Tue, 29 Jul 2003

12,000 civil servants to lose positions

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Close to 12,000 civil servants across the country will lose their positions due to restructuring by the government early next year, the State Minister for Administrative Reform Feisal Tamin says.

"Civil servants who no longer hold structural, managerial positions will be relegated to skills-based functional positions," Feisal was quoted by Antara as saying on Monday.

The head of public relations and protocol at the Ministry of Home Affairs, I Nyoman Sumaryadi, said positions that would be scrapped included heads of offices and other technical units and their deputies.

The secretary-general of the ministry, Siti Nurbaya, said that large organizational bodies were expensive to maintain and that the money could be better spent on the public's needs.

According to Feisal, the restructuring will create smaller yet more effective organizational bodies.

The restructuring, Feisal said, would include the down-sizing of regental offices and departments from the current 24 to 14. The positions cut will depend on the needs of the regency.

"A regency that has no ocean borders would not need a fisheries office, and a region with no forest should not have a forestry office," said the minister.

He also said that about 53 percent of the country's 3.995 million civil servants were not qualified. He said that they were ineffective and had no expertise or managerial skills.

"They (the civil servants) must be retrained so that they can function in the system," he said.

But, according to Feisal, even the 47 percent considered to be competent lack motivation as they spend their days engaged in routine activities.

This routine work is boring and repetitive and leads to a poor quality output.