PATTIRO: Beware of Village Funds Disbursement Fraud Mode

Jakarta – PATTIRO finds out that there are still many district governments who are yet to implement the Village Law mandate to disburse at least 80% of village funds at the second stage of its disbursement in last August. Even in the early October, in eastern Indonesia, there are many villages who received only 60% of the budget.

So far, the disbursement of more than 20 trillion IDR to the village has been done in two stages. If the government does not stall for time, the budget distribution process will be started in November 2015. Previously, there are many problems emerged during the initial and second stage of village funds disbursement process, not only from the central government to the district government but also from the district government to the village government. PATTIRO figures out that the problems mostly occur during the budget distribution process from the district government to the village government.

PATTIRO Executive Director Sad Dian Utomo stated there are various cheating modes the district government uses to take advantages from the village funds disbursement process. The first one is, district government are often not transparent to the village officials and its people in providing information regarding how much money will be entitled to the villages. “The district government usually does not give the information to the village citizens regarding how much money they will receive from the central government. Even if they give the information to the village government and citizens, the information provided is sometimes different from those listed in the district head regulations”, said Sad Dian.

He added, due to lack of assistance and socialization from the central government, in the initial stage of village funds distribution, many district governments did not know that the funds is fully derived from the National Budget (APBN). “As what happened in a district in South Sulawesi, the local government told the heads of villages that the 40% of funds they received, the first 20% was derived from the national budget while the rest was from the village fund allocation. This is the reason why there are still many villages who received only not more than 60% of the village funds”, Sad Dian explained. Instead of immediately giving the rest of the money, the district government takes an advantage from the village government lack of understanding and knowledge regarding this regulation to keep the rest 20% village funds for themselves.

Furthermore, there are some district governments who delay the village funds disbursement because they said the villages are not ready yet administratively; the villages do not have the Village Medium Term Development Plan (RPJM Des) and the Village Budget (APB Des). “By using this reason, the dictrict governments then deposit the village funds so they can later gain some profit from it”, revealed Sad Dian.

In addition to that, the district governments often misuse village governments’ weak position to gain some extra benefits. Another cheating mode the district governments using is charging their program costs (e.g training proram cost) to the Village Budget. “Not only that, the worse is the village governments still need to pay about Rp10 million to be able to join the training to the district government”, Sad Dian said. To earn more money, the district government asked each village to give them their money about Rp35 million from the Village Budget for the purchase of office and sound system equipment. “The money was indeed used to purchase office and sound system equipment, but the authority to appoint the provider of the goods was taken over by the district government. This shows that the village governments’ position was and is still weak because they just did the order without questioning it”, Sad Dian emphasized.

Not only district government, the village governments are also often misuse their citizens’ ignorance to commit fraud. When they received the hundreds of millions of money, the village officials did not immediately use it to fund the village programs or activities they have arranged. “That village officers reason that the programs and activities could not be conducted any soon because the district government has not disbursed the village funds or they also often said that they were still waiting for the second stage of the disbursement. The purpose of doing that is to gain some benefit from depositing the money”, said Sad Dian.

To prevent the occurrence of such frauds in the village funds disbursement final stage, PATTIRO encourages the civil society to actively participate in monitoring their village financial. Citizen engagement in overseeing the implementation of village development and finance has been guaranteed by the Village Law article 82. The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) must also take part in monitoring the distribution of the funds down to the village level. To do that, KPK can recruit the village citizen to be village fund monitoring volunteer. “We believe if the civil society monitoring goes well, we will be able to prevent these kinds of cheatings and frauds from happening”, Sad Dian asserted.

This article is published in: with the title Terungkap Cara Pemda Selewengkan Dana Desa




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