Creating Good and Clean Government: Performance Audit in Indonesia.

AuthorHarun, Harun
PositionBook review

Creating Good and Clean Government: Performance Audit in Indonesia, by Paul Nicoll. Amazon Australia, 2017. Pp. 402.

This book contributes to the debate surrounding the role of effective audit processes as a means of improving the quality of government transparency and accountability in Indonesia and other developing countries. The role of a performance audit is to independently verify whether the public sector agencies are effective and efficient in achieving their objectives. This book is derived from materials used by the author to assist policymakers at the Indonesian Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) and the Australian National Audit Office in designing effective performance audits. The book is also relevant for external audit institutions in other countries that are reforming their public sector audit institutions and regulations.

The professional experience and academic authority of Paul Nicoll, the author, in public sector audit ultimately strengthens the practical and theoretical insights this book offers. As a former senior auditor at the Australian National Audit Office, he was involved in the initial process of the Indonesian government's efforts to reform institutional, legal and auditing standards in the country.

This book covers the following issues: key concepts surrounding public sector auditing; the type of audit reports and the role of performance audits in the Indonesian public sector; contribution of performance audits to bureaucratic reform in Indonesia; the role of the audit in reducing corruption and fraud; communication of audit findings; legislative reforms for public sector audits in Indonesia; and shared issues between Australia and Indonesia that could also apply to other countries.

The contents of the book can be grouped into three categories. First, the book reminds that one of the main features of political and structural reforms in Indonesia following the collapse of the Soeharto regime is the "success story" surrounding institutional and legal transformation of BPK as one of the most independent auditing bodies in the world. In fact, the agency's audit reports for all agencies are now available to the public. This is in contrast to the situation under the New Order regime, where all audit reports were treated as state secrets and were not publicly accessible. As a product of reform, the institutional arrangement of the roles and independence of BPK has been empowered. In many ways, auditors at BPK are stronger and...

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