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THREE YEARS OF FISCAL DECENTRALIZATION IN INDONESIA : ITS IMPACTS ON REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ... - page 4 / 21

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Any type of disruption in the local government politics and administrative system eventually leads to the disruption of basic public service delivery. Many Indonesians, nowadays, are quite skeptic about the decentralization process simply because they have not seen what they expected when the decentralization took place in 2001, a better local basic public service delivery. The World Bank report in 2003 might indicate that most Indonesians felt that the quality of public services during the decentralization era was better than the previous one, or at least the same. However, the coverage of the survey and sampling procedure might not reflect the reality and at the same time, national newspapers keep publishing how infrastructures are deteriorating all over Indonesia, and how the local governments pay little attention to the quality improvement of public service delivery. To ensure that every Indonesian will enjoy the minimum basic standard of public services, the central government through the ministry of home affairs (MOHA) coordination is trying to promote the implementation of the minimum service standard

(MSS).

While

the

MSS

idea

might

be

good

from

conceptual

point

of

view,

the

possibility

of

becoming

real

success

is

highly

questionable

for

two

reasons.

First,

due

to

its complexity, even in the developed decentralized implemented. Second, the budget constraint seems to ministries are designing the MSS for their respective

country MSS cannot be fully be non-existent when the line sectors. Current development

shows that the MSS design word “minimum” itself that

in is

Indonesia is rather slow due to different interpreted by some ministries as without

perception of the budget constraint.

Furthermore, without proper preparation, when the local government budget cannot more transfer from central government.

the MSS implementation could lead to disaster fulfill the MSS and eventually they will ask for

To overcome or at least minimize the problems during decentralization era, the central government is trying to amend the law 22/1999 and law 25/1999. The basic substance of the amendment is the introduction of direct election for both local executives and legislatives. The direct election might bring better accountability at local level and somehow, reduce the absolute power of DPRD. Better accountability could lead to more responsive local governments in fulfilling the local resident needs. In terms of formation and amalgamation of new local governments, the amendment is trying to impose the evaluation of autonomous regions that could lead to status withdrawal by central government if local governments cannot fulfill certain criteria after a certain period of time. It is still doubtful if this mechanism could work in the current period of uncertainty where the central government is still considered weak. The proposed amendment is also trying to give significant contribution to better devolution of authorities by listing more detailed functions that have to be carried out by local governments. Instead of just saying

that local government is responsible in education sector, for proposes that the local government is responsible in executing basic education or elementary school for the residents.

example, the amendment the function of providing Although many local

governments still suspect that the amendment could lead to be admitted that the central government is trying seriously process a success story.

re-centralization but it has to to make the decentralization

The re-centralization impression among the local governments may appear due to redefinition of provincial government role in the decentralization process. In fact, it

4

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