Vice President Boediono: Measured and World Class Bureaucracy Professionalism is Needed

Indonesian Vice President Prof. Dr. Boediono opened IAPA 2012 congress

Indonesian Vice President Prof. Dr. Boediono convey that bureaucratic reformation is a continuous  effort to perform changes and manage a good bureaucracy on central and regional level to reach the standard needed by a modern democratic country.

“This is a marathon work that will involve 4-5 future cabinet” as said by the expert of economics from Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) opening the Congress of International Association Public Administration (IAPA) 2012 in Faculty of Administrative Sciences Universitas Brawijaya (FIA-UB), on Tuesday (12/6).

Quoting Weberian, he said that bureaucracy is a machine divided into several parts according to its functions and rules, which is implemented perfectly. Inside it, the relation between parts is regulated impersonally, in which staff is chosen based on technical qualification.

He said that this kind of bureaucracy did not go well on the beginning of American Administration, which adopts Ancient Greek Model. On this model, small town elects its official democratically for various positions. Also in America, on 19th century, bureaucracy is needed to implement a far more complex wheel of governance.

With this condition, Woodrow Wilson then pulled an initiative to separate politics and public administrative. “Since then, they make public administration a profession,” he said.

Based on the regulations in USA, government’s duties have to be divided based on merit system. The merit system is based on dedication, competence uniform, and ability. “Public administration is implemented as work management, and not as work machine,” he explained.

Public Administration in Indonesia

He said that Public Administration in Indonesia on 2012 has similarity to the early condition when America was experiencing modernization of public administration. “When we want a fast change of democratization, many Civil Servants (PNS) turn into politicians and many politicians assume that bureaucracy is their domain of influence,” Vice President Said. Currently, Indonesia is experiencing the condition explained by Woodrow 130 years ago.

Boediono added that when decentralization is implemented, many executive officials attend training after the inauguration. He said that the failure of democracy in regional areas is because it becomes victim to political and even personal interest.

On the enthusiasm to implement control of society, they lost their concern to improve productivity. According to him, bureaucracy of central government is getting bigger and fuller, and the function decreases. Boediono said that distribution of funding in regional areas already has one formula that has variative impact. “There are region that budgeted Rp. 400 thousand/capita/year for employee salary, and another region budgeted 7 million/capita/years,” he said.

With such condition, Boediono stresses the importance of management and basic change of bureaucracy. “This might happen if there is a strong political will from all elements of the nation,” he said.

To bachelor of public administration, experts, academician, and practitioners, Boediono calls to build collective awareness and make professionalism of each field to become State Civil Apparatus (ASN) that can ward off political intervention and concerned to productivity improvement.

Professonalism of State Apparatuses

To professionalize a profession, he said that several requirements are needed, covering values of professionalism/ethical codes, competence standard, qualification system, training program and development of profession, and association institution to maintain the competence standard.

From the requirements, it has to be acknowledged that state apparatuses haven’t fulfil it yet. “Building professionalism of a profession needs hard work,” he said. According to Boediono, profesionalisme, is the shell of existence of a profession that put forth professional service.

In modern country, he said that appreciation of state apparatus profession can maintain the integrity, loyality, response, improvement of public service, and members’ accountability.

Measured and World Class Bureaucracy

On a seminar held by Ministry of State Apparatus Empowerment and Bureaucratic Reformation on 2010, the Vice President proposed for a world class management of bureaucracy. He said that this effort is needed so that it can be measured and acknowledged by international world.

He said that State Civil Apparatus Committee (KASN) regulated in the State Civil Apparatus Regulation Design (RUU ASN), which is currently in the drafting process in parliament, is not directing them on specific position, but on professional values and maintaining clear and measured ethical codes.

Boediono illustrates, on countries with advanced level of democracy, there is always a clear and transparent distribution of responsibilities between the officials elected by the people and bureaucrats appointed to implement government’s programs. According to them, they have authority in making the policy, while bureaucrats have administrative authority toward good governance without political intervention.

In the end of his explanation, Boediono said that bureaucratic reformation is aimed to improve the quality of public service, improving the quality of policy-making, preventing mis-use of authority and efficiency of resource.

He said that government and APSN have to continuously innovate to take the best way to achieve their target according to the condition faced by Indonesia. “Uniformity is not needed to reach good performance,” he said. Yet, he said that a continuous effort to look for ways to implement policy and system effectivity is necessary. According to him, these two related things are consistent on the objective and flexible on the approach. [nok/translated by yasmeen]