Improving Transparency And Public Accountability In Indonesia Accounting Essay


This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Prior to audit reform, BPK reports were not made public as they were designated as state confidential documents. The media had no freedom to disclose news that could threaten Indonesia's political stability. This resulted in little information for the public on the roles and functions of BPK in auditing public sector to support bureaucratic reform. As democracy has emerged in Indonesia, the public is demanding accountability and transparency in the administrative system. Since the Reformation Era, the public and media have freedom to access information on public sector agencies to ensure their accountability. BPK reports are published to provide the public with information on the transparency, performance and accountability of the government and all agencies that use public finances. The media have played important roles in influencing the effectiveness of information in BPK reports.

This paper examines the reforms that have been conducted to improve the transparency and public accountability of the government through media publication of public sector audit reports, with particular emphasis on those aspects where clear differences have emerged in the practice of audit between the pre- and post-reform periods. The paper then briefly lists a number of recommendations that arise out of the research, before suggesting lines for further research.

The research process included a theoretical conceptual stage and the field research stage. The theoretical conceptual included a literature review that provided a background for study and disclosed the room for improvement in public sector auditing in Indonesia. Moreover, historical analysis of the Indonesia public sector auditing on the crucial time to provide insights into the process of development and change of public sector audits across the time in Indonesia. The field research explored primary and secondary data. In depth interviews conducted with auditors, the members of Parliament (central and local levels), and auditees (public sector employees).

This study revealed that since reform, the media have been enthusiastic to draw public attention to audit report findings. As a result, the public has started to become aware about the importance of public sector auditing as means of saving public finances from inefficiency, ineffectiveness, fraud, money laundering and corruption. Besides, in terms of acting on the information in audit reports, this study also revealed significant changes in BPK's publication of reports through the media and on the BPK website. Transparency builds public trust that resources are managing accountably. However, this study found ddissatisfied responses regarding publication indicated a lack of auditees' accountability and transparency and evidence. BPK audit findings which are not reported with security and confidential reasons, and missing audit reports after arriving at BPK high levels of officials, are unacceptable to auditors and the public.

Keywords: Media publication, transparency, public accountability, Indonesia.


In the past, before the Law on Audit (GOI 2004) was issued, BPK had limited access to the public and the media and almost all audit reports were not published as they were considered to be state secrets and confidential documents. From 1945-2004, audit results were never published and BPK was very remote from the public. In this period, there was no information available about BPK audit findings in the media. If there was news about BPK, it was presented in a small column in the middle part of newspapers or magazines, which indicated it to be news of limited interest.

Prior to audit reform, BPK reports were not made public as they were designated as state confidential documents. The media had no freedom to disclose news that could threaten Indonesia's political stability. This resulted in little information for the public on the roles and functions of BPK in auditing public sector to support bureaucratic reform.

As democracy has emerged in Indonesia, the public is demanding accountability and transparency in the administrative system. Since the Reformation Era, the public and media have freedom to access information on public sector agencies to ensure their accountability. BPK reports are published to provide the public with information on the transparency, performance and accountability of the government and all agencies that use public finances.

Literature Review on Publication of Audit Reports

To embed the accountability of government, the publication of audit reports opens opportunities for the public and media to get information on the government's performance and policies. Guthrie (1992: 27) believed that increasing interest in public sector auditing influences the awareness of, and helps to explore, critical issues in public sector auditing. In addition, Widodo (2004:19-24) pointed out that publication of audit findings and recommendations enhance the quality of auditing information beyond the scope of "being obscure" from the public who also participate in assessing the information being reported. Mikesell (2003: 156) also argued that publication of the audit reports of government institutions would relatively important to reduce the possibility of the same findings and problems happening.

In democratic countries, there is a direct relationship between the mass media and the concept of publicity. Santiso (2008:67-84) argued that the media is an effective actor in publishing audit findings. He also believed that the publication of audit reports has a role in indirect enforcement to implement audit recommendations for auditees. Arter (2003: 97) suggested that to improve the effect of audits, after they are finished, a summary that highlights any positive and negative conclusions should be published promptly.

