President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo remarked that the speed of service is the key to bureaucratic reform as one of the national priorities agenda for his next term during his speech in the Indonesia Vision event last July in Bogor, West Java.
He strongly emphasized that institutions without a reforming action would be eliminated and he himself would monitor the efficiency and effectiveness of institutions to improve the current public service speed.
One of the solutions to improve the speed of service is to adopt information and communication technologies (ICTs) for government work. By applying ICTs to deliver government function and procedure, the traditional government can be transformed into e-government, and it will enable citizens to be served by speedy public service.
According to the result of the 2018 e-government evaluations of 616 government institutions by the Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Ministry, 74 percent of central government among 34 ministries is categorized as good, very good and satisfying regarding e-government policy, management and service. The majority of central government appears to be ready to provide speedy public service by using ICTs.
In reality, bureaucratic reform to improve public service speed still faces many challenges and problems.
For example, house certificate application is requiring citizens to go to the designated office based on their home address because institutions’ service is not fully connected online among related service institutions. Each service from individual institutions can be good, but unconnected public service often leads to being inconvenient and slow, and citizens have to go here and there for its public service.
As a part of the solutions to provide connected pubic service, the Indonesian government introduced Public Service Mall in 2017 located in Surabaya, Jakarta, and Banyuwangi.
This public service mall is continuously being built across the country to provide speedy and easy public service in one physical building.
In fact, according to the Jakarta Public Service Mall documents, it accommodates 328 types of licensing and non-licensing offline services and 31 types of licensing and non-licensing online services from central and local government and state enterprises such as issuing tax registration number, passport, residence permit application, investment licensing consultancy, etc.
However, they still have limitations because most of its service is located at the same building but not connected online. As a consequence, citizens can only receive its service by visiting the public service mall building during its operating hours with required paper documents.
How are the e-government advanced countries handling this matter?
The Korean government, one of the e-government advanced countries, started to facilitate online public service in 2002 under the name of Minwon24 service to provide a better, speedy online service.
Since 2017, its function has been extended to share public information tailored to each citizen as Gov24 service.
This implies the South Korean citizens are enjoying various public services and information for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year through an online website.
Moreover, according to the Gov24 website, 300 types of public services even accept applications through mobile platforms anytime anywhere without physically visiting government institution. This expects public service delivery time to be cut down approximately from 30 to 60 minutes per visit into 3 to 5 minutes with no visit to government institutions office.
As mentioned earlier, institutions level of the Indonesian government is pretty much mature enough, but when it comes to speedy public service for citizens, these following things should be done to improve the current situation:
First, the government needs to conduct self-assessment of major online and offline public services to improve themselves. With a comprehensive review of its own work processes and results, the government will know its weak area to upgrade its service performance through a streamlined process. By figuring this out, the government can also find out what kind of service can be connected by sharing information or system integration.
Second, the e-government national coordinating team, which is organized by E-Government Presidential Regulation No. 95/2018, should extend its responsibilities to prioritize the public service lists to be reformed, improve a current process and develop information sharing platform.
This will enable government stakeholders to discuss how those services can be connected and overcome any difficulties to provide a better service to citizens.
Third, the culture and mindset change to be “citizen-first” is very important. Public servants should not forget its service is not for institutions but for citizens. From this perspective, they can find how they can optimize ICTs benefits to meet its citizen’s convenience by reducing a sectoral ego for its own service.
Otherwise, speedy public service will be difficult.
Fourth, its citizen’s feedback is the key to improve national public service. A satisfaction survey should be done regularly to listen to citizens’ opinion about public service. Citizens’ engagement in service improvement will be very helpful to know service awareness, quality, speed, etc. The government should welcome constructive criticism as well as new ideas for its service.
Fifth, the current legal framework to support connected service for citizens should be revised or made newly. The current legal basis for public service only supports institution’s own service not enforcing connected service for citizens.
To solve this, current laws related to public service, electronic information and transaction, local government, etc. should be complemented each other and created as a ministerial regulation with a joint decree.
As a long term solution, the E-Government Act aligned with the 2018 E-Government Presidential Regulation should be enacted to accelerate agreement and collaboration between government institutions to fix the silo situation and provide a speedy service.
Now, the world trend is heading into the digital government. The e-government advanced countries are moving to the digital government to respond to the demand of citizens and businesses more quickly by using artificial intelligence and big data. It directs governments to understand its citizens better to provide more effective and efficient public service.
Regardless of e- or digital government, to catch up to the speed of advanced countries’ public service, the Indonesian government must find a way to improve its work to provide a better, faster service to its citizens.
When these improvements have been accomplished, the speed of public service delivery will follow to support bureaucratic reform for President Jokowi’s next term.
Indonesian citizens will benefit the most by enjoying more responsive, faster government public service. They eventually will enable citizens not to have to go here and there for its public service.
Lee Ki-young is an acting codirector at the Indonesia-Korea E-Government Cooperation Center (eGCC) at the Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Ministry. Gretha Natasha is a researcher at the eGCC.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.