Finance Minister Agus Martowardojo said on Wednesday that his ministry has allocated the money for the construction of a new building for the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).
But the project is still waiting for final approval by the House of Representatives Commission III, which oversees legal affairs — the delay has been a source of contention among lawmakers.
“The budget is available for the KPK building, and [the House] should write off the star symbol,” Agus said, referring to an asterisk on the 2008 budget submission to House Commission III denoting that the request remains unapproved.
The KPK has been looking for a bigger facility to accommodate its 650 plus employees. The lack of space in the KPK’s current building (which was meant to accommodate 350 people) has forced them to rent space at the nearby Ombudsman Commission building and at the State Secretariat office.
The current KPK building on Rasuna Said in South Jakarta was owned by the now-defunct Indonesian Banking Restructuring Agency, and has been leased out to the KPK by the Finance Ministry.
“The [KPK’s] need is clear, they have more employees, and their productivity has to be improved by providing the facility,” he said. Agus also suggested that the KPK and House Commission III sit down together and discuss the problem “intensively” to find a solution to the dispute, which has raised some claims of “revenge.”
Nasir Jamil, a deputy chairman of House Commission III, recently said
that the corruption allegations surrounding Azis Syamsuddin, who is also
a deputy chairman of the commission, had nothing to do with the lack of
approval for the building.
“Azis’s case is his own business. That’s no concern of ours. If there is
a crime, the Corruption Eradication Commission is welcome to
investigate,” Nasir said.
House Commission III Chairman Gede Pasek also attributed the delay to requests by other government organization’s for new buildings, and said the KPK should not get special treatment.
Members of the KPK have also asserted that their building, which is 31 years old, is deteriorating.
But while escorting Democratic Party Chairman Anas Urbaningrum on Wednesday who was questioned by the KPK over the Hambalang sports center project, Gede said that he found the building to be in good condition.
“The building is still strong,” he said.