A limited exemption for unreported audit results may be allowed in certain circumstances, for instance, security interests. Nonetheless, these exceptions should not be too many in addressing government spending efficiency and effectiveness and maintaining public trust in an auditing institution. Kaltenback (1993:9-12) pointed out the case of the German government audit system under its democracy, which has fewer audits and reports with classified security interests than would be the case under a monarchy, had led to better efficiency. Moreover, he stated that in the case of security interests, there are limited numbers of auditors involved; they protect classified information to safeguard government spending which leads to greater efficiency. Moreover, Hope (2008: 271) found that management and national culture affect the quality of financial reporting because auditors would be more willing to disclose findings in audit reports.

Publications for corporate organizations that belong to the public sector, such as state-owned enterprises (SOEs) may have different characteristics. According to Mulgan (2008: 23), SOEs may resist if the audit results are reported to the Legislative and published to the public. This is due to the data and information relating to commercial sensitivity, as SOE has a private sector background and largely commercial orientation.

As independent auditors of SAIs, they are required to report their findings after examining the financial and performance of the public sector agencies to the public (Chaturverdi 1987: 32; Guthrie and English 1997: 13). In addition, current communication technology development provides the opportunity to publish audit reports electronically by presenting them on a website (Debreceny and Gray 1999:335-50). Based on their case studies, Debreceny and Gray indicated that some public companies in France, Germany and the UK also provided a printed annual audit report version on their website. For the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, external audit reports are published routinely (Bertsk 2000: 314).

Therefore, publication of audit reports through printed or electronic media is one indicator of the quality of information relating to acting on audit reports that provide information about the performance of the public service.

Research Design and Methodology

In providing more comprehension of the emerging field of Indonesian external public sector auditing issues, the study utilized an exploratory research design. The research process included a theoretical conceptual stage and the field research stage. The theoretical conceptual stage included a literature review that provided background for study and disclosed the room for improvement in public sector auditing in Indonesia. The primary data was collected from questionnaires to the respondents, observations at BPK, and unstructured in-depth interviews ranging from half an hour to two hours with the informants.

The informants for primary data collection came from different group of respondents and informants, namely: public sector agencies (auditees), BPK auditors and management, Parliament and regional Parliaments Members, General Secretariat of Parliament, and others (such as researcher, auditors from ANAO, ex-auditor of BPK, team leader of ADB, and secondment participants), to provide greater insight into the changing nature of external public sector audits in Indonesia. The secondary data was collected from government documents (regulations, reports, statistical data, audit results and photos), printed media (newspapers, magazines), academic papers presented in local and international conferences, and relevant national/international seminars.

Analysis of the data was mainly qualitative descriptive with an applied triangulation method for verification. For ensuring the validity of data and information, data was collected from multiple resources including in-depth interviews, observations and document analysis (Creswell 2009: 199). As cited by Becker and Bryman (2004: 408), the triangulation method was used to enrich and check the validity and reliability of collected data and information. Solomon and Trotman (2003: 408) strongly believed that the triangulation method plays a valuable role in advancing audit studies. The various responses from questionnaires and information during the interviews, observations in BPK offices, and several secondary data sets were used in this study to check the validity and objectivity of data and information.

Non-probability with specific purposive sampling was the chosen technique, considering the complexity and specific characteristics of informants (Blaikie 2000: 212-213; May 1997: 87; Sproull 1988: 117). In order to provide reliable and valid data and information, key informants were selected through screening criteria related to their competencies or experience with public sector auditing. The study also applied the snowball sampling method whereby the number of respondents was determined based on the needs of information and suggestions from previous informants.

