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(Apr 23, 2013) Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, in his second term, has given priority to reforming the country's administrative bureaucracy, under the broad umbrella of the Grand Design of Bureaucratic Reform 2010-2025. (Presidential Regulation No. 81, 2010, Grand Design Reformasi Birokrasi 2010-2025 [in Indonesian], Ministry of Law and Human Rights website.) Recently the Deputy Administrative Reform Minister, Eko Prasojo, discussed the first few years of the project in a newspaper interview. (Govt Looks to Make Savings in Bureaucratic Change, THE JAKARTA POST (Apr. 22, 2013).)

Prasojo stated that there are short-term and long-term goals associated with the project and that the long-term goals will likely be addressed by the next President. He added, "[g]iven our limited resources, we may be only able to review the organizational structure of existing ministries and government institutions. The changes won't be radical, but limited to internal reform. In the coming 18 months, we will conduct an audit of each of the ministries and government institutions … ." (Id.) Prasojo also said that one step will be to reduce the number of directors general and directors in government agencies. Consultants will be provided to help each ministry or institution to implement efficient organizational structures. (Id.)

Several bills have been proposed to reform administrative regulations, as an aspect of the overall reform. One of these is the bill on civil servants, which Prasojo hopes will be passed this year. The bill would change administrative rules that now make it impossible to fire civil servants unless they commit treason or a serious crime. The proposal would allow the government to dismiss government workers that do not perform their jobs well for three years in sequence. (Id.; Rencana Undung-Undung Tentang Aparatur Sipil Negara [Proposed Law on the Nation's Civilian Personnel] (ast visited Apr. 22, 2013), dismissal of civil servants is discussed in art. 86; this bill is listed on the House of Representatives website as "under discussion," (last visited Apr. 22, 2013).)

Other proposed changes to the civil service involve retention and hiring standards. All government workers would have to reapply for their jobs every five years. (Govt Looks to Make Savings in Bureaucratic Change, supra.) Prasojo acknowledged that there is resistance to change on the part of bureaucrats, but expressed the hope that efficiency and higher standards will result in better, less expensive government. He said:

There should be no more government employees who seek extra income through marking up travel allowances, consignments or stipends. If we can accumulate the various income sources into a transparent, performance-based remuneration system, we may boost the productivity of civil servants. Today, civil servants may stash huge income from certain disguised activities that discourage transparency and are difficult to measure. (Id.)

Prasojo added that regional governments will also have to undergo reform and become more efficient. (Id.)

Author: Constance Johnson More by this author
Topic: Administrative law and regulatory procedures More on this topic
Jurisdiction: Indonesia More about this jurisdiction

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Last updated: 04/23/2013