A budget watchdog criticized the government on Sunday for allocating millions of dollars to hire new civil servants despite a moratorium on such hires, aimed at deflating ballooning bureaucratic costs.
The Indonesian Forum for Budget Transparency (Fitra) said the Finance Ministry had approved a budget allocation of Rp 37.8 billion ($4 million) to hire new civil servants before the end of the year.
“This shows that the SKB [joint decree] that was signed by the ministers for state administrative reform, home affairs and finance is ineffective because it is unable to stop the hiring of new civil servants,” the watchdog’s coordinator, Uchok Sky Khadafi, said in a press release on Sunday.
The budget allocation is intended to provide for civil servants for 14 ministries and government institutions. Last year, the government allocated Rp 80.1 billion to hire new civil servants for 24 ministries and institutions.
Fitra said the Finance Ministry’s decision to approve the money for new hires violated the joint ministerial decree, which agreed to impose a temporary moratorium on the hiring of new civil servants in a bid to cut state expenditures.
The budget watchdog especially criticized the Rp 15.6 billion the Finance Ministry allocated for itself to hire new civil servants this year.
“The Finance Ministry, as the state treasury, should cancel the program and the budget allocation for ministries that had planned to hire new civil servants this year,” Uchok said.
Fitra also said that outside parties continued to act as middlemen in the hiring of civil servants, enriching themselves in the process.
There are 4.7 million civil servants who work for the government on a permanent basis. Last year, Finance Minister Agus Martowardojo said the number was too high and that the bureaucracy was straining the national and regional budgets.