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The Jakarta Post
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Draft bill aims to improve regional administrations

  • Margareth S. Aritonang

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta | Mon, November 19 2012 | 08:07 am

The House of Representatives (DPR) is completing a bill that will establish clear job descriptions to prevent misunderstandings and conflicts between the heads of regional administrations and their deputies.

National Mandate Party (PAN) lawmaker Totok Daryanto, who chairs a special committee on the bill’s deliberation, said that the lack of regulations on the separation of duties and responsibilities between regional heads and their deputies had often led to conflicts.

“Deputies often complain that they are not given proper authority to run the regions. Such objections can sometimes lead them to quit their posts before their terms end,” Totok told The Jakarta Post on Friday.

“Elected regional heads and their deputies will usually team up well during the early part of their term, but later complain about each other’s role. A clear stipulation on job descriptions will hopefully maintain harmonious collaboration until the end of their terms,” Totok said.

He added that the bill on regional administration also aimed to set requirements for regional heads, for example, on whether or not they must be civil servants. Once approved, the bill is expected to prevent rifts between the regional heads and their deputies such as those that have occurred in Jakarta and Garut, West Java.

Former Jakarta deputy governor Prijanto resigned late last year, almost a year before the end of his term, citing irreconcilable differences between him and then governor Fauzi Bowo on how to run the city.

Former Garut deputy regent Dicky Chandra also resigned last year, citing differences with Garut Regent Aceng HM Fikr.

Separately, Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) legislator Budiman Sudjatmiko, a special committee member, said that the bill would thus affect regional elections and the management of regional autonomy.

“Thus, we are also deliberating bills on regional elections and on villages simultaneously as the three bills are related to each other,” he said.

“The bill on regional elections, for example, will maintain direct elections in the regions because voters deserve to directly vote their leaders, while a bill on villages will focus on efforts to develop villages nationwide through bigger allocations of state funds, for instance,” he added.

Aiming to gather input on regional management, members of the special committees created to deliberate the regional and village bills traveled to Germany and Brazil last September. Totok told the Post that lawmakers learned a lot from both trips on how to better strengthen regions’s capacity to manage themselves.

Another group of lawmakers from the House’s legislative body (Baleg) are scheduled to visit Germany next week to assess efforts there to advance the country’s engineering education programs.

The planned visit, like similar previous trips, has been met with disdain by Indonesian students in Germany, who have condemned lawmakers for wasting the state budget.

“We demand lawmakers publish assessment results from previous visits before conducting more trips. Every detail of each trip must be accountable,” Syafiq Hasyim, with the German branch of Nahdlatul Ulama, said in a statement.

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