Mon, 17 Apr 2000

More firms offer English version of govt regulations in CDROMs

JAKARTA (JP): Finding references in English on the country's regulations is becoming faster and easier with the services by several local firms which provide official translations on various regulations on CDROMs.

One of the few providers of electronic law references, the Center of Law Research Indonesia (PHI), currently offers a collection of regulations on eight subjects, including taxation, the stock market, insurance, the environment, land use, civil law and banking.

Another firm, PT Ganesha Aggies Jaya, is focusing only on regulations concerning labor issues, including decrees released by the Ministry of Manpower, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Mines and Energy, Ministry of Health and the police.

Managing editor of PHI, Patricia Soetjipto, said the idea of providing collections of translated laws was simply to help companies, particularly multinationals or those that deal mostly with foreign clients, to save time and cut costs while finding the regulations they need.

"Laws and regulations are public domain. But you know very well that it is hard for the public to obtain these legal documents from the related government offices," she told The Jakarta Post over the weekend.

She said PHI, which started business in 1995, had collected copies of legal documents ranging from laws and regulations issued by presidents and ministers since the 1950s.

Ganesha's business development manager, Feri Agustian, said his company had faced difficulties collecting the legal documents for translation purposes.

"My company spent two years collecting all the regulations on labor from related government offices before we could launch the first edition of our product in 1998," he told the Post on Friday.

He said the decision to produce translations of laws in the form of CDROMs instead of books was aimed at helping users to save time while looking for a particular law.

"CDROMs are much better than paper; they can store more data, are easier to use thanks to embedded applications, they need only small storage spaces and can easily be taken with you anywhere," he said.

He added that CDROMs were used in order to meet the demand from big companies for computerized products, which they believed could help them operate their businesses more efficiently.

The use of CDROMs as a medium for data helped protect the copyrights of the companies that produced the products, Patricia said.

She said that unlike books that could be reprinted easily, the CDROMs could not be duplicated because the data contained on them was encrypted.

Both PHI and Ganesha are marketing their products through direct sales to multinational and local companies operating mostly in the public accountancy, law and banking sectors.

The two firms offer their products in U.S. dollars, ranging from US$300 to $5,700 for products issued by PHI and from $195 to $495 for those produced by Ganesha.

PHI's marketing executive Erliza Murni said each of the CDROMs contained a collection of regulations on a particular subject issued by related government offices.

"The most wanted product is the collection of regulations on taxation," she said, adding that they cost about $1,300 each.

Patricia said her company's CDROM products contained only official translations which were worked on by a team of sworn translators and lawyers.

Ganesha also used sworn translators, Feri said. However, the translated regulations could not be used as a legal reference in court sessions, he said.

"Translated regulations produced by private firms cannot be used as a reference in court cases. For courtroom use, people must refer to the original regulations issued by the concerned government offices," he said. (cst)