Indonesia’s Law on Public Information Disclosure came into force in 2010, but implementation so far has been uneven. Some public bodies have done an excellent job, while others have largely failed to respond to their openness obligations. In an effort to address this, on 29-30 May the Centre for Law and Democracy (CLD) and the Indonesian Centre for Environmental Law (ICEL) provided training for local public officials from seven provinces and regencies across Indonesia. Response to the training was extremely enthusiastic, with some public bodies covering their own costs to be able to participate.
“Indonesia’s right to information law has the potential to transform relations between citizens and government at the local level,” said Toby Mendel, Executive Director of CLD. “But for this to happen, local government has to meet its obligations under the law.”
Some of the public bodies represented at the training have already appointed dedicated information officers and established openness systems, and are looking to improve their performance. Others are just beginning the process of implementation. Participants engaged in animated dialogue with Indonesian and international experts on the benefits and structures of Indonesia’s right to information law.
“We are happy to have received such positive engagement from the officials who attended,” said Dessy Eko Prayitno of ICEL. “We hope that they will carry the lessons they learned with them back to their workplace, and apply them in their provinces and regencies.”
CLD and ICEL developed a special manual (available in Bahasa here) to carry out the training. This activity is part of a broader programme sponsored by Open Society Foundations aimed at boosting implementation of the right to information in Indonesia. The programme also includes demand-side support, grassroots activities and the production of resource materials.