Indonesia begins restructuring of 430,000 civil servant jobs

  • The government has begun an assessment of middle and lower job positions at state institutions in the first nationwide move to streamline the bureaucracy in the country that may put hundreds of thousands of civil servants at risk of losing some of their income.
  • Administrative and Bureaucratic Reform Minister Tjahjo Kumolo issued an instruction letter on 18 Nov 19 that orders government institutions to assess, map out and suggest ways to simplify roles for civil servants of the levels categorized as echelon III, IV and V.
  • The new bureaucratic redesign involves the elimination of a number of positions at those levels and the redirection of about 430,000 civil servants into functional jobs that are considered more effective and efficient in public service delivery.
  • We have undergone some bureaucratic reform, but it’s only skin deep. What [the President] wants is reform at the heart of the bureaucracy,” Tjahjo said on 19 Nov 19 after meeting Jokowi at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta.
  • He said the five levels in the current echelon structure of the civil service were “too many” and should be cut down to two as some are replaced by functional positions based on skills and competence.
  • Jokowi also emphasized results-oriented policies rather than focusing only on processes.
  • Soon after the instruction, State-owned Enterprises Minister Erick Thohir removed six undersecretaries and one ministerial secretary position from the ministry’s echelon 1 level. Some of them will be transferred to state-owned firms.
  • Their workload will be shifted to the two deputy ministers appointed by the President in Oct 19, namely Bank Mandiri’s former president Kartiko Wirjoatmodjo and the former president director of state-owned mining holding company Mining Industry Indonesia, Budi Gunadi Sadikin.
  • As the instruction has been made public, Tjahjo calls each ministry and institution to complete and submit plans on position transfers by the end of Dec 19.

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