By Siti Juliantari, Public Campaign Coordinator in Indonesia Corruption Watch
To improve the Indonesian government’s transparency and accountability in public procurement, Hivos collaborates with Article 19 to implement Open Contracting in the country, supported by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In the implementation, Hivos works with several civil society organizations at national and sub-national levels, including Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW).
ICW and Hivos promote open contracting in public procurement, as this sector is highly prone to corruption. ICW found that 40% of corruption cases processed are related to public procurement. In response to that, the government can do at least two things. First, it needs to provide clarity and certainty in regulating the openness of information in every stage of procurement. Second, the government needs to provide space for the public to participate in monitoring the delivery of procurement projects.
In terms of public information, the public can use e-procurement to find out ongoing projects at national and sub-national public offices. However, there is no access to the details of the project specifications and contract documents. This happens because the Information Commission regulation on the Standard of Public Information Services does not clearly define procurement contract documents to be public information that must be provided by all public offices. Consequently, the government office can arbitrarily determine whether the procurement information is open or closed documents.
To respond to this uncertainty, the ICW organizes a campaign to clarify the status of contract documents. This includes an advocacy for the government to have Open Contracting as a national action plan on the Open Government Partnership agenda. The expected result is the issuance of a new Standard of Public Information Services regulation by the Central Information Commission (KIP), stating that procurement documents are public information, including the procurement specifications.
Moreover, ICW has also developed a public platform called opentender.net since 2012. It aims at encouraging the public to participate in monitoring the procurement, and accelerating the implementation of Open Contracting in Indonesia. This portal accumulates public procurement data from all government offices at national and sub-national levels. It identifies risks, prevents corruption, and provides basic information to investigate procurement cases.