The Jakarta Post
The quality of the West Sumatra provincial administration's governance has slipped according to the Partnership for Governance Reform (PGR), whose Indonesia Governance Index (IGI) ranked the province 20th out of 33 provinces.
PGR, which conducted the survey of provincial administrations in Indonesia in 2012, gave a score of 5.65 points to West Sumatra, below the national average of 5.67 points.
'The performance of the provincial administration has shown symptoms of deterioration lately, because in 2008, West Sumatra was ranked third nationally with a score of 6.2,' PGR researcher Edi Indrizal said recently in Padang.
Edi, PGR researcher for West Sumatra disclosed the results at the IGI launch in West Sumatra, which was attended by more than 100 academics, NGO activists, business organizations, local legislators and a number of bureaucrats.
West Sumatra Governor Irwan Prayitno and his aides, including the provincial legislative speaker declined to attend the event. 'The score is categorized as adequate, or satisfactory, thus, the province has fallen from the best in Sumatra in 2008 to the third lowest in Sumatra [this year], after Bengkulu and Riau Islands,' said Edi.
In 2008, West Sumatra was led by governor Gamawan Fauzi, who received the Bung Hatta anticorruption award in 2004. Gamawan was then promoted to home minister. Edi said Jambi and Riau provinces, previously regarded as the little brothers of West Sumatra, were now scoring well.
Jambi is ranked fourth nationally with a score of 6.24 and Riau is ranked seventh with a score of 6.27. Yogyakarta is ranked first with a score of 6.90, followed by East Java and Jakarta with 6.42 and 6.33 points respectively.
He said West Sumatra's low index was attributed to relatively low marks in the fields of administration and bureaucracy, especially on the principle indicators of justice, transparency and participation. The lowest score of 2.49 was in transparency in bureaucracy, 2.63 in participation in bureaucracy and 3.16 in justice in the administration. However, the highest score of 7.53 was in justice in bureaucracy.
PGR evaluates four fields. Besides assessments of administration and bureaucracy, PGR also evaluates the fields of civil society and the business community. The components evaluated are participation, justice, accountability, transparency, efficiency and effectiveness.
Andalas University's political and social sciences school dean Asrinaldi said the index issued by PGR gave an accurate depiction of the situation in West Sumatra.
'As an academic, I requested a copy of the provincial budget from the legislature and a copy of the draft budget from the provincial administration but failed to get them. I was questioned like I was going through an interrogation, imagine how it is for ordinary people. Public documents should be made known to the public. This shows a lack of transparency,' he said.