PRESS RELEASE

Bad Regional Fiscal Transfer System Has Bad Effect on Public Welfare in Regions

The overall aim of regional autonomy is to improve people’s welfare by bringing service providers closer to local communities.  But, after a decade of such autonomy, outcomes have fallen well short of expectations.  And, despite two revisions of the legal framework governing regional autonomy, fiscal gaps among regions remain very high. FITRA’s research has shown that the sub-national government receiving the highest per capita allocation of central government fiscal transfers gets 127 times more money than the sub-national government receiving the lowest allocation.     This is happening because the “money follows function” principle is not being properly implemented.  That is evident from lack of coordination between policies on sub-national government—the domain of the Minister of Home Affairs— and polices on distribution of funds to regions—the bailiwick of the Minister of Finance.  It is also evident from the fact that, although 70% of government functions have been decentralized to regions, regions have been receiving just 31-34% of State spending power in the form of fiscal transfers to regions.

Mechanisms that are being used to transfer central government funds to regions but are not provided for in law have multiplied and risk undermining the entire fiscal transfers system.  Among these are the so called “adjustment funds”.  In 2009 just three such funds existed but by 2011 there were seven of them.  Among them, “infrastructure adjustment” funds are still controversial: They have been laden with political interests and have opened new doors for the “budget mafia”.  Moreover, 10 fields of activity funded by infrastructure adjustment funds have also received funding under the Special Allocation Fund (DAK for short).

The very set-up of the regional fiscal transfers system is currently encouraging sub-national governments to be inefficient and is giving a fillip to processes leading to the creation of new autonomous regions.  Thus in 2011, 297 sub-national governments at the kabupaten (district)  and city level spent more than half of their local budgets on public service costs.  So, although the true purpose of the General Allocation Fund (DAU for short) is to enable sub-national governments to meet local needs, its funds are currently being almost wholly spent on meeting civil service costs. This situation arises because the “basic funding allocation” within the current DAU is designed to cover bureaucratic costs—including those associated with the creation of new autonomous regions.  Regions are also unfailingly receiving less overall DAU funding than they are legally entitled to because a number of factors are drawing down the level of funds destined for the DAU.  Thus, in 2011, sub-national governments received Rp 52.2 trillion less in DAU funding than they should have.

The DAK, which allocates funding to specific areas in support of national priorities, is also moving further and further away from its original purpose.  National priorities funded under the DAK have risen from 7 in 2005 to 19 in 2011. DAK funding is based on a complex formula; its guidelines are published late; and its technical criteria are subject to frequent change.  All of this makes the DAK susceptible to political manipulation and reduces its impact.

As for the Revenue Sharing Fund (DBH for short) the only regions that can expect to benefit from DBH revenue are those endowed with natural resources.   The method used to apportion revenue shares between the center and regions under the DBH has never been convincingly explained.    Nor has the pattern of apportionments varied greatly since the introduction of regional autonomy.

The issues outlined above should form a basis for revision of the law on fiscal transfers to regions to make it more responsive to regional autonomy’s principal purpose: betterment of the people’s welfare.   On the basis of its research findings, FITRA believes that existing law could be improved in the following ways:

  1. Fiscal transfers to regions must accord with the aims of decentralization.  Accordingly, regions’ share of State funds should be increased to at least 50%.  Up to now the central government has consistently claimed that 60% of State expenditure is spent in regions.  If that is so, there should be no problem making all that funding part of the system of fiscal transfers to regions.  In the interests of having a well-coordinated law, the Ministers of Finance and of Home Affairs should have a united approach towards its revision.  Also the House of Representatives should discuss the bill in a well coordinated way, transcending divisions between its sectoral commissions, particularly Commission XI and Commission II
  2. Formulae used to allocate fiscal transfers to region should be simple, transparent and accountable. All data used in formulae for fiscal transfers to regions should be available to the public, should be able to be modeled and should be easily understood. There should also be a mechanism to accommodate complaints about the level of funds received.
  3. The system of fiscal transfer to regions must be able to promote both efficient and effective allocation of funds in support of delivery the highest possible level of public services to local communities.  A revised bill should be free of any provisions which encourage excessive expenditure on government bureaucracies.  Instead, it should provide for incentives to be given to sub-national governments that succeed in providing “minimum standards of public services” (termed SPM).   The “basic funding allocation” in the current DAU formula should be done away with.  Instead the formula should be based on per unit cost of achievement of SPMs. And the new law should preclude the establishment of fiscal transfer mechanisms other than those which it provides for.
  4. 4.      The aim of the system of fiscal transfers to regions should not only be to reduce the vertical and horizontal disparities among regions but also the inequities in levels of per capita funding transferred to regions.

 

 

Yuna Farhan

Secretary-General

Seknas FITRA

Jakarta

29 November 2011

Tel +62 (0) 8161860874

Tujuan otonomi daerah untuk meningkatkan kesejahteraan rakyat daerah dengan mendekatkan pelayanan publik di daerah, masih jauh dari harapan pasca satu dasawarsa diberlakukan. Paket UU otonomi daerah pun,  sudah mengalami dua kali perubahan, namun kesenjangan fiskal antar daerah masih sangat tinggi. Hasil riset FITRA menemukan, rasio daerah penerima transfer/kapita tertinggi besarnya 127 kali lipat dibandingkan daerah penerima transfer/kapita terendah. Hal ini terjadi, karena prinsip money follow function belum dilaksanakan sungguh-sungguh, yang ditandai dengan tidak sejalannya kebijakan pemerintahan daerah, yang merupakan domain dari Kemendagri dan kebijakan perimbangan keuangan yang merupakan  domain dari Kementerian Keuangan. Terbuki, meskipun 70% urusan telah didesentralisasikan kedaerah, namun dari sisi perimbangan keuangan, transfer daerah jutru berbanding terbalik, tidak beranjak pada kisaran 31-34% belanja Negara.

