New Ash Center report lauds successes, proposes reforms for Indonesia

first_img Read Full Story Formerly an authoritarian state, Indonesia has made impressive gains over the last 10 years as the world’s first majority Muslim, multi-party democracy. The country’s successes and challenges as a new democracy are the subject of the new report titled “From Reformasi to Institutional Transformation: A Strategic Assessment of Indonesia’s Prospects for Growth, Equity, and Democratic Governance.” The report, authored by the Rajawali Foundation Institute for Asia of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, offers an assessment of Indonesia’s governance and socioeconomic climate, and concludes that the country must move beyond current reforms to effect a dramatic institutional transformation in order to compete successfully in the global economy.Indonesia’s current economic and social conditions are described in the beginning of the report. It documents the nation’s struggles with inequality, corruption, and institutional failure, and outlines the many economic challenges that it faces, including a growing trade deficit with China, the continued exporting of its natural resources and the importing of many finished goods which could be produced domestically. According to the report, slow job growth coupled with inadequate infrastructure and public health services impede Indonesia from achieving its full potential.Recommendations for ReformThe report’s authors contend that the following short- and medium-term measures could set Indonesia back on the right course toward a path of prosperity:Electoral Reform: Indonesia’s current election processes vary across the country and are often plagued by corruption. Solutions like creating a single-member district (SMD) system and semi-closed list voting processes, or adopting Germany’s mixed SMD and closed-list system, could reduce the complexities and thus curb some corruption, incentivizing politicians to act more in the public interest. Reforming Decentralization: While decentralization has increased avenues for democratic participation, its speed and lack of coherent functions threaten to undermine its civic benefits. The report calls for inter-governmental review bodies, such as the Council for Deliberation on Regional Autonomy, to improve efforts in overseeing and coordinating decentralization. Creating a clear set of standards and criteria for the establishment of new administrative entities could provide much needed consistency and accountability of functions.center_img Adopting International Standards: China has had much success attracting foreign business by adopting international standards of accountability and transparency while involving international executives and board members. By following China’s example, Indonesia could make a stronger commitment to international rules and halt business-as-usual practices influenced solely by domestic interests.last_img read more

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City Hall has small contractors on standby – Solid Waste Director

first_imgGarbage service withdrawal …says operations will not be affected The major garbage collectors have threatened to pull their services from the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) because of Council’s failure to make them outstanding payments, but it has been revealed that the smaller contractors have been placed on standby in event this services’ withdrawal should materialise.According to Solid Waste Management Director at the M&CC, Walter Narine, these smaller collectors will commence collecting garbage in Georgetown if Cevon’s Waste Management and Puran Brothers Disposal Incorporated pursue their strike action on Monday.Among these smaller garbage collectors are Granderson, Trash Tech, Tri Star, C&S Services and Garbage Eaters.“We would have engaged some smaller contractors and have them ready. On Monday morning, in the case where Puran’s and Cevon’s haven’t started their work, the guys would come out and start collecting garbage,” Narine said on Saturday.He insisted that garbage collecting operations in the city would not be affected, since the larger garbage collecting contractors have not confirmed that they will pull their services. Those collectors had engaged the Council on Friday, asking for a substantial amount of the money due them in order for them to continue operating.“We don’t know if they’re going to pull their services or not. They indicated that without receiving a substantial amount of money, they will withdraw. They had a meeting yesterday (Friday), and that did materialise; so I’m waiting on an official letter from them, stating that they will pull their services or not,” he added.Narine is confident that garbage collection services will continue as per normal, because of improvised mechanisms that Council has enforced, especially during the holiday season.“In the event that they pull off their services, we would have put mechanisms in place to continue collecting refuse in the city as per normal. We have an obligation to the citizens of Georgetown, so if Puran’s and Cevon’s withdraw for a financial obligation that we did not make, we can’t leave (the city) without refuse collection, especially now in the Christmas season,” Narine declared.Friday’s negotiations did not end amicably, with a solution to pay outstanding monies due the contractors.Puran Brothers and Cevon’s Waste Management have both informed media operatives that City Hall owes them in excess of $150 million dating back to the second quarter of 2018.They were since contemplating to cease operations until receiving payments, especially since they had not been receiving positive answers from their several meetings with Council. For one of these collectors, the monthly operational expenditure is somewhere in the vicinity of $15 million.Services were withdrawn by these two main collectors in the past pending payments that were owed by City Hall. Some of their staffers were also dismissed, but were later rehired when the monies were made available.Govt interventionCevon’s Waste Management and Puran Brothers Disposal have unitedly called on Friday for Central Government to ‘take the wheel’, as they contend that City Hall is out of its depth and cannot resolve the municipality’s mounting debts to the companies.They explained that they had withdrawn their services over an outstanding debt of $160 million.“We wish both the Government of Guyana and the citizens to be assured that a great deal of human and physical resources are invested in discharging our responsibility to the capital,” the companies said in a joint statement. “In that context, we submit that it is both morally and legally wrong to expect that we can continue, over a protracted period of time, to discharge these services without compensation.”The two companies have also responded to reports that City Hall would contract smaller companies to replace them. They warned of the risk to the entire city should City Hall engage persons with less capacity to collect garbage, replacing them.last_img read more

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