Respondents and informants from the Executive as auditees are divided into seven categories. The first category was from central government (departments), namely the Ministry of Health (MOH), the Ministry of National Education (MONE), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). MOH and MONE are selected because they (i) received large amounts of the government's national policy subsidies to their budgets,(ii) accommodated the increasing demands for accountability in managing funds from international organizations and donors in Indonesia, and (iii) were priority institutions to be audited by BPK on the expenditure side. MOFA was chosen because of Indonesia's recent policy on strengthening international relations, and the Ministry of Home Affairs because of the decentralization policy. The second category was from central government (non-departments), namely the manager of the State Audit Reform-Sectors Development Project (STAR SDP) from the National Development Planning Board (Bappenas) and the Financial and Development Supervisory Board (BPKP) who provide information related to program reforms of the Indonesian public sector audit. The third category was from the Central Bank of Indonesia as one of the new and important auditees for BPK since audit reform. The fourth category was from state-owned enterprises (SOEs), namely the National Electricity Company (PLN) and the National Oil Company (Pertamina), due to the important issue of electricity and fuel subsidies. The fifth category was from regional-owned enterprises, namely the Water Drinking Regional Enterprise (PDAM) in Bogor and Sukabumi, which provides clean drinking water and sanitation for people in regional areas. The sixth category was from state-owned bank, namely the Mandiri Bank that had the case of non-performance loans (NPL). The seventh category was from auditees from local governments, namely the West Java Provincial Government, Local Secretariat of West Java Province, and Bogor City local government. The eighth category was from Members of Parliament at both the central (DPR) and regional levels (DPRD), as primary stakeholders of BPK. The DPRD Members are from five different commissions and three different factions, namely Golkar Party (PG), National Mandate Party (PAN), and Prosperous Justice Party (PKS). Informants from DPRDs are Members of West Java Province and Kuningan District.

Other respondents and informants included:(i) researchers and academics, (ii) a manager from the Asian Development Bank (as an international organization that has transferred the largest amount of money to reform Indonesia's public sector external auditing), (iii) B-Trust, a Non Government Organization, and (iv) auditors from ANAO for getting information related to a secondment program in financial and performance audits and other collaboration with BPK.

Findings of Publication of the Indonesian Audit Reports

Publication of information in audit reports for the public is the first criterion related to acting on information in audit reports. It is necessary for the public to be informed about the financial accountability and performance of public sector agencies through BPK reports. With this information, the public can then push the government to act more accountably in managing public resources.

Laws and Regulations Related to the Publication of Audit reports in Indonesia

After BPK audit reports are submitted to Members of Parliament, these reports must be published or immediately declared to the public as stipulated by Article 19, Paragraph 1 of the Audit Law (GOI 2004b) and Article 5, Paragraph 4 of the Law on BPK (GOI 2006). However, the publication of confidential information is also governed by law and legislation (Article 19, Paragraph 2 of the Audit Law). The BPK audit standard (BPK RI 2007) stipulates that any confidential information should be regulated to provide a reasonable explanation of any unpublished information in the audit reports. Certain information is allowed to be disclosed and submitted to certain authorised parties, in accordance with laws and regulations. Furthermore, the audit standard (BPK RI 2007: 53) provides guidelines for BPK auditors to assess specific non-publishable information and to take into account public interest and provide reasons for decisions regarding the non-disclosure of specific information in the report.

In the case of performance audit reports, (BPK RI 2007b: 88)Paragraph 33 of audit standards reporting (BPK RI 2007: 89) requires auditors to indicate the characteristics of information that is deleted, which must take into account the public interest and to evaluate the provisions that prohibit the disclosure of such information. If the auditors decide to delete particular information, they must state the nature of the deleted information and the reasons for such deletion. Moreover, the audit standards (BPK RI 2007: 90) indicates that information may be excluded from the audit reports or not be publicly disclosed if this information affects public safety and security(BPK RI 2007b: 88), for instance, detailed findings with respect to the security of assets.

To conclude, the Audit Law (GOI 2004) and the Law on BPK (GOI 2006) establishes the responsibility of BPK to publish audit results for transparency in state management. Besides, this is also indicates the willingness of government to provide the public with the right information on public administration while considering the protection of private data and confidential state information.

Publication of Audit Reports Pre and Post Audit Reform in Indonesia

Since BPK was mandated to publish its audit reports for the public every semester (after reporting to Parliament) print and internet media have published BPK findings on irregularities, corruption, and other criminal offences. This has supported transparency by providing public information on government officials' accountability. However, this study revealed that in the period 2001-2004 that BPK did not publish audit reports on its website, but begun doing so since 2005. To better support the publication of BPK audit reports and other information through the internet, the capacity of its local area network (LAN) and website has been expanded.

With relation to mainstream media articles (print, radio and television) about BPK and its findings, Table 1 (below) presents the approximate number of special BPK news items in 2006.



