Journal of Legal, Ethical and Regulatory Issues (Print ISSN: 1544-0036; Online ISSN: 1544-0044)


Abuse of Authority by Government Officials: Controversy between Administrative and Criminal Sanctions

Author(s): Tri Hayati

This study discusses the issue of abuse of authority within the administration in Indonesia as more pressure is mounting from the public regarding the corrupt behaviours/actions of government officials in carrying out their duties. There has been an increase in the number of abuse of authority cases involving corrupt government officials in various courts throughout Indonesia in recent years. In an attempt to remedy this situation, Law No. 30/2014 on Government Administration was enacted which prescribes that abuse of authority causing the loss of state finance does not necessarily mean there has been an act of corruption by a government official. This law goes further to say that abuse of authority is not punishable as an act of corruption provided that the guilty official makes compensational payments for the state financial loss. In so prescribing, this law seems to be promoting the very disease it was supposed to cure. As a consequence, this law not only weakens the fight against corruption by giving a free pass to corrupt and crooked government officials but it also contradicts Law No.31/1999 on Corruption Eradication. This study seeks to investigate the issue as to what extent Law No. 30/2014 weakens the fight against corruption in Indonesia. The study shows that both the government administration law and the corruption law not only contradict one another but are also incoherent in imposing sanctions related to the abuse of authority. It is as if there is a dualism of application of sanctions: criminal sanctions and administrative sanctions.

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