Another year, another poor showing
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The House of Representatives has once again become a target for criticism not only for their poor legislation record but also for its members penchant for traveling abroad, which many have deemed as a waste of taxpayers’ money.
The Indonesian Parliament Watch (Formappi) said that the House of Representatives failed to pass a number of crucial laws it promised to finish by early 2012.
“The House gave priority to deliberating 10 bills this year, but only one bill passed by the end of 2012,” Formappi chairman Sebastian Salang said.
Due to similar criticism in 2011, the House lowered its 2012 legislation target.
The House expected to pass 64 laws in 2011, including 16 from the year before. In reality, it endorsed 30 laws or 47 percent.
This year’s performance, however, is better than last year’s, when it managed to only pass 25 laws of the targeted 91 or 27 percent.
Sebastian said that in spite of this improved performance, the House actually endorsed bills that were deemed “insubstantial” such as laws on ratifications of international conventions and laws on new autonomous regions.
“Of the 30 new laws, 12 are laws on new regions, which are easily made using formats from previously endorsed bills,” he said.
Among the new regions created this year was new province North Kalimantan, which was formerly part of East Kalimantan province.
Other new regions were mostly new regencies in the eastern part of the country.
Some of the new laws are rife with flaws, Sebastian added.
“Four of the newly passed laws have been challenged by groups that filed judicial reviews at the Constitutional Court. That’s an indication of subpar quality laws,” he said.
Among the most anticipated bills that failed to get through the House in 2012 include the amendment to the Criminal Code, the bill to ban illegal logging, the handling of the social conflicts bill and the religious harmony bill.
Formappi also criticized lawmakers’ annual program of traveling abroad, saying that the program did not benefit the public.
It also lambasted the House’s poor budgetary oversight role, which had led to the proliferation of graft ,especially in the House Budgetary Committee.
Separately, House Speaker Marzuki Alie said that the House had tried its best to improve performance in 2012.
“The House could have focused on its budget and oversight roles because those were largely under public’s scrutiny,” he said.