Papua governments blew Rp 30t on ‘special autonomy’: Official

Andi Hajramurni , The Jakarta Post , Makassar | Thu, 09/10/2009 6:41 PM | National

After eight years, special autonomy has yet to improve the welfare of Papuan people, partly because of incompetent governments of the two easternmost provinces, a West Papua official says.

The governments of Papua and West Papua have wasted some Rp 30 trillion (US$3 billion) in special autonomy funds disbursed to the two provinces, West Papua legislative council speaker Jimmy Demianus Ijie said after a meting with Vice President Jusuf Kalla on Thursday.

“To be fair, Papuan people, especially the provincial governments, have to criticize themselves for the failure of the special autonomy program in Papua. The incompetence has caused a whopping Rp 30 trillion in state losses,” Jimmy said.

The bulk of the funds had gone to the bureaucracy and local government officials, while only a little was spent on empowering the local people’s economy, he said.

“The provincial governments should have rejected the special autonomy funds at that time because the central government had not yet issued regulations on the utilization of the money,” Jimmy said.

He expressed regrets that the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) had not taken action against the misuses of the special autonomy funds, which he said was rampant.

“Several times the KPK has sent teams to Papua, but as of today nothing has resulted from the visits,” Jimmy said.

Jimmy visited Kalla to ask him to mediate a national dialogue to address problems facing Papua and West Papua. Despite the special autonomy funds, the two provinces remain among the ranks of underdeveloped regions in the country.

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