- Buying an Income: The Market for Civil Service Positions in Indonesia
- Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International and Strategic Affairs
- ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute
- Volume 28, Number 2, August 2006
- pp. 207-233
- View Citation
In Indonesia, positions in the Civil Service are subject to hidden market transactions. The demand for stable sources of income is high, and lack of transparency makes sales possible by government officers in core positions. The recent decentralization reforms have blurred borders of responsibility and lines of reporting in the bureaucracy and facilitated increasing rent-seeking at local levels. The article reports from a study of payment for government positions in an urban and a rural district in a province in Indonesia, Nusa Tenggara Barat. The survey reveals that prices for positions are rising and vary among departments in accordance with available opportunities to boost their income. Prices are higher where many projects are available and the compensation is good. The article concludes that current practices are unethical and hurt the society and that increased transparency in employment procedures must be in place before things can get any better.