Number of News Items






































Examples of Media's Articles of BPK's Findings/Results in 2006

Source: Adapted and processed from Clippings of BPK, BPK Public Relations Division, Jakarta, 2007

BPK audit reports have become an interesting and important topic for public attention and are often discussed among various public groups, in particular instances of irregularities, fraud and corruption in state finances. After being submitted to the Legislative institutions, audit results are announced in the news papers and discussed in business, management, finance and economic magazines. News about BPK has made the headlines of print media and increasingly features on television and radio, which indicates the high level of public interest in audit findings and role of BPK in examining governmentaccountability.BPK findings can also be useful to complement formal punishments for officials who have not complied with laws and regulations. Criticism of government performances helps the public to be more careful in making their electoral choices and to understand the role of BPK, the government and the Parliament in the democratic process.

Publication in Corruption and Irregularity Cases

BPK findings in corruption cases are an interesting subject for discussion in the media. Four examples of BPK corruption findings are: (1) corruption over the procurement of an army helicopter (M1-17) in the Department of Defense, which was bought from Swift Air Company in Russia, which had been closed since 1999 (Indo Pos 8thJune 2007; Loppies 2007; Republika 8thJune 2007; Setyawan 2007; Wilmar 2007); (2) state finances lost Rp.28.7 billion (US$3,24 million); (3) the BULOG (Logistic Agency) case where the agency accepted illegal funds from commodity procurements with the loss of millions of Rupiah; and (4) the case of BLBI (Liquidity Aid of Indonesia Bank), which involved about Rp.144 trillion(US$15,8 billion) for recapitulated banks during the Bank Rush as a result of the economic crises in 1997 (Republika 13th January 2006), and in which 90 per cent of the money was accounted for (Kwik Kian Gie 2008). The publications of BPK reports and media about corruption provided hard evidence that the Indonesian public service used public money for its own purposes rather than carefully and accountably.

Moreover, at the local level, BPK findings on irregularities of government agencies and Parliaments were also published in national and local media. One example was an irregularity to a value of Rp.13 billion (US$1.45 million) in the DKI Province government budget of 2004 due to excessive payments made to Members of Parliament and government projects, and irregularities in expenditure (such as expenditure without proof) (Ihsan et al. 2006c; Koran Tempo 4 January 2006; Rakyat Merdeka 6th January 2006; Suara Pembaharuan 16th May 2006). In 2004, an irregularity amounting to Rp.3.2 billion (US$384,826) was found regarding the budget of Tangerang City Government and Parliament for welfare and health, housing, maintenance and operational costs, and other activities to support the head and Members of Parliament (Ihsan and Johansyah 2006b; Johansyah 2006a).That same year, the Tangerang Regency Government budget also showed irregularities, in this case to the value of Rp.6,1 billion (US$657,327)(Ihsan and Cipta 2006a; Johansyah 2006b). Another example was an irregularity of Rp.3.3 billion (US$355,603) in the 2004 budget of Bekasi City government and Parliament budget for 2004 (Wahyuni 2006b) and indicating irregularities and corruption valued at Rp.7.6 billion (US$818,655) in the 2004 budget of West Java Province (Indo Pos 14th March 2006). A final example was regards the2004 budget of Kupang City where a loss in state finances valued at Rp.2.55 billion (US$284,784) occurred when the money was wrongly used by Members of the regional Parliament (Pukan 2006).

BPK audit findings of SOEs were also published in the media. For example, findings regarding the National Electricity Company (PLN) were published. One was an indication of corruption in the funding bonus (tantiem) valued at Rp.4.34 billion (US$457,034), which can only be distributed if the company has made a profit and in this case PLN made a loss (Din 2006; Rakyat Merdeka 16th January 2006; Republika 14thJanuary 2006). The other case regarded procurement for a truck at Borang gas power electricity station in South Sumatera that was bought for Rp.122.43 billion(US$12.9 million), far above the normal price (Yasin 2006).Another audit related to a proposal from PLN to increase electricity rates and reduce subsidies (Supriyanto 2006a; Jakarta Post 10thMarch 2006; Jakarta Post 11thMarch 2006).

