Open Government & Public Information Disclosure Act (UU KIP) Urgency of Information Regulator

February 10, 2014

Public Information Disclosure Act (UU KIP) was formulated with several purposes that can be summed up into 5 stages: (i) to build a better management and information provision system in public institutions; (ii) to guarantee citizens’ right to information; (iii) to encourage public participation in decision-making processes; (iv) to encourage the accountability of governance; (v) to improve knowledge and the people’s intellectual understanding. [1]

The purposes as mentioned above shows that the UU KIP put the fulfilment of the right to information as the right to achieve the last three objectives. Most laws regulate more on the status of information, the rights’ of the citizens to access and the responsibilities of public institutions to fulfil those rights. That is why law implementation has largely on the first two objectives. It can be said that participation and accountability, however, are the outcomes of UU KIP implementation.

Furthermore, the UU KIP mandated the formation of a state auxiliary body, the Information Commission. The commission is designed to function as the first-phase in dispute settlement over access to information. Moreover, the commission is also given the authority to undertake a regulatory function.

Recently, the Information Commission published a general policy on the standard of information provision, known as the Information Commission Regulation No.01/2010 on Standard of Public Information Provision. However, the Information Commission has not expanded the regulation to focus more on strategic sectors by publishing a technical guide as regulated by the UU KIP. Momentum and support from all parties are important preconditions for the publication of more effective regulation by the Information Commission.

Open Government and the Evolution of Information Commission

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) requires the existence of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) as an umbrella law for transparency. The OGP also requires the government initiative to open up not just transparency but also participation spaces for citizens through multiple collaboration schemes.

Transparency in open government is intended to provide the citizen with knowledge on what the government is doing, while participation is intended to provide the government with the opportunity to receive support within society in the form of recommendations and expertise. Collaboration must, therefore, involve various levels of government and include the private sector in order to improve government effectiveness.

Conceptually, open government is an initiative for the government to reach its purpose of information openness, as has been advocated by the UU KIP. Doubt, however, often exists when