28 in Johar Baru, Central Jakarta, misappropriated funds from the government's School Operational Aid (BOS) scheme and the city's Education Operational Aid (BOP) scheme between 2007 and 2008.
Under the BOS, schools receive Rp 47,900 (US$5.18) per eligible student per month, while under the BOP, each eligible student receives Rp 110,000 a month.
The money is earmarked to finance school activities, including buying stationery.
Febri claimed the school had not disbursed all of the money intended for the Johar Baru Independent Study Center, causing a potential loss of Rp 390 million.
Eight such study centers are hosted by public schools citywide, which the latter obliged to channel funds to the former.
ICW also alleges that elementary school SDN Complex UNJ allegedly misused a Rp 500 million grant from the central government in 2007 to improve from being a National-Standard School to an International-Standard Pilot Project.
The potential losses to the state could amount to Rp 150 million, Febri said.
"There are bills for catering, computers and school stationery," he said. "When we checked with the stores, the vendors denied having ever sold such items to the school."
Study center forum chairwoman Ade Pujiati said the alleged graft had never been probed because the municipal supervisory board had checked the administrative sheets after the suspected graft had been reported.
"What we want is verification," she said. "We also want the inspectorate to facilitate a meeting among study centers, schools and the education agency to straighten out the facts."
Ade added she had brought to light allegations of graft in 2007 and 2008 after meeting with teachers and managers of other study centers in early 2009.
She claimed her study center had received full BOS and BOP funds and assistance to manage them, while seven others had received less than the full amount and no technical assistance.
She added the BOS and BOP for all study centers had been fully available since mid-2009.
Parents Education Care Alliance member Jumono said the basic problem of corruption in schools was because the schools did not involve parent-teacher associations in hashing out the school budget.
"The budget is the heart of the school," he said. "If drafted carelessly, it can lead to corruption."
City inspectorate head Sukesti Martono said his office would study ICW's report.
"We'll summon officials from the suspected institutions for questioning," he said.