In addition, Mangku (2006b) published BPK findings regarding corruption and irregularities involving some SOEs, as follows:

(1)The National Telecommunication Company (PT. Telkom) case with indications of trillions of Rupiahs corruption (Rakyat Merdeka 2nd December 2006a);

(2) irregularities in using the investment fund account or RDI outside their proper business with a total value of Rp.6,2 trillion (US$ 652.9 million), such as PT Rajawali Nusantara Indonesia (RNI) valued at Rp.1,6 trillion (US$ 168.5 million), PT. Dirgantara Indonesia valued at Rp.7,3 billion ( US$ 768,745) plus the sub loan agreement with the government valued at Rp.1,06 trillion (US$ 111.6 million), and PT. Djakarta Lloyd valued at Rp.122,6 billion (US$12.9 million);

(3) a finding that involved opinions from BPK on SOE financial statements with 53 per cent (81 SOEs) judged as very healthy or healthy, 34 per cent (53 SOEs) as not healthy; and 13 per cent (20 SOEs) which were unable to be judged (disclaimer), because they did not submit financial statements to BPK and the auditors doubted the truth of the information and data presented in their financial statements.

(4) Irregularities and Non-Performing Loans (NPL) of state-owned bank: (a) 97 irregularities were found and 4.6 per cent of NPL to a value of Rp.2,628 trillion (US$276,758 million) state loss at BNI'46 (Evy 2006; Indo Pos 12thJanuary 2006; Republika 13thJanuary 2006; Jakarta Post 12thJanuary 2006; Wahyuni 2006a; Wahyuni 2006b); (b) 23.4 per cent NPL of Mandiri Bank which was much higher than normal NPL (maximum 5 per cent) (Republika 13thJanuary 2006).

All this evidence reveals the serious determination of BPK to publish various audit findings to the public. BPK's openness has raised the level of public trust in its performance of to safeguard state finances. Media seemed to be more interested in reporting information related to irregularities or corruption scandals, rather than public sector efforts to improve efficiency, effectiveness and overall performance. The publication of audit reports enables the public to be aware of how state finances have been used and to evaluate the performance of public sector entities in upholding their public accountability.

Survey Results and Comments on the Publication of Audit Reports

During the survey, auditors and auditees were asked whether they agreed that BPK had published its audit reports. Figure 5.4 (below) shows that positive responses dominated, with 44 per cent 'agreeing' and 30 per cent 'strongly agreeing'. An auditor from BPK stated that, "Publication of BPK reports is to enhance the state finance system in Indonesia which has been lacking in transparency". Moreover, the Chairman of BPK stated in a national magazine (Bisnis Indonesia 12thMarch 2007):

The lack of transparency in the state finances system caused the public to be reluctant to pay tax and to buy state debt letters (SUN). The lack of transparency of the state financial system can also drive suspicion and conflict between the regional, ethnic, and religious groups in this heterogeneous country.

This statement implied that the financial system in government was not managed professionally. As argued by Perkasa (2009: 107), much of the regional state budgets were irresponsibly used for personal interests. He also provides evidence of traditional financial management by the Papua government in spending public money without bills or signatures from the receiver. The head of BPK emphasized that transparency of public funds can provide information for the public, including: taxpayers and domestic/foreign investors. Moreover, regional governments, which contribute significantly their natural resources for national budget revenues, ensure all revenues were managed in accountable manner by the central government. Transparency builds public and regional government trust that their resources are managed accountably.

The positive response from auditors and auditees about the publication of BPK reports and findings indicates transparency in the public sector and are shown in Figure 1 (below).

Figure 1

Survey Results of 'BPK Published Its Audit Reports'

Source: Fieldwork survey

However, 32 per cent of auditees responded 'neutral' and 18 per cent 'disagreed' that BPK had published audit reports. An auditee observed, "BPK audit reports were not published transparently." This criticism was disputed by a BPK who said, "Some information about audit findings were not published on the orders of the Parliament in consideration of its bad impact on the public". Another auditor also referred to the practice of not publishing all findings in the reports at the request of auditees. This means that even though BPK has published its findings, there was still a degree of dissatisfaction with audit publications due to unreported findings, meaning there was a failure to uncover the real condition of auditee performance in order to protect them from public pressure. A draft Law on State Confidential Information is currently being discussed in Parliament and aims to stipulate what information can be made public.

