Jokowi: Civic test should not be used to dismiss graft panel employees

Members of civil groups rally to demand President Joko Widodo remove problematic names from the list of leadership candidates for the Corruption Eradication Commission in Jakarta in this file photo from Sept 1, 2019. - JP

JAKARTA (The Jakarta Post/ANN): President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo has called for the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) to reconsider a decision to dismiss 75 employees, including its top investigators, for failing the civic knowledge test that is part of an employment status transition within the antigraft body.

In a statement uploaded to the Presidential Secretariat’s official YouTube channel on Monday (May 17), Jokowi said the results of the civic test should be used as “a step to the betterment of the KPK, both at the institutional and individual level.”

“It should also not be used as a basis to dismiss 75 employees who failed the test, ” Jokowi said in the video.

He went on to call on the KPK commissioners, the Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Minister as well as the National Civil Service Agency (BKN) to formulate a course of action geared to help those who did not pass the test.

“I personally argue there’s still a chance to remedy [those who failed the test] with training on civic knowledge, ” the President went on to say.

The KPK's current leadership reportedly signed a letter ordering the dismissal of 75 employees who failed the civic knowledge test held by the BKN as part of the employee status transition within the commission.

Some employees taking the test claimed it was not relevant to their work at the KPK as it contained questions related to religious beliefs and ethnic affairs.

The transition is mandated by the revised KPK Law, which was passed following a speedy deliberation at the House of Representatives in 2019.

It mandates that all previously independent employees of the agency must become civil servants within two years after the law was passed. KPK chairman Firli Bahuri had dismissed concerns about the dismissal, saying the current leaders “have no intention of firing any employees.”

President Jokowi said he agreed with the Constitutional Court’s ruling on a judicial review petition against the revised KPK Law, which emphasized that the employee status transition within the antigraft body should not be detrimental to the employees’ rights.

Also on Monday, the 75 employees who failed the test filed a report of an alleged ethical violation committed by KPK supervisory board member Indriyanto Seno Adji for his alleged involvement in the commission’s operation.

According to the KPK Law, the supervisory board is tasked with monitoring the commission’s duty and following up any complaints of an ethics breach allegedly committed by an employee or commissioner.

Among the complainants was senior investigator Novel Baswedan, who said Indriyanto’s participation in a recent press conference alongside Firli was a problem as it violated the KPK’s code of ethics, as quoted by - The Jakarta Post/Asia News

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