UGM public administration expert, Prof. Dr. Agus Dwiyanto, M.P.A, assesses that bureaucratic reform undertaken by the President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s (SBY) administration has failed before it even begins. The assessment is based on several things, especially by observing the increasingly chronic and complex problems of bureaucracy in Indonesia today. The complexity and the failure of bureaucracy reform caused the level of public trust in government performance continues to decline.
"Figuratively, it can be said that the bureaucratic reform initiated by President Yudhoyono has failed before its birth. The medicine given to treat the chronic diseases in the bureaucracy is only giving temporary benefit, like an analgesic," said Agus in the discussion, Restoring the Public Trust through Bureaucratic Reform, of his book. The event was held in the UGM Master of Public Administration (MAP), Saturday (28/5).
Agus figuratively said that the bureaucracy in Indonesia is currently affected by a chronic disease. Unfortunately, the drugs or the reforms undertaken to address it only give temporary effects. He also questioned the performance of the Ministry of State Apparatus Empowerment as the spearhead of bureaucratic reform. According to Agus, the Ministry of State Apparatus Empowerment should be reformed first prior to the bureaucratic reform. "The Ministry of PAN should be reformed first prior to the bureaucracy reform, in fact it was already given a mandate to conduct the reform before it’s been reformed," he explained.
On that occasion, Agus also mentioned the rotten bureaucracy of Indonesia which applyies the concept of Weberian bureaucracy. The concept application is not being correlated with the structure of the Indonesian bureaucracy. Beside the corruption issue and the recruitment of civil servants which are still vague, the collusion of government’s elements are also revealed in the book discussion.
Agus suggested the concept of joint responsibility of public accountability as one model of bureaucracy by utilizing the local wisdom. With this model, he believes in conducting the bureaucratic reform there will be sense of shared responsibility between the perpetrators in the group. "With such transparency and awareness the models of bureaucracy by optimizing the local wisdom can be developed," said the lecturer MAP.
Meanwhile, practitioners of Public Administration Institute (LAN) of Makasar, Prof. Dr. Amir Imaruddin, M.D.A, as the discussant of the book supported Agus Dwiyanto’s views. To reform the bureaucracy in Indonesia should be comprehensive and radical. By conducting the move, it is believed that the level of public trust in the government will increase again. "But keep in mind that it is not merely about the bureaucracy, but also the environment around the bureaucracy, whether political issues or the economy," said Amir.
On the other hand, Prof. Dr. Kacung Maridjan from Airlangga University also lamented the lack of community’s concern towards this bureaucratic reform. For example, the community often give kickbacks to government officials in order to get the privilege when taking care of the letters. Kacung said that bureaucratic reform in Indonesia will not be successful without political reform. "Both of them cannot be separated. Unfortunately, for example, political promises is given loosely but no bureaucratic ability to continue and make it real for the community," said Kacung.
Kacung also agreed that for the bureaucracy reform to be realized soon, trust has to be established, whether in society or government. But if the trust is established while honesty is not, bureaucratic reform will also be difficult to materialize.