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Insensible Redtape In Indonesia

Power Pathology
It has been so much common to stigmatize that several departments in Indonesia is
labeled as the ‘wet’ institutions among many government units. Those departments are
usually conferred upon a wide range of rights and duties to manage so much money
and funds to spend. This condition may bring us to assume that those could be used as
a ‘escrow account unit’ or ‘special vehicle’ for a number of corrupt officers and
appointees to reap and grab that money and funds unlawfully. This situation might
happen very often and continuously.
It is exactly to note what Lord Acton said about power that power tends to corrupt
and absolute power corrupts abslolutely. That’s what currently happens in Indonesia.
One of the good examples for this case is on the directorate general of tax. Its vast
authorities to take control a range of duties in checking the object of taxes untill
imposing the amount of taxes to the business actors have changed the directorate to be
a red tape monster instead of serving the business actors as a customer it sucks their
money for many unlawful individual interests.
For Indonesia, the problem is not as simple as we think. The bad whim of the red
tape has been a weapon killing the government itself because currently, there is no any
other effective procedure and institution to control and punish such a directorate, at
least, to keep up with the mischief. Martin Albrow had explained it precisely through
his book in Bureaucaracy (1970) that in one case bureaucaracy is an appropriate mean
to hold an effective administration but in another case it also becomes an ineffective
one. In addition, it could be concluded that the condition would happen only if the
unit becomes a corrupt body.
Insensible Body
the bad whim of the red tape currently has been on an accute condition. Every
limitation from many aspects such as religion, morality, social, and law are disobeied
as if that there is no an effective and powerful control to reduce it anymore. In
addition, So far, National Government has planned and exercised a number of agendas
to deter the negative efffect of the red tape ranging from enacting many regulations
and legal instruments including the special units to enforce the tools, accountability
procedure, and at last to the improvement of renumeration for public servant. Then,
what less with the efforts, after so many virtues and kindness government has
provided in order to reduce bad practices and to persuade the bureaucracy for not
doing the bad thing anymore.
One of the weaknesses of Indonesia bureacracy today is the absence of binding
and clear mechanisme of transparency in all government institutions. Although the
government has taken so many efforts to conceive that transparency is very necessary
to be handled, but in fact, there is still fewer institutions which is seriuosly to
implement it and in general, the precedure is only be implemented for a moment and
is lost at last. One of the causes actually existing currently is because the leadership of
SBY-JK never hold the transparency as a serious mean to change the whim of the red
tape and only to use it as a lip service. it is enough to say that the government has
failed to bring the red tape into the right vision as a public servant so far.
The face of the red tape is still unchanged and is similar in every era. Government
institution remains to be a very formalistic and closed entity, even it’s so impossible to
consider it as an open community and ‘belongs to the people’. It has become so firm
as if the body of authority can not be disturbed anymore by the people. Interestingly
saying, Merton had voiced it in Albrow’s book as mentioned above, that the higher
officers (red tape) have developed a group solidarity which apparently born a strong
refusal for the changes which the red tape actually needs and surely, if that condition
is developed by using a set of impersonal values and is placed in relation to the tasks
and functions of public service then the collision will come up between the authority
and the community. In this case, Mosca (Martin Albrow;1970) had named it as a
hurting behaviour.
Red tape Total Reform
Relevantly speaking, Total Reform is not an option anymore, it’s a must. We do
not need any outstanding researches or deep insights simply to take a radical action
for only to admit the massive and accute illness of the bureaucracy. Many empirical
studies and researches have proved it that the bureacracy never move from its dirty
place into a better condition. In fact, we should conceive that bureacracy has been a
big monster which slowens the economy and worsens life of the people. In Martin’s
book on bureaucracy, Marx had exemplified such a condition as a place where many
individual interests have the same face with the state’s interests, then the state’s ones
are highly effected by the individuals and finally, a clash among the individuals
themselves would be unavoidable.

PS : I use several words in this writing which literally have a different meaning, such
as authority, red tape, officers, and bureaucracy, but actually, I’m not trying to neglect
the true meaning of every words, but in this case, I intentionally conceive the words in
a simply way in considering them into the same meaning, namely bureaucracy or
bureaucrat.

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