Eddy Abdurrachman, former member of Indonesian Government, was appointed as Independent Commissioner of the Bentoel Group, part of British American Tobacco, in Indonesia in early 2015. Abdurrachman has held several leading government positions in the Republic of Indonesia, including:
- Director General of Customs and Excise of the Department of Finance
- Advisor to the Minister of Finance for International Economic Relations of the Department of Finance
- Secretary of the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs
Links to the Tobacco Industry
Abdurrachman was appointed Chairman of the Audit Committee of Bentoel in 2016, for a term of three years.
Revolving door is a term used to describe instances where politicians or civil servants take up positions as consultants for the private sector (such as tobacco companies) where their area of former public service can conceivably serve the interests of the private company. Similarly, the revolving door term also refers to former private sector employees that accept positions in the Government where they have the power over regulations in the sector that they once worked in. Having worked in numerous Indonesian government positions before joining the British American Tobacco Group, Abdurrachman’s case would be a clear example.
In 2012, Indonesia brought in the ‘General Guidelines to tackle Conflict of Interest’. These forbid ‘’government officials from working with any types of industries/establishments outside the government services’’..
The revolving door cases involving tobacco industry, can be viewed as a violation of Article 5.3 of the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The Framework Convention aims to protect public health policies from commercial and other interests of the tobacco industry. However, in this particular case, Indonesia has not ratified the Treaty and therefore is not legally obligated by it.
- Bentoel Group, Meet the Board, undated, accessed February 2019
- Bentoel Group, About Us Bentoel Group, undated, accessed June 2019
- Bentoel Group, Good Corporate Governance, undated, accessed February 2019
- Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance, Tobacco Industry Interference Index: 2016 ASEAN Report on Implementation of WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Article 5.3, September 2016, accessed February 2019