Thursday, 7 August 2008

Tackling Corruption

extract from the above.

This is about Soon Sri Mulyani - an Indonesian politician who is trying to tackle corruption by paying higher wages and dealing harshly with people found to still be corrupt.

"Last September she launched a campaign to clean up the Supreme Court, the audit office, and her own ministry - including the tax office and the customs service, long seen as havens for officials on the take.

Her tactics were not mere exhortation. At the Customs Office she transferred all 1300 staff, replaced them with 800 new officers, who were paid roughly four times as much as their predecessors - and told them that if they took bribes, they'd be put on trial.

"If people are not receiving salaries of a realistic level, it is impossible to ask them to work properly," Sri Mulyani explains. The new salaries, she says, were still below private sector pay, but "eliminated the most basic distortions". Without that, she says, she could not have begun."

"One of the Government's top priorities, she says, is to stop illegal logging on Sumatra and Kalimantan, and reverse Indonesia's deforestation by planting more forest than is cleared. She likes the Garnaut report's idea of Australia allowing firms to offset carbon emissions by preserving forests in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea."