This paper describes bureaucratic reform implementation in Indonesia. Global challenges have triggered governments in many countries to initiate fundamental change since three decades ago include Indonesia. Denhardt and Denhardt (2000) explained the dynamics of perspectives in governance based on relevant trends of global challenge: from Old Public Administration (OPA) to New Public Service (NPS). In the 1990’s, OPA perspective was criticized for its inefficiency of top-down authority and hierarchical administration. New Public Management (NPM) offered a new perspective for government to be more market-oriented and decentralized among government institutions. As the distribution of information has been growing, citizens have been also demanding more accelerate public service, and participatory approach in policymaking. Therefore, in 2000’s, NPS perspective described the phenomenon of countries that used shared values and collaboration with citizens in policymaking (Denhardt and Denhardt, 2000).
Following the changing paradigm of public administration, Indonesia has been implementing bureaucratic reform mainly to enhance public trust, increase development achievement and stimulating economic development (Presidential Decree No. 81/ 2010 about Bureaucratic Reform Grand Design of 2010-2025, page 3 and 28). Can bureaucratic reform achieve those three goals? Globally, studies suggested that bureaucratic efficiency is associated with economic growth and social development (Bjørnskov, C, 2012; Freckleton, & Craigwell, 2012; Libman, 2012; Perera and Lee, 2013). Primarily, the target of bureaucratic reform is to enhance economic growth, solving social problems, facing government development challenge, and improving public trust. Bureaucracy is a tool of policy making to implement public policy and serve the citizens (Supriyatno, 2014).
As adapted from Supriyatno (2014) concept of bureaucratic reform, this paper defines bureaucratic reform as a systematic governmental change to materialize the impact of policy implementation and serve citizens better. This paper first explains about government challenges in Indonesia and the urgency of the bureaucratic reform. Secondly, this paper describes bureaucratic reform policies, implementation, achievements and case studies. Finally, this paper analyses the implementation then draws recommendation for better bureaucratic reform implementation in Indonesia.
II. Statement of Problem
Indonesia faces challenges in governance and economic growth since 2010. Even though the percentile rank of government effectiveness in Indonesia increased from 46, 89 in 2010 to 53, 37 in 2016 (World Bank World Governance Index, 2016) the result indicates that Indonesia is still below average in quality of civil services and policymaking in general.
Another measurement of bureaucratic performance was published in Doing Business Report. In 2010, Indonesia was ranked in 122 for doing business index, but, in 2017, Indonesia performed better in reforming policies in doing business. The report ranked Indonesia in the position of 72nd in 2017. The report assesses the quality of the government and public service to serve the international and domestic market and investment based on 11 indicators of doing business (World Bank, 2018). However, compared to Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam, the overall procedures and time length for doing business in Indonesia are still longer and less effective.
Indonesia still needs a lot of hard work in improving its bureaucracy particularly in employing information and communications technology (ICT) for better governmental performance and economic growth (World Economic Forum, 2017). The technological and innovation readiness in Indonesia remains the biggest challenge since 2010.
From those global challenges, it can be described that Indonesia generally faces challenges public service quality and policymaking. Old bureaucracy approach is no longer relevant in facing the challenges. Therefore, the bureaucracy needs to be reformed to accelerate its economic development and enhance public trust.
III. Bureaucratic Reform Policies
Since 2010, Indonesia has been legally implementing bureaucratic reform. The government mandated policies related to bureaucratic reform implementations such as:
a. Presidential Decree No. 81/ 2010 about Bureaucratic Reform Grand Design of 2010-2025.
b. Ministerial Decree of Bureaucratic Reform No. 20/ 2011 about 2010-2014 Bureaucratic Reform Road Map for the implementation of change management programs.
c. Ministerial Decree of Bureaucratic Reform No. 11/ 2015 about 2015-2019 bureaucratic reform roadmap.
