Indonesians Resonance

Let Indonesians talk more about Indonesia development, and let its resonances break the lame development.

The “Pros” & “Cons” of De-bureaucratization

In a simple term, de-bureaucratization is a process of removing the monopoly of a few bureaucrat-politicians in the government, and this is done by making more rooms for the participation of citizen organizations in the country governance (Friedrich Ebert Stiftung website). De-bureaucratization modalities are including cooperatives, service contracts, management contracts, lease contracts, built operate transfer (BOT), joint adventure agreements, concessions and privatization (Benjamin V. Carino, 2007).

Even it sounds a very “holy” objective, but still there are debating in term of focusing it as a governance strategy. The “pros” group of de-bureaucratization argues that the rational behind for encouraging it because, in a new era, obsolete bureaucratic structures can not work effectively (United Nations website). It has showed to the world a poor coordination, functional overlap, lack of transparency, and in many cases, overstaffing of the government, etc (Alex Brillantes, 2001).Furthermore, de-bureaucratization has a number of advantages which may be achieved, some of them as following;

1. Some public functions and responsibilities may be more efficiently and effectively (Alex Brillantes, 2001).

2.  Civil society and the private sector could be the source of additional resources that enable governments to meet increasing demand for services and infrastructure. It would influence to productivities and moreover increase economic growth (Benjamin V. Carino, 2007).It also promotes better coordination of actions and activities between government and non-government organizations. It means the optimizing of scarce resources could greatly improve (Benjamin V. Carino, 2007).

3.   In some countries, this is a part of government strategy to reduce illegal wild collection and any other corruption cases (Suara Merdeka website).

4.   It would attract investors (Catherina Mitzi, 2007), especially for industrial company, which may enlarge job opportunities and business activities for the local people.

5.   In some cases, it would create a better quality services. (Catherina Mitzi, 2007)

6.   It could be linked more explicitly on productivity growth in the public sector, improved transparency in service standards, and better mechanisms for citizen appeals of administrative abuse (United Nations website).

7.   It will create positive externalities such as the increase of skill and technology knowledge of local manpower (Zainal Abidin, 2006) 

On the other side, the “cons” group of de-bureaucratization argues that during this time, ineffectiveness of bureaucratization is because its implementation has gone to wrong direction and was not proper to ideal bureaucratization which introduced by Max Weber (Pertamina website). This has more problems to human’s ethical rather than the concept it self (Ginanjar Kartasasmita, 1996). So then, there is no guarantee that de-bureaucratization will be good for the long term. Furthermore, the government should be aware that they are only as organizer in the country and not as an owner which easily may sell country ‘assets’ to other groups. As well as many sources have also identified some disadvantages of de-bureaucratization which may come in, such as following;

1.   State assets are centralized to individuals or big companies (Kru Hayatul Islam website).

2.   Increased service cost (Catherina Mitzi, 2007)

3.   Increased economic disparities among people, sectors, regions, etc. The country workers tend to become only as coolie or operator staff in their country (especially in term of privatization to the foreign companies) (PEMBEBASAN website)

4.   Increased unemployment due to new role of management or high competition with other countries worker (especially in term of privatization to the foreign companies) (Kru Hayatul Islam website). 5.  State lost some revenues (Zainal Abidin, 2006)

6.  Reducing the transparency which may emerge the corruption (LA’O Hamutuk website).

7.  It may emerge new kind of (economic) colonization (especially in term of privatization to the foreign companies) (Kru Hayatul Islam website). 

In my point of view, I emphasize policy of de-bureaucratization should be encouraged by the government. It is not because of bureaucratization is wrong and de-bureaucratization is right, but because of some main reasons in term of Indonesia condition at the moment. They are;

1.    Indonesia has really embraced the decentralization system where de-bureaucratization is a part of it. By encouraging de-bureaucratization, the bias because of non integrated decentralization system may be reduced and automatically the optimal expected results of decentralization may be achieved.

 2.   As reported by many sources, there is still low quality of public services and ineffectiveness in performing the public services because of lack coordination and low capacity of government officers. By encouraging de-bureaucratization, the improvement of quality of public services may be reached because it has supported by sharing with another group such as professional group (private sector), people group (NGO’s), etc. Furthermore the government officer can get lesson learning from these groups in term of management system, participative approach, etc which automatically may improve their capacity. 

3.   As a developing country and island country which has a lot of population, of course
Indonesia needs more improving its infrastructure facilities and any kind services, which need more expenses. The absence of de-bureaucratization system, may contribute as additional resources that enable governments to meet increasing demand for services and infrastructure.

4.  As reported by Indonesia Statistical Center Bureau, number of unemployment in
Indonesia has reached 11 millions. By encouraging de-bureaucratization, the investment will be attracted to create a kind of business activities (especially industrialization) in
Indonesia and it will deliver multiplier impact to the increasing job opportunities. The number of unemployment may be reduced and economic growth will also increase.

As additional in term of de-bureaucratization performance, Indonesia has to consider or not neglect the disadvantages of de-bureaucratization which scared by the “cons” group. Improvement initiatives and creativities from government actor as a “steer holder” still have to be performed for encountering those disadvantages. Providing effective, complete and strong regulation for de-bureaucratization modalities; providing well control and mechanism; and creating a third hand which always takes care the vulnerable groups (because of de-bureaucratization) are my proposal for achieving the optimal de-bureaucratization. Bang Jenal


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