Sat, 29 Oct 1994

A matter of intent

The statement given by the chairman of the Jakarta State Administrative Court, HB Mangkudilaga, to the effect that many government officials are still reluctant to obey the Court's decisions seems disturbing enough to warrant discussion. As was reported, according to the chairman not less than 30 to 40 percent of officials fail to abide by the Court's decisions.

The reasons given are, first, the complexity of the bureaucracy, which prevents those decisions from reaching the lower echelons of the bureaucracy in time; second, the fact that the State Administrative Court itself is a new institution and therefore not very much known.

We can understand that the Court's decisions tend to reach the lower echelons slowly because of the bureaucratic hurdles they must pass. However, assuming that there is a strong enough intention on the part of superiors to respect the law, surely there would be no need for the bureaucracy to become an obstacle. Rather, it could facilitate procedures.

If the problem is that the State Administrative Court is not familiar among officialdom, then the time has come that the authorities concerned take the proper steps to make it better known.

-- Suara Karya, Jakarta