The use of regional budget (APBD) by incumbent candidates in regional executive elections actually has been long disclosed by parties. The finding of Indonesia Forum for Budget Transparency (Fitra) related to the issue affirms the truth of the allegation. Reportedly, a study by Fitra concludes that the funds allocated through APBD are vulnerable to misuse by incumbent candidates and other parties for their interests regional executive elections. Fitra mentions that budgetary items potential to misuse by certain candidates as political instrument are grant expenditure and social assistance. The research executed in 18 regions executing regional executive elections in 2008 shows that the grant expense and social assistance increased drastically. Besides Fitra, Indonesia Bureaucracy and Service Watch (IBSW) also shares of the same opinion (www.koran-jakarta.com, 2/9/2011).
The rampant misuse or corruption of funds of ABPD in regions following the enforcement of regional autonomy is attributed to factors and result in serious consequences continuously diminishing state finance. The large and rising amount of funds flowing to regions from year to year, without tight supervision, has sparked irregularities here and there. If the studies by Fitra and IBSW find irregularities, the findings only affirm what has taken place so long and been identified by the public. The reality proves that most of the corruption cases implicating heads of regions and members of regional legislative council (DPRD) are related to APBD.
Here we want to spotlight two main issues. Firstly, the high cost politics already becoming a part inherent in the power struggle becomes the main factor contributing to the misuse of budget in every regional executive election. In a number of the visited regional, incumbent candidates are almost unable to differentiate their functions as heads of regions from their ambition to hunt the position for the second term. It is visible in the use of official vehicle and facilities of regional governments in campaigns which are executed obviously. Secondly, at the same time, supervision by the public authorities established by the government does not function properly. A number of parties ascertain irregularities but only few are processed in accordance with the law. Simultaneously, mass media not exercising its function as a pillar of democracy cause the irregularities to continue without proper settlement. In addition, the issue is increasingly complicated when local officials are polarized into sides of the competing candidates thus causing civil servants to be polarized into camps created by candidates. In regions, regional government officials obviously act as success team of certain candidates.
Poor supervision over the use of budget causes corruption parasite to follow in every flow of funds. More funds are distributed and further distance is passed, corruption threat is greater. It is not wonder if corruption is also rampant in line with the rising ceiling of APBN and APBD. Incumbent candidates even take advantage of their position to force regional service and working units as dairy cow in financing their campaign.
The commitment to preventing the misuse of APBD must be done by tightening the function of supervision. However, since internal supervisors of the government (Inspectorate, Bawasda even BPKP) is not reliable to exercise the function, central authority supported by creditable personnel is absolutely needed. In this context, the function of BPK must be strengthened. Another important supervisor is local people organizing themselves into non-governmental organizations and universities in every region.
We can affirm that supervisor authorities established by the government are not reliable anymore to supervise the use of APBD. How could the supervision function properly if the supervisors and the supervised parties have close relations, even familial relations sometimes.