Indonesia | The Role of Ombudsman Institution in Improving Public Service Delivery - The Case of Indonesia

In May 2015 Danang Girindrawardana, Ombudsman of the Republic of Indonesia, was a panel speaker at the 2nd World Bank – International Ombudsman Institute Roundtable on the role of ombudsman institutions (OIs) in promoting citizen-centric governance and inclusive institutions. He described this as a great opportunity to share the experience of her office, the Ombudsman Republic of Indonesia (ORI) in promoting greater government accountability and also learn from other countries’ experiences presented by the other panellists:

The OIs come in various shapes and sizes, thus encompassing different roles depending upon their national mandates. While OIs are mostly known to deal with complaints regarding maladministration issues not addressed at the agency level, our panel discussed how OIs could contribute to service delivery improvements, while also promoting citizen engagement in demanding accountability. As fellow Ombudsman Peter Tyndall from Ireland noted, OIs are capable of not only looking into individual complaints regarding poor service delivery often caused by one-off incidences, but also investigate and uncover roots of more systemic problems within public institutions.

In Indonesia, the Public Services Act and the Local Government Act provide the Ombudsman an important role in overseeing service delivery standards. To address shortcomings in service delivery and engage citizens not only in filing complaints but also assisting in monitoring compliance with service delivery standards, ORI has implemented a few innovative programs:

The ‘Mystery shopper’ program, which is unannounced field visits undertaken to proactively investigate compliance of standards, enabled us to find out that in average, compliance of services standards in public institutions was roughly less than 30 percent. These mystery shopper teams, composed of our ORI office staff, were able to check behavior of public officials, and even uncover instances when they offered assistance in return for money. The program was implemented in three big cities of Indonesia, namely Jakarta, Bandung and Surabaya. Based on this finding, ORI provided recommendations to these institutions and implemented follow-up action plans to help improve the implementation of public services standards at national and sub national levels of government.

To reach out to communities, especially those located in remote areas of the country, the ‘Friends of the Ombudsman’ program proved to be a very useful mechanism. The program engages local communities with ORI through undergraduate students and local NGOs who volunteer to help lodge complaints regarding public services in their communities.

To read the full blog entry on the GPSA Knowledge Platform please click here.



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