Jenis dana perimbangan pun semakin banyak berkembang di luar yang diatur dalam UU perimbangan dan berpotensi merusak sistem dana perimbangan. Dari hanya 3 jenis dana perimbangan dalam komponen dana penyesuaian pada tahun 2009, berkembang menjadi 7 jenis pada tahun 2011. Salah satu kasus yang masih hangat adalah dana penyesuaian infrasturktur, yang sarat dengan kepentingan politik dan membuka ruang praktek mafia anggaran. Bahkan terdapat 10 bidang yang sama pada dana penyesuaian juga dialokasikan pada DAK.

Skema dana perimbangan saat ini, justru memberikan insentif terhadap inefisiensi terhadap belanja pegawai dan terjadinya pemekaran daerah. Pada APBD 2011 misalnya, terdapat separuh lebih daerah (297 Kab/Kota) yang memiliki belanja pegawai di atas 50%.DAU yang sejatinya diberikan keluasaan bagi daerah mengalokasikan sesuai kebutuhan daerah, habis terserap untuk pegawai. Hal ini disebabkan  formula DAU  yang  menjadikan belanja pegawai sebagai Alokasi Dana Dasar, termasuk menanggung belanja pegawai daerah hasil pemekaran. Pada sisi lain, besaranalokasi DAU yang seharusnyaditerimadaerah, selalukurangdari yang dimandatkan UU, karena semakin banyaknya factor pengurang dalam menentukan DAU. Tercatat, Rp.52,2 trilyun selisih DAU pada tahun 2011 seharusnya diterima oleh daerah.

Dana AlokasiKhusus (DAK) yang dialokasikan untuk pencapaian prioritas nasional pada daerah tertentu, juga semakin jauh dari tujuannya. Prioritas nasional pada DAK semakin banyak, dari 7 bidang pada tahun 2005, berkembang menjadi 19 bidang pada tahun 2011. Pedoman DAK yang kerap terlambat, kriteria teknis yang kerap berubah, dengan formula yang sulit, menjadikan DAK rawan terhadap bias kepentingan dan tidak efektif penggunaannya.

Sementara Dana Bagi Hasil, tidak bisa diharapkan banyak oleh daerah, kecuali pada daerah-daerah yang bernasib baik karena memiliki Sumber Daya Alam. Sampai saat ini, tidak ada argumentasi yang kuat berkaitan proporsi pembagian DBH antara pusat dan daerah,  dan tidak mengalami perubahan proporsinya sejak pemberlakuan otonomi daerah.

Persoalan-persoalan ini sudah seharusnya menjadi dasar untuk perbaikan UU Perimbangan Keuangan yang berorientasi pada pencapaian tujuan otonomi daerah itu sendiri, kesejahteraan rakyat daerah. Dari hasil riset FITRA, beberapa perbaikan yang perlu dilakukan dalam UU ini, sebagai berikut :

  1. Dana Perimbangan harus sejalan dengan urusan yang didesentralisasikan. Oleh karenanya, belanja transfer daerah harus lebih besar, 50% dari belanja Negara. Selama ini Pemerintah mengklaim, 60% belanja Negara direalisasikan di daerah. Sehingga tidak menjadi persoalan jika dana dini dialihkan menjadi transfer daerah. Agar UU ini sejalan, KemenkeudanKemendagriharusbersatu padu melahirkan produk UU ini yang terintegrasi, termasukpembahasan di DPR, harusbersifatlintaskomisi, antaraKomisi XI danKomisi II.
  2. Formula danaperimbanganharustransparan, akuntabeldansederhana. Seluruh data yang dipergunakandalam formula dana perimbangan harus dapat diakses public, disimulasikan dan mudah dipahami. Harus juga disediakan mekanisme komplain apabila dana perimbangan yang dikucurkan tidak sesuai diterima.
  3. Dana perimbangan harus mendorong terjadinya efisiensi dan efektifitas alokasi anggaran untuk pelayanan public yang optimal.  Oleh karena itu, dana perimbangan harus menghilangkan insentif terhadap pembengkakan belanja pegawai dan memberikan isentif  terhadap daerah yang berhasil mencapai Standar Pelayanan Minimal (SPM). Komponen alokasi dana dasar sebagai dengan perhitungan belanja pegawai pada DAU harus dihapuskan, dan formula harus berdasarkan Unit Cost untuk pencapaian SPM. Dana Perimbangan juga harus bersifat closing list,dengan tidak membolehkan adanya jenis dana perimbangan lain, selain yang diatur dalam UU.
  4. Tujuan dana perimbangan tidakhanya untuk mengurangi ketimpanga nfiskal secara vertical dan horizontal antar daerah, namun juga ketimpangan transfer daerah per kapita antar daerah tersebut

Jakarta, 29 Nov 2011

 

Yuna Farhan

Sekjen FITRA

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