Strong demand for information is critical to successful implementation of the right to information. It helps both motivate public authorities to undertake necessary supply side measures, and identify and address weaknesses. To promote implementation of Indonesia’s Law 14/2008 on Public Information Disclosure, the Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) and the Indonesian Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI) undertook a major training programme to build the capacity of key stakeholders – mainly journalists and civil society groups – to use the law. CLD and AJI are today releasing a report on the over 200 requests that were made as part of this programme.
The programme began with a training of trainers in Jakarta and continued when those trained returned to their home provinces of West Java, South Sumatra, West Nusa Tenggara and North Sulawesi to carry out local trainings for journalists and civil society groups. A key element of the programme was to work with participants to make requests for information relating to their work and, where necessary, to lodge internal complaints and then appeals to the provincial information commissions.
“We were delighted with the way participants embraced the programme and actively pursued requests.” said Toby Mendel, Executive Director of CLD. “This is precisely the sort of engagement that will drive success implementation of Indonesia’s RTI framework.”
The exercise demonstrated that Indonesia’s public bodies still have a long way to go in terms of implementation. Only 34% of requests resulted in full disclosure of the information, while the same number resulted in oral or silent refusals. Several appeals in these latter cases are still ongoing.
“Although the exercise revealed significant problems, we are optimistic about the right to information in Indonesia over the longer term”, said Eko Maryadi, President of AJI Indonesia. “Civil society groups are committed to advancing this vital human right.”
For further information, please contact:
Centre for Law and Democracy
tel: +1 902 448-5290