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Gov't conducts public hearing on civil servant bill in Semarang

Jakarta Globe - July 26, 2023

Semarang – The government on Wednesday conducted a public hearing on the amendment of the Civil Servant Bill at the Semarang State University (UNNES).

There are seven key points to be discussed in the bill, all are part of the grand concept for the management transformation of civil servants, including the digitalization of civil servant management and addressing issues related to the non-civil servant workforce.

Alex Denni, deputy minister for human resources of the Ministry of Administrative and Bureaucratic Reforms, said this bill was to create a responsive government organization aimed to enhance civil servants' welfare.

"Hopefully, this amendment can result in professional civil servants and a government organization that is responsive to the global dynamics," Alex said.

This amendment was initiated by the House of Representatives and welcomed by the government.

The seven points of discussion include the establishment of the Civil Servant Commission, recruitment needs for civil servants and contractual employees, contractual employees' welfare, reduction in the number of civil servants to streamline organizations, settlement of issues related no non-civil servant workforce, digitalization of civil servant management, and the role of civil servants in executive, legislative, and judicial agencies.

One of the most discussed points is the issue related to the non-civil servant workforce.

The government and the House intensify discussions on the non-civil servant workforce, whose number has reached 2.3 million people across Indonesia, far from the initial projection of 400,000., due to the rapidly growing number of agencies primarily among regional governments that continue to recruit non-civil servant employees.

The Financial and Development Supervisory Agency (BPKP) and the National Civil Service Agency (BKN) will conduct an audit into the current number of non-civil servant workforce.

Alex said that the government and House share key principles in resolving the issue. Firstly, there must be no mass layoff.

"We must save the 2.3 million employees and make sure that they keep working. We encourage them to apply to become civil servants in stages. For example, recruitment for 2023 will be open soon, or they can apply during the recruitments in upcoming years." Alex said.

Secondly, the amendment should not reduce the income of non-civil servant employees from what they receive today, by introducing a fair and transparent work scheme.

"For example, non-civil servant employees with specific skills can negotiate with their employers about the agreed timeframe during which their contribution is needed. This will ensure a fair income for them, no less than what they currently get." Alex said.

Thirdly, any changes must take into account the government's fiscal capacity to ensure "sustainability in government programs", he said.

The bill is being drafted to address lingering problems in civil servant management comprehensively. The ultimate goal is to create professional and highly-dedicated civil servants needed to materialize Indonesia's aspiration of becoming a developed country.

The bill also seeks to remove the notion that a civil servant cannot be fired.

"There is a chapter in the bill emphasizing that work performance is an important component that can be used as the basis for a layoff," Alex said.

Alex said that the amendment aims to answer short-term, mid-term, and long-term challenges.

"Integral parts of the bill include civil servants' capacity building, flexible mobility, and more-digitized management," Alex said.

This public hearing invited various elements from the community, such as UNNES academicians and local government officials in Central Java.

UNNES Chancellor S Martono supports the amendment of the bill, saying the current system fails to optimize public services from the bureaucracy. He proposed three feedbacks for the government.: the certainty of employment status, the assurance of optimized public services, and the enhanced welfare of civil servants.

"It appears that the bill has been prepared thoroughly and we support it. We are certain that the bill will provide the best result, especially for civil servants' welfare. Also, well-performing civil servants will receive a bigger reward," he said.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/special-updates/govt-conducts-public-hearing-on-civil-servant-bill-in-semaran