Tue, 05 Aug 2003

W. Java, Banten respond poorly to reregistration

Yuli Tri Suwarni, The Jakarta Post, Bandung, West Java

The government's nationwide reregistration program for civil servants has apparently received poor response from officials in West Java and Banten provinces.

More than 50 percent of civil servants in the two provinces had yet to return their reregistration forms to authorities by the July 31 deadline.

Dede Djunaedy, who heads the Regional III Office at the State Civil Servants Agency (BKN) overseeing West Java and Banten, said here on Monday that only 213,876, or 47 percent, of around 453,000 civil servants in the two provinces had submitted their forms.

"The geographic factor is the main problem as to why they (civil servants) are reluctant to return the reregistration forms. Many of them, particularly teachers, live in remote areas that lack access to transportation and communications facilities," he told The Jakarta Post.

The absence of sanctions for those failing to return forms has also made the reregistration program less effective, Dede said.

He said that although the deadline had passed, the Lebak regency administration in Banten had not yet submitted data on local officials who had returned the forms to his office.

To address the problem, Dede said his office would take a proactive stance and directly collect the forms from civil servants in the two provinces.

Provincial and central BKN offices had decided to extend the submission deadline for civil servants in West Java and Banten until the end of this month, he said.

The nationwide reregistration program was launched by the Ministry of Home Affairs in cooperation with the State Ministry of Administrative Reforms in a bid to boost bureaucratic efficiency in the country.

Home minister Hari Sabarno said another objective of the program was to screen civil servants in regards their loyalty to the unitary state of Indonesia.

Asked how they would assess whether state officials were loyal to the country, he said their answers on the forms would indicate their loyalty.

The program was initiated days after the central government imposed martial law in troubled Aceh to crush the Free Aceh Movement separatists, who were believed to have the tacit backing of certain officials in the province.

State Minister of Administrative Reforms M. Faisal Tamin said some 12,000 civil servants would be affected by the government's efficiency measures following the reregistration program.