Sun, 23 Apr 2000

Regulations on CD ROM

In reference to your article on April 17, 2000, on English versions of government regulations on CD-ROMs, I am glad to see more companies providing this valuable service. Our firm, PT ERM Indonesia (Environmental Resources Management), an environmental, health and safety (EH&S) consulting firm, provide extensive services that require a thorough knowledge of Indonesian regulations.

We found the availability of many regulations, in any language, to be extremely limited. Further, with the Indonesian legal system, environmental laws passed at the national level can be overruled by the provinces or even at the regency level. Thus, even if one can find all relevant national laws, this does not give the full picture when the issue of "are we compliant with relevant laws" is discussed with our clients.

ERM Indonesia then embarked on a program to identify and collect all EH&S laws and then translate all of them into English. It is a difficult task and we have already invested more than US$150,000 in this undertaking. We recently started to sell the regulations in a customized CD-ROM format in order to help offset some of our costs.

I am glad to see that the Center of Law Research Indonesia (PHI) and PT Ganesha Aggies Jaya are also working on translating Indonesian laws, as without these efforts many multinational companies simply cannot determine what the laws of the country are.

Hopefully, as Indonesia emerges from the "monetary crisis" the government will be able to set up web sites where companies can download regulations in a number of languages. In the meantime, we just ask that the government agencies help improve access and availability to the regulations to create a win-win situation -- for if the private sector cannot access the regulations, what is the use of generating them?


PT ERM Indonesia

Bogor, West Java