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Jakarta Post

Same difference: Businesses say OSS has yet to end to complex licensing

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, September 27, 2019   /   10:29 am
Same difference: Businesses say OSS has yet to end to complex licensing President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo (sitting, center), accompanied by Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution (right) and Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) head Thomas Lembong (second right) visit the Online Single Submission (OSS) consultation center at the BKPM office in Jakarta. The office for the OSS, an integrated government licensing service, was moved to the BKPM recently from the Office of the Coordinating Economic Minister. (Antara/Wahyu Putro A.)

A year after the implementation of an integrated online single submission (OSS) system for business licensing, businesspeople claim they have yet to benefit from the system as it is just as or even more complicated than the old one and costs more.

Indonesian Employers Association (Apindo) public policy chairman Sutrisno Iwantono said on Thursday that many business owners were still facing layered and complex procedures despite the existence of the online single submission OSS system, which was supposed to integrate more licenses to upgrade the older one stop service.

“MSMEs [micros, small and medium enterprises], for instance, must spend [extra] to follow the procedures,” he said at a seminar held by the Regional Autonomy Watch (KPPOD) in Jakarta.

Iwantono said the government should ease the way for businesses to get permits so as to boost investment to support the domestic economy. Simplifying the procedures could also address the corruption that often stemmed from the complex bureaucracy faced by investors.

“The OSS is just a beginning, more than that is 'a wilderness of a jungle',” Iwantono said, using a metaphor to describe the business licensing process in Indonesia.

Speaking at the same event, Indonesian tycoon Sofjan Wanandi raised concerns about the unsatisfying results of the OSS implementation, which could potentially hinder Indonesia’s competitiveness in the global economy.

“We have to be prepared to face global competition. Meanwhile, the local administrations are still doing ‘business-as-usual’ with low awareness of how important investments are,” said Sofjan, who also leads the advisory board at the KPPOD.

He said that Indonesia needed to reform its regulations to attract investors, adding that it was the responsibility of multiple stakeholders, central and regional governments, to improve their coordination in implementing business-related policies.

“If no one wants to invest [in Indonesia], there will be a lot of unemployment,” Sofjan added.

Sofjan called on the central government to be more assertive so that local administrations would comply with policies and not duplicate requirements. He argued that it would be difficult to achieve good results if “everyone” acts on their own.

“Our competitors come from abroad, not from our country. We have to prepare our own [resources],” he added.

Despite the unsatisfying outcome, the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) is still optimistic about the system. Hence, it is planning to launch the newest version, OSS 1.1, which is considered an upgrade of the current system. It is to encompass some upgrades of data elements, databases and user acceptance tests.

In addition to that, the BKPM has launched its newest business intelligence service to provide data needed to monitor trends in investment. It aims to help policymakers in analyzing decisions to be issued and the public in general to get insights related to investment activities. (asp)