Jakarta. Indonesia Corruption Watch, or ICW, released a report on Monday (19/02) which details cases of corruption within local administrations in 2017 and where East Java is top of the list.
There were 576 graft cases with 1,298 suspects including a governor and 29 district heads and mayors in 2017 compared to 482 cases with 1,101 suspects including 21 local leaders in 2016.
"11 of these cases were investigated by the KPK [Corruption Eradication Commission], 9 by state prosecutors and 8 by police," ICW said in a statement received by the Jakarta Globe.
Corruption cost the Indonesian government almost Rp 6.5 trillion ($479.5 million) last year, more than four times the Rp 1.5 trillion of state losses in 2016.
Graft cases in regional governments typically involve abuse of local or state budget, illegally obtaining permits for infrastructure projects, corruption in procurement projects or bribery to earn promotions.
"There were more graft cases in East Java in 2017 than anywhere else, with 68 cases that caused Rp 90.2 billion in state losses. Next in line was West Java and then North Sumatra," the ICW report stated.
The watchdog said more budget transparency is needed to minimize abuse of power by regional leaders, a recommendation made more urgent as regional elections will happen simultaneously in 171 regions in Indonesia in June.
"Mayor or district heads who will run for elections will have to slash their campaign budget to minimize possible conflicts of interest," the report said.