Tjahjo stresses importance of ASN neutrality in local 2020 elections

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Minister of Administrative and Bureaucracy Reforms, Tjahjo Kumolo. (Photo: Prive. Doc)

IO, Jakarta – Minister of Administrative and Bureaucracy Reforms, Tjahjo Kumolo stressed the importance of the neutrality of state civil servants (ASN) in the administration of government. ASN should only serve the interests of the community. “The government which is run by ASN free from various interests, except the interest to provide services to the community whose duties and functions will be able to run effectively and efficiently,” said Tjahjo Kumolo in Jakarta Sunday (01/03/2020).

The former Minister of the Interior stated there were many side effects of the government being filled with ASN who were not impartial. First, the emergence of ASN polarization, so that there are different groups in one agency. This, Tjahjo continued, disturbs the work patterns of government administration. Second, the use of office facilities that are not for the needs of carrying out tasks serving the community, but used for certain groups only.

Third, conflicting interests between one employee and other employees, including fellow officials, so that service to the community is disrupted. Fourth, ASN has become unable to carry out its duties professionally. Fifth, opening up the possibility of corruption, collusion, and nepotism. Sixth, waste of state finances, due to abuse of authority, facilities, and other resources. “That’s why the neutrality of ASN must be maintained and controlled,” said Tjahjo.

Tjahjo said that the neutrality of ASN in politics specifically was controlled by several regulations. For example, Law Number 5/2014 concerning ASN. The ASN Law specifically emphasizes that ASN must be free from the influence and intervention of all groups and political parties. Next is Law 30/2014 concerning Government Administration. This regulation provides a regulation regarding the prevention of abuse of authority by public officials, including the abuse of authority concerning regional head elections.

Tjahjo further referred to that another regulation, namely, Government Regulation (PP) 37/2004 concerning Prohibition of Civil Servants becoming Members of Political Parties. “Civil servants who are administrators of political parties are dismissed as civil servants, and civil servants who will become administrators of political parties must resign as civil servants,” he said.

Tjahjo urges the public not to be reluctant to report if there is an ASN who is not neutral in politics. It certainly must be accompanied by strong evidence, not a rumor or issue. If you have proof, just report it. “There will surely be sanctions later if there is evidence in the form of a picture or testimony,” he added.

Tjahjo acknowledged that the potential involvement of ASN in the local elections was not as strong as during the presidential election. But ASNs are prone to politicization because the scope of the election in the regions. And ASNs are tempted to participate in politics because they are often lured by candidates. If the candidates win, the ASNs will be compensated. Compensation can be in the form of a position in the bureaucracy. “Naturally, ASNs want to do something as part of a successful team that will be appointed as an official, but there must be rules. We follow the neutrality pattern of the Armed Forces and the Police firmly,” he concluded. (Dan)