City Bureaucrats Still Up to Their Old Tricks, Joko Finds
Lenny Tristia Tambun
A surprise inspection by Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo at a subdistrict office on Friday revealed that civil servants were still showing up late for work, despite pledges to improve.
Joko showed up announced at 7:30 a.m. at the Setiabudi subdistrict office in South Jakarta, but found half the workers absent, including Makmur H.N., the subdistrict chief.
“I came here just to chat. I see that there is a lot of work to be done, a lot of things to improve,” he said.
“One of them is the fact that data entry is still being done manually. I think we need to prepare systems to improve public services here in Setiabudi.”
Setiabudi is home to one of the most densely populated residential areas of the city as well as a key business district.
Joko said he happened to be in the neighborhood because he was on his way to the Sahid Jaya Hotel on Jalan Sudirman for a meeting with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and other governors from across the country.
With the meeting scheduled to start at 9 a.m., he said he decided to stop by at the subdistrict office to kill time while inspecting how it was being run.
The governor spent a whole hour touring the office before leaving at 8:30 a.m. Makmur had still not arrived by then.
“This is excellent. It’s 8:30 and he still hasn’t shown up at the office. Really excellent,” Joko said in a sarcastic tone.
The work day for government offices is supposed to begin at 7:30 a.m.
In an ultimatum to the capital’s subdistrict and ward chiefs in late October, Joko gave them the option of improving in performance and discipline or facing the prospect of losing their jobs.
He made the statement after carrying out spot inspections at several ward and subdistrict offices across Jakarta, where he found the offices mostly empty and the office heads absent.
Under a plan by Deputy Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, the city administration will install CCTV cameras in every subdistrict and ward office as well as at community health centers, providing a direct feed right back to City Hall.
Basuki said the aim was to allow him and Joko to more closely monitor government offices in an effort to ensure officials were improving the quality of public services.
“We want to install CCTV cameras so if anybody is yelling it will be on tape, because the CCTV will be connected to my office and the governor’s office,” he said during a spot inspection of one of the wings at City Hall in October. Lenny Tristia Tambun