Information Commission continue to be encouraged to become independent institution to perform its functions maximally. During this time, this institution especially in the budget, still a part of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (Kemenkominfo). As a result, the institution gets a lot of obstacles.
To find out how the obstacles of Information Commission which not independent in terms of budget, kebebasaninformasi.org have had interview with the Head of State Administration Studies Program of Law Faculty, University of Indonesia, Dr. Dian Puji N. Simatupang at the Harris Hotel, Jakarta, Friday (August 29th, 2014) after the experts discussion on the State Budget Planning that held by Indonesian Parliamentary Center.
It is the following interviewed:
In terms of financial experts, what is your propose for the independence of Information Commission?
Information Commission should have its own budget in the state budget because they had consequences as institutions that implement most of government affairs functions. They had own nomenclature. So they did not have its main office in the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology.
Is the budget shows the independence of an institution?
Sure, independency shown by the budget. If the main tasks and functions independently, but the budget is not, it means they are not an independent institution. It means the consequences on the budget should be independent as well so they have the availability of the budget that is not bound by other institutions.
Why did the government assign Information Commission in this kind of position?
Well, it should be questioned before, why it is happened? So paradoxically, on the one hand in chapter 29 information commission was declared as an independent agency or institution, but on the other hand, the budget is issued by the Ministry of Communications. Where is the Independence then? So it was very paradox as an independent institution.
From the perspective of finance expert, is that wrong?
Oh yes, it’s definitely not consistent. So if there is an institution declared as an independent, it means they had nomenclature and own base budget alone because they main tasks and functions is no other supplies to implement. Financially, it is very dependent on its laws. The Ministry of Finance will give the budget based on its laws.
With the dependent status, how the impact to the performance of the Information Commission?
It definitely a big influence because somehow, optimizing the purpose of the institution is very dependent on the amount of the flexibility budget from the budget use. If such restrictions were limited by agency, the optimization of tasks and functions definitely limited.
So, what should be done?
The first suggestion, they should propose to the Ministry of Communications to issue a letter to the Ministry of Finance to propose that the Information Commission has operational funds in order to resolve the dispute. Then the Minister of Finance will submit to the President for Presidential Decree issued on operational funds of the dispute in the Information Commission. Well, it would further offset the Information Commission in resolving the dispute information because the funds are available. So it doesn’t depend on others.
The second is the changes of freedom of information law by stating that the budget of Information Commission is no longer in the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, but it has own budget in the state budget. Presidential Decree of funds operational and changes in Freedom of Information Law, Both of them is possible and effective. Making of the draft law is far and take a long time, but Presidential Decree could made by administration. Presidential Decree could directly establish without law because it was the authority of government. Later, if the Presidential Decree establish under the Jokowi government, the budget will issue during the next period.
With the new government, how the possibilities to get it?
Yes, we hope there is change of new political paradigm that understood the openness can be faster and better. Jokowi stressed the e-budget all sorts of e, e, so, it means easy access. One of them is the reinforcement of Information Commission.
Ideally, how much budget in a year for institution such as Information Commission?
It depends on the portion and scope of ideal and non-ideal authority from Information Commission. But the point is dependent on professional performance. Look, as long as he could implement its duties and functions with the law provisions, so that must be fulfilled. All this time, it has not fulfilled, there is also a limitation due to limited from main ministry.
In terms of financial experts what the importance of Law No. 14 of 2008 in the Indonesian context?
It is very important, in order, that accountability and transparency with this law then the public access to the budget accountability will increase so the state budget to achieve the purpose of the state is also getting bigger.