In addition, a Member of Parliament from Commission VI stated that "BPK printed reports were not widely available and were difficult to find". BPK submits its audit reports to Parliament, after which the secretariat of each commission sends the reports to individual Members according to their tasks and functions. Currently, BPK is improving its capacity to publish audit reports on its website. However, a BPK auditor argued that some Members of Parliament, in particular at the regional level, were not familiar with accessing information from the internet and were not favoring this approach. Sudibjo (2009a: 20) argued about the lack of quality and integrity of Members of Parliament at the central level during 2004-2009, with indications of many absence in meetings and hearings. He also stated that he found about 60 per cent of the Members of Parliament lack of qualification as state officials, based on educational backgrounds, ability to operate computer, communications with email and using internet. The worse condition was for the qualification of Members of regional Parliaments, as the lack of information system resources and infrastructure in some regional areas, than at the central level.

This study also recorded comments from auditees that indicated their unwillingness for BPK to publish audit findings in particular circumstances:

"I prefer audit findings not to be published when the follow-up has not been finished. But audit findings which have been followed up can be reported to the public and presented on the official website".

"To some extent, auditees mind if BPK's audit findings are published and made available to the public. I hope BPK auditors will consider this matter".

These comments could be interpreted as implying that some auditees lack transparency and accountability to the public in their requests for audit findings and the results for their organization to not be published. This was similar to past practice when audit findings were never published. As the Chairman of BPK stated in a national newspaper, Suara Karya, "BPK audit reports during the situation in the New Order Era could not be described as the real condition of state finances which were in a serious condition, with KKN (corruption, collusion and nepotism)" (Handayani 12thJanuary 2006). Backman (2008: 207-216) forecasted the economic condition in Indonesia as having no future if the Indonesian government does not reduce KKN in the public sector. These statements indicate that transparency is based on the freedom to get information related to the public interest.

A Member of BPK (Interview B1) with extensive experience of interacting with high government officials stated that, "The accountability culture of government officials in Indonesia is very low. High officials think that they know everything, so they are reluctant to be criticized and reveal their mistakes". These comments reflect the lack of transparency and accountability of leaders or managers in the public sector. The paternalistic culture of the Indonesian political apparatus was still strong. Many officials in the public sector could not criticize their leaders. This is still happening in Jayawijaya District, where a strong practice of client-patron relations between staff and their leaders caused blood relationship and brotherhood (Mutiarin, 2009: 130). As a result, when the leader resigned, all staff under the former leader was replaced with the new leader's people. This situation has worsened the performance of bureaucracy in Indonesia. BPK found it difficult to change auditees' mind-set to being more transparent and accountable in managing public finances and providing better performance and services.

Another auditee commented on the possible misuse of BPK audit reports. He said that publishing BPK audit results sometimes had a negative effect on auditees, because it can lead to negative perceptions from Indonesian community. In addition, a writer from a local newspaper provided an article about the publication of some audit reports that were misused for political interests (LM Sinaga 11thMarch 2006). Both media and non government organizations have sometimes used BPK audit findings and reports on sensitive cases (such as corruption and other criminal cases) as political tools. For example, cases of corruption or misuse of state funds by certain political high officials can be used by political opponents to bring down of the officials. This situation indicates that democratization in Indonesia is less than ideal. Most Members of Parliament were motivated by money instead of working as representatives of the Indonesian people (Sudibjo 2009a: 19).

There has also been disagreement about publishing BPK audit reports or audit findings by auditees in state-owned bank. BPK's Chairman stated to a reporter of a national newspaper (Riza 2006), "There is a campaign by politicians, authorities or certain employees to stop BPK reporting its audit results to the public". In the case of non-performing loans and irregularities of the Indonesia State Bank (BNI'46), BPK published the relevant audit results on its website, including findings about debts and bad creditors of some state-owned bank. These publications have been criticized by bankers who feel afraid that the BPK publications can cause a lack of trust from their customers. Djunaedi in Suara Karya newspaper (27thApril 2006) commented that the publication of audit findings in relation to these national banks caused a low credit expansion of some national banks, a slower economic recovery and a reduction in the general rate of fiscal expansion. This means that BPK publications on non-performing national banks potentially impact the behavior of bank customers.

The Chairman of BPK argued strongly with bankers' views as follows (Nasution 2007):

BPK has to provide its audit results to the public, because public finances are used by the government to recover the national banking conditions that are known to have been misused and abused. As a consequence, the banking risks would be returned to the public.

This statement implies that transparency through BPK publications on public sector performance is important for transparency of public funds, although there might be some complaints about BPK findings regarding the poor performance of national banks.

