Wed, 19 Apr 2000

State Secretariat to reduce its staff

JAKARTA (JP): The State Secretariat will dismiss 25 of its 28 top officials as part of the government's plan to revamp the state agency, acting State Secretary Bondan Gunawan said on Tuesday.

Speaking to journalists at Bina Graha presidential office, Bondan said details of the move would be announced later this month.

"Of the current 28 positions we will only maintain three of them," said Bondan.

Bondan, who is also secretary of development supervision, told State Secretariat employees last month the government would only retain 500 of the some 4,000 civil servants working at the secretariat, which the government has said is overstaffed.

The secretariat also supervises several state agencies, including the National Logistics Agency, the Central Bureau of Statistics and nonportfolio ministries.

As state secretary, Bondan has one secretary and several assistants and expert staffers, including a number of senior military officers. All of these are considered top officials and could be included among the dismissals.

President Abdurrahman Wahid has repeatedly said he wants to reduce the power of the once influential State Secretariat, saying it tended to act as a state within state.

"The plan to revamp (the State Secretariat) is in line with our current needs," Bondan remarked. (prb)