Those different policies are expected as basics for program development of bureaucratic reform in both the national and regional levels. Based on these regulations, there are three objectives of bureaucratic reform, namely; 1. Clean and accountable bureaucracy; 2. Effective and efficient bureaucracy; and 3. The high quality of public services. To achieve these three targets, the program will be implemented in eight areas:
a. Effective change management. This area describes how strategic the bureaucratic reform roadmaps in each local government and central government institutions are. Some things that indicate effective change management are; verified empirical evidence of the problem statement in the roadmap, participative and representative task force team for bureaucratic reform, and clear timeline output targets.
b. Effective legislation regulation. This area describes zero overlapping regulation from the top of legislation structure to the bottom of the structure. It also could be zero overlapping regulations among sectors.
c. Cleared, effective and efficient procedure of governance. This area defines the clear and transparent government procedures particularly in delivering public service. Therefore, if citizens are unsatisfied, they have the legal standard to sue public service providers.
d. Efficient organizational structure. This area describes right-sized organizational structure based on each organization’s function, and workloads.
e. Competent and efficient human resources apparatus. This area describes the competency and the efficient quantity of human resource based on analysis about organization functions and workloads. The analysis is drawn from organization vision, mission and goals.
f. Accountable government. This area compares the government performance achievement, and the government goals and target planned. They should be matched.
g. Effective surveillance. This area means that the government applies whistleblowing system, and complaint management system. Those systems must be easily accessed by everyone when there are misappropriation and abuse of civil service, and authority.
h. Enhanced quality of public service. This area is mostly evaluated by the Ombudsman review and also citizen’s satisfactory.
Those areas are drawn the bureaucratic reform roadmap. Initially, each organization assesses their present situation, problem, and achievements related to those areas. Based on the assessment, goals, and goals successful indicators are set to improve the performance of those eight areas. Finally, programs and timeline of bureaucratic reform are planned based on the goals for the next five years.
The leading sector of bureaucratic reform implementation in Indonesia are Ministry of Bureaucratic Reform (MBR) as the regulator and evaluator, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Bureau of Planning and Development, Bureau of State Civil Servant, Ministry of Information and Communication, Ministry of Finance (MF) and National Institute of Public Administration (NIPA) as training institute to strengthen the capacity of the reformers. Each organization in central government, and local government are mandated to establish bureaucratic reform roadmap based on the target and those eight areas then implement it through strategical issues and priorities.
Strategical Issues and Program Priorities of Bureaucratic Reform in Indonesia
Strategical Issue/ Area
National bureaucratic reform change management
a) Strengthening the bureaucratic reform rule of law.
b) Capacity building for bureaucratic reform implementation.
c) Accelerating bureaucratic reform in local governments.
d) Creating bureaucratic reform quick wins. Quick wins is one simple innovation program that contributes in accelerating bureaucratic reform achievements. The program achievement should can be seen in one year implementation.
a) Evaluating and redesigning government achievements.
b) Reporting government performance openly and transparently.
a) Finishing the draft of law about internal government surveillance.
b) Synchronizing internal and external government surveillance.
c) Developing integrated national complaint system.
d) Enhancing organizational and human resource capacity.
a) Auditing and evaluating central government and local government agencies.
b) Redeveloping organization based on the current president’s priorities.
Procedure of governance
a) Implementing government administration law.
b) Developing integrated e-government.
c) Enhancing e-procurement quality.
d) Enhancing the archive management based on ICT.
Human resource apparatus management.
a) Accelerating the implementation of new law of State Civil Apparatus No. 5/ 2014. The law manages stronger meritocracy in civil apparatus reform.
b) Establishing a strict civil apparatus formation.
c) Implementing competency-based recruitment system.
d) Improving of the training system to support performance.
e) Implementing open promotional and placement systems in a competency-based position.
f) Implementing performance-based remuneration system.
g) Strengthening fair reward and punishment on a regular basis.
h) Strengthening the culture of integrity in the performance culture, and serving culture.
i) Evaluating of the social security system.
j) Strengthening the institutional capacity of the Commission of State Civil Apparatus (KASN).
k) Strengthening the national civil servants information system.
Public service reform
a) Improving the quality of the implementation of the Act 25/2009 on Public Services
b) Upgrading the system and management of public service include human resource evaluation, ICT infrastructure provision, and transparent service.
c) Building the channel for surveillance of public service provision.
d) Opening the public sphere through Citizen Charter.
e) Strengthening integrity in public services
Source: Ministerial Decree of Bureaucratic Reform No. 11/ 2015 about 2015-2019 bureaucratic reform roadmap.
IV. Bureaucratic Reform Implementation and Achievements
After seven years of bureaucratic reform implementation, some achievement targets are unfulfilled. Based on 2014 bureaucratic reform target achievement in table 1, further bureaucratic reform roadmaps need to be focused on corruption eradication and accelerating public service quality. Generally, the first wave of bureaucratic reform achievements can be seen from the table below:
The First Wave Bureaucratic Reform National Achievements (2010-2014)
Target of 2014
Corruption Perception Index
Percentage of institution with clean audit opinion
Improvement of public service quality
Public Service Integrity Index
Ease of doing business rank improvement
Improvement of bureaucratic accountability and capacity performance
Government effectiveness index
Percentage of accountable government institutions
Cities and Regencies
Source: Ministerial Decree of Bureaucratic Reform No. 11/ 2015 about 2015-2019 bureaucratic reform roadmap.
From the bureaucratic reform policies explanation and achievement above, it can be seen that the achievements are increasing each year. However, there was one problem, indicators in the achievements and eight areas of bureaucratic reform are not closely related to each other. Further, MBR needs to synchronize the implementation of bureaucratic reform. The second wave of bureaucratic reform is still ongoing now. Due to resource and time limitation, the progress cannot be traced.
Each organization in central government and local government applies different bureaucratic reform roadmap. Therefore, capturing bureaucratic reform performance only based on general national achievements is not enough. This paper further explains two cases studies in two local governments to get a brief description about the implementation in micro level. Surabaya City and West Java Province are selected as case study locus in this paper because, in 2016, Surabaya City was ranked in the first position for highest score in local government performance evaluation conducted by MBR, MHA, MF, Ministry of Law and Human Rights, National Bureau of Planning and Development, and NIPA. West Java Province also was ranked in the first place for government performance in 2017 by MHA. West Java Province and Surabaya City were claimed as the most progressive in their government performance because of their reform and various fundamental innovations of public service.
Bureaucratic Reform Implementation in Surabaya City
Surabaya City is the capital of East Java Province. The greatest developmental challenge faced by this second most populous city in Indonesia is in improving human development index. By applying many innovations in facing the challenge, Surabaya City was awarded among ‘The Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements (SCAHSA)” by Global Green City and United Nations. Surabaya also became the only city in Indonesia that received the UNESCO Learning City Award. Surabaya had the honor along with 15 other world cities capable of experiencing the tremendous progress achieved in promoting education and life learning. The mayor of the city also received the 2017 GovInsider Innovation Awards category “Inspirational Leader” award. Those three recognitions were awarded in 2017.
Most of the public service innovations that initiated by this city are mostly related to health, education and citizenship administration service. Those innovations are mostly based on electronic services and employ local language. The most prevalent result of fundamental bureaucratic change in Surabaya City is the increasing of public trust in health service and also civil service (Perdana, 2016)
However, it can be seen that public service innovations are designed separately from Surabaya City bureaucratic reform roadmap because the bureaucratic reform roadmap has to be developed based on the format from MBR. Those innovations are only drawn in their development planning. One study indicated that many innovations and fundamental changes in public service and civil servant management in Surabaya City are executed without bureaucratic reform roadmap as formalized by MBR (Riyadi, 2013). Why did that happen? Based on interview result in Riyadi (2013), public officers in Surabaya City thought that change and innovation in bureaucracy should not be design based on homogeneity and centralized planning. Some of the centralized reform design might not be contextual to local government needs for reform. Change and innovation should be triggered by contextual problem in local government then fundamental change can be designed by themselves.
Bureaucratic Reform in West Java Province
West Java has received many recognitions nationally for its bureaucracy performance (“Aher : Jabar Raih Ratusan Penghargaan”, translations: “Aher: Jabar Achieved Hundreds of Awards”, 2017). However, based on the Bureau of State Statistic in 2016, the rate of poverty in this province is also the highest among all provinces in Indonesia. Therefore, most of the policy direction in the 2013-2018 medium-term development planning in West Java are prioritized in poverty alleviation, education policy, health policy and also enhancing the economic-agriculture policy.
Even though more than 600 institutions in central government and local governments have been implemented and initiated bureaucratic reform roadmap, until now, bureaucratic reform roadmap in West Java Province has not been established. This due to the lack of understanding and willingness of the apparatus about the urgency of bureaucratic reform roadmap or another form of synergized action plan. Some fundamental changes in West Java Province related to human resource management remuneration system and also organizational reform are executed without bureaucratic reform roadmap. Those fundamental changes are executed by related institutions without being coordinated strategically by provincial secretary.
A study conducted by NIPA about apparatus perceptions on bureaucratic reform indicated that most of them did not know the substantial change in bureaucratic reform (Pratiwi and Wahyuadianto, 2017). In this study, 565 samples were collected with 102 invalid samples and 463 valid samples. There is a dimension that is still poorly understood by the respondents substantially the area of bureaucratic reform change management. Further, the study suggested the dimensions of change management, legislation, public service, supervision and especially the HR dimension of Apparatus are important dimensions need to be strengthened in supporting the implementation of bureaucratic reform in West Java Provincial Government.
V. Conclusion and Recommendations
From the implementation of bureaucratic reform above, it can be concluded that public service innovations and other local government contextual changes were not interlinked into the eight areas of reform itself. The progress of innovative government in Surabaya City is the result of the local initiatives and has nothing to do with centralized bureaucratic reform roadmap. Currently, in West Java, the preparation of the bureaucratic reform roadmap and its implementation is only prepared by the consultants so that the substance of change is not understood by the regional apparatus. Bureaucracy reform roadmap becomes not a living document and its meaning is changed.
The practice of bureaucratic reform in Indonesia ideally comprises four successful factors; decentralized, clearness of the change substantive, less formalism and employ participatory contract with citizens (Dwiyanto, 2015). Decentralized bureaucratic reform means one-fits-all bureaucratic reform roadmap and eight change areas should not be mandatory in designing bureaucratic reform, particularly among local government. Each of them has different priority and challenges. In the current bureaucratic reform policy, the needs and problems of each region and agencies are assumed to be equal to the eight defined change areas. Therefore, some of fundamental changes in the local government are not included in the roadmap or even worse, they are careless about the bureaucratic reform implementation because they know their different plan will not be measured as good design by MBR.
Clearness of the change substantive means there should be a relationship between bureaucratic reform targets and indicators with 8 areas of change. The substantial change should be created by employing another successful factor: citizen contract through participatory mechanism. Bureaucratic reform results should also be seen by citizens. Therefore, bureaucratic reform should ensure the citizen expectation so the citizens can also participate in the planning and evaluation.
Less formalism means Ministry of Bureaucratic Reform should change the way they evaluate bureaucratic reform in the local government. From the planning process to the evaluation of bureaucratic reform are document based without any substance of perceived change and involving bureaucratic reform stakeholders. For example, governance procedures are just measured by the existence of standard operating procedures, not into broader context such as the fundamental change result and citizen satisfactory. This practice of bureaucratic reform in Indonesia taught that Weberian bureaucracy characteristics in Old Public Administration approach such as formalism, hierarchy and centralization do not always form effective government in particular level.