Some confidential information is related to state defense (such as guns, technology inventions, supplies), international relations (such as results of analysis by diplomats in bilateral issues, policy in politics, economics, and accreditation materials), law enforcement process (such as investigations by police or other law enforcers), national economic survival (in the field of monetary, fiscal, industrial and trade economics), the state coding system, the state intelligence system, and state vital assets (such as military installations, training areas, and arms manufacturers).

To summarize, BPK audit reports are now published to provide the public with information on the performance of government and how government funds are spent. A public awareness program has been conducted to raise public understanding of BPK's roles and functions in promoting participation in effective public sector auditing. The survey of this research found that respondents agreed that BPK audit reports have been published. However, some respondents, including politicians and auditees, were unhappy with the publication of BPK audit findings. Auditees covered up their cases and tried to stop BPK from publishing information about them. They argued that information in BPK reports could provide a bad impact on their organizations, for example, information on non-performing loans (NPL) and irregularities in national banks that made customers distrustful and encouraged them to move to foreign banks.

Public and Media Support on Publication of Audit Results

Through the principle of transparency, the public and media have the right to access all information in the public sector. Miyakawa (1999: 91-92) argued that public concern about how their money is used by the government has become inevitable in a modern society. Moreover, with the development of democracy, public exposure can affect public perception of government (Evans 1999: 88). As the Executive is responsible to the people, poor performance in government programs can be directly criticized by the community through interest groups and the media (Simms 1999: 34).

Civil society can also be involved in persuading government to change from being supplier oriented and ignoring performance in public services, to being consumer oriented and responsive to public demands; and they can also be involved in assessing SAIs in carrying out their audit roles and functions (Pyun 2006: 20-23). The satisfaction of the public and auditees as the secondary clients of an audit institution is one factor that influences the performance of an audit office (Wilkins 1995: 429). This means that the awareness of civil society about government performance and about the functions and role of public sector auditing is essential to improving accountability.

The media can help audit institutions inform the public about the performance of government and public sector agencies. Gonzalez (2008: 439) emphasized the role of the media to convey information on audit reports that can inform public opinion on the performance of public sector agencies. He (2008.435) also found that the awareness of SAIs about the important role of media as a communication strategy for providing the public with an overview of what their activities are and what they do relating to public sector auditing.

With support from the media, the public can get information transparently about government accountability in operating and handling public funds and public services. Mulgan (2008a: 345) found the role of the media enables the public to find out information about government activities. Aldons (2001:34-42) believes that the media, in particular press and radio, are major instruments for the checks and balances needed in a representative democracy. To maximise the effectiveness of information about audit report findings being transmitted to the public, SAI should cooperate with the media (Mazur 2005:10-14). The media have no formal authority or power to review, but they can bring considerable informal pressure to hold the government, particularly Ministers and public servants, to be accountable to the public (Mulgan 2000: 89).

Some lessons can be drawn from the experience of six developing countries (India, South Africa, Mexico, South Korea, and Argentina) that involve the public in auditing (Ramkumar 2007:15-19). In India and Mexico, the public uncovered misappropriation of funds that was not reported by government auditors. South Africa and Argentina publish government audit reports and then the public demands that government agencies take action and the Legislature reviews the government's audit reports. In the Philippines and South Korea, citizens ask for special audits on government projects in the case of financial and procurement irregularities. Finally, South Korea, the Philippines and India have a'citizen audit request' system to support citizen participation in government auditing. This means that the critique from the public and media encourages the government and Parliament to respond on the information in audit reports.

Since audit reform, the public and media have had significant roles and functions in securing the effectiveness of information in BPK reports. The media is a tool for BPK to disseminate its work and for the public to criticize the government and urge it to provide better performance based on the recommendations provided by auditors. Within the spirit of transparency, the public and media have access to data and information in the Indonesian public sector and can participate in controlling government policies, decisions, performance and in providing transparency and accountability in public administration.

The audit findings and reports revealing inefficiency, poor public administration and corruption can result in protests and demonstrations against the lack of government accountability. This means that the public and media significantly participate in controlling the quality and accountability of public administration and the quality of information in BPK reports. Besides, the participation and responses of the Indonesian people to the information in BPK reports related to the malpractice by government officials, influence significantly influence the effectiveness of follow up on audit reports.

The public plays a critical role in demanding accountability by the government and Legislature. However, in the case of Indonesia, Satriyo argued that the public had insufficient understanding of the meaning of accountability and lacked information of possible benefits of audit reports to their lives as their right to accountability. This resulted from the weaknesses of civil society in promoting public accountability by participating in controlling the performance of state and public sector agencies, including BPK. A 2002 study by LP3ES (Economic and Social Research, Education and Information Agency) found that only 53 per cent of the public in 10 big cities of Indonesia recognized BPK from television and only 7 per cent from school (LP3ES 2002). In 2004, another study indicated a significant increase in public knowledge about BPK; 85 per cent of the public knew about BPK's roles and functions from print media, radio, television and school (LP3ES 2004: 13-18). However, published BPK reports were not evenly distributed throughout the small villages and districts regions where had little access to the media (ADB 2004a). The results indicate that the media plays a significant role in informing the public about the roles and functions of BPK in auditing public funds and resources.

Moreover, the ADB (2004a:52) pointed out, "Public sector accountability is constrained by a weak capacity of oversight institutions and lack of awareness of the public on the role of government institutions, such as the audit institutions". This meant that the lack of transparency in the government environment as well as in the Legislature created a lack of understanding of civil society and the public to defend their right on the government accountability .

Since 2005, BPK has had programs to increase public understanding of the state audit system and functions and to enhance public capability in controlling and demanding transparency and performance of the government in managing public resources. The program collaborates with the media at both local and national levels and involves television, radio, community, the leaders of religious groups (such as Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadyah), academia, professionals, International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI), Asian Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI), IAI (Indonesian Accountant Association), Indonesian Corruption Watch (ICW) and Transparency International, and the bureaucracy (national and local levels). For example, BPK has a public education campaign program with two main purposes, namely: (1) to build good governance, accountability and a transparent environment of government expenditure, and (2) to provide a strong auditing function by the involvement of civil society. Thus, the public education campaign aims to provide understanding for the public on how Indonesian state finances or public money is spent, and what the benefits are for the public. This program is very useful for the public, because before reform, the government were very secretive about public finances.

BPK's efforts have increased the public's cynicism and demands relating to the performance and accountability of politicians and bureaucrats. For instance, as a result of the refusal by Supreme Court to be audited by BPK in the case of obtaining court fees, a protest involving theatrical action was mounted in front of the Supreme Court building, organized by NGOs including the Indonesia Legal Resources Centre, the Indonesian Law Aid Institution and ICW (Kompas 26thApril 2008). News headlines of print media have focused on findings of BPK. For examples: (1) the case of BLBI, corruption, irregularities in central and local governments;(2) auditees' financial statements which were not based on the government accounting standard, non-compliance with laws and regulations; and (3) conflict between BPK and Supreme Court. All these BPK findings had provided positive responses from the public for BPK. Indraswati and Desilia (2008: 47-48) emphasized the media's publication of BPK's roles, functions, and findings in providing government transparency and accountability.

Writing Services

Essay Writing

Find out how the very best essay writing service can help you accomplish more and achieve higher marks today.

Assignment Writing Service

From complicated assignments to tricky tasks, our experts can tackle virtually any question thrown at them.

Dissertation Writing Service

A dissertation (also known as a thesis or research project) is probably the most important piece of work for any student! From full dissertations to individual chapters, we’re on hand to support you.

Coursework Writing Service

Our expert qualified writers can help you get your coursework right first time, every time.

Dissertation Proposal Service

The first step to completing a dissertation is to create a proposal that talks about what you wish to do. Our experts can design suitable methodologies - perfect to help you get started with a dissertation.

Report Writing

Reports for any audience. Perfectly structured, professionally written, and tailored to suit your exact requirements.

Essay Skeleton Answer Service

If you’re just looking for some help to get started on an essay, our outline service provides you with a perfect essay plan.

Marking & Proofreading Service

Not sure if your work is hitting the mark? Struggling to get feedback from your lecturer? Our premium marking service was created just for you - get the feedback you deserve now.

Exam Revision

Exams can be one of the most stressful experiences you’ll ever have! Revision is key, and we’re here to help. With custom created revision notes and exam answers, you’ll never feel underprepared again.