Golkar Issues Rule Prohibiting Overseas Working Visits
Markus Junianto Sihaloho
The Golkar faction in the House of Representatives has issued an internal regulation prohibiting its members from taking part in overseas “working trips,” faction secretary Ade Komarudin said on Friday.
“The internal regulation becomes effective for the next working period. The exception is if the visit is really in the interest of the state and the people,” Komarudin said. The regulation, he said, specifically stipulates the requirements needed and the mechanism for such overseas visit, including the accountability afterwards.
Some lawmakers have been widely criticized for multiple trips abroad on tax payer money, with critics saying the destinations are often irrelevant to the laws they were supposed to be investigating, and that the trips lacked accountability and transparency.
“Most important in the result of visits overseas is public accountability or responsibility, so that the public knows what the lawmaker did during their working trip. The visits should be beneficial to the people, and support the function and performance of the House in its functions of supervision, budgeting and legislating,” he said.
For Golkar, Komarudin added, the principle in such visits should be that they are highly selective and well targeted to avoid the impression that they are simply a waste of budget funds.
“Visits overseas by our members should really be beneficial to the institution or for the public, such as comparative studies on laws or on how to improve on the performance of the House,” he added.
Komarudin admitted that Golkar believes that lawmakers’ visits overseas have been ineffective in fostering the lawmakers overall public performance. “This is what has always been under the glare of the public as the visits seem unfocused,” he said.