Regent, customs official awarded for their integrity
A South Sulawesi regent and a senior Finance Ministry official have been awarded the prestigious Bung Hatta Anti-Corruption Award (BHACA) for their integrity and innovations in the fight against graft.
The award’s board of judges, including Betti Alisjahbana and Bivitri Susanti, announced on Thursday that Nurdin Abdullah, the regent of Bantaeng, South Sulawesi and Heru Pambudi, the Finance Ministry’s customs and excise director general, had shown their commitment to promoting good governance in their respective fields. They were the best choices among five other top candidates, Betti said.
“Candidates must be proven to be free of any involvement in graft cases and have created an impactful system to promote an antigraft environment,” she said.
Nurdin, now in his second term after first being elected in 2008, was deemed to have succeeded in improving the regency’s public services and economic growth.
He has brought a number of innovations to the administration. For instance, he instituted a bidding system for official positions and implemented a rotation period of every three or six months to avoid “a comfort zone for corruption.” He has also not hesitated to dismiss officials proven to have attempted to commit corruption.
Under Nurdin’s administration, Bantaeng’s economy has experienced incredible growth.
Investors have brought trillions of rupiah into the region without illegal charges, thanks to the “one-day service” program, which see permits granted in just one day, another of his strategies to combat graft practices.
Heru, meanwhile, has demon- strated commitment to promoting good governance within the Directorate General of Customs and Excise, which has long been widely perceived to be plagued by rampant bribery. Appointed in 2015, Heru has made several innovations to the workings of his office.
He cooperated with various institutions to control high-risk imports, a move applauded by, among many, the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK).
“Efforts to eradicate corruption still have long ways to go,” BHACA board member Clara Joewono said, “but what these two awardees have done gives hope for a corruption-free environment.”
Indonesia is still struggling to combat graft, with many officials and regional heads recently being nabbed on corruption charges. Efforts to combat graft had faced many obstacles, but the award was an attempt to promote an anticorruption spirit, said Bivitri.
“We need to place the officials who are committed to fighting corruption in the spotlight,” she said, “so the public knows about them and are inspired by their efforts.”
She added that the award aimed to show support for those who had taken action to build an anticorruption environment.
The BHACA honors founding father Muhammad Hatta for his candor and integrity in fighting corruption and has been awarded to 15 individuals since its establishment in 2003.