Diana Mariska, Jakarta – Administrative and Bureaucracy Reforms Minister Tjahjo Kumolo said all government institutions will devise new systems to ensure uninterrupted public service during the coronavirus pandemic as Indonesia seeks to reopen its economy under a "new normal."
The government has been drumming up the prospect of a new normal as it seeks to allow people to return to work despite a pandemic curve that has shown no signs of flattening.
"The president has instructed provinces, districts and cities that have ended their large-scale social restriction [PSBB] to gradually start the new systems for civil servants in ministries, state agencies and local government offices," Tjahjo said in a statement on Wednesday.
Tjahjo said the new systems will be closely based on the Covid-19 health protocol without sacrificing efficiency.
"The most important thing is to ensure there's no disruption to the decision-making process," he said.
The minister said civil servants over the age of 50 and those with underlying illnesses might be allowed to continue to work from home.
He has also ordered institution heads to investigate the possibility of civil servants working in shifts to maintain productivity.
He said offices must first limit participants for meetings and ceremonial events to avoid breaking the health protocol set by the National Covid-19 Task Force.
Ironically, the dawn of the new normal might provide momentum for the ministry to accelerate reforms in public service – the raison d'etre for its establishment in 2015.
Diah Natalisa, the ministry's public service deputy, said a simplified bureaucracy will be useful if the pandemic continues for a long time.
"We will be able to cut red tapes in licensing services and get rid of complicated procedures," Diah said on Wednesday.
She also encouraged government institutions to make more use of social media to inform the public about government rules and regulations. Consultation and complaints should also be handled online, she said.
The National Covid-19 Task Force has cleared 102 districts and cities across Indonesia to resume economic activities. Metropolitan centers including Jakarta, Bandung and Surabaya have yet to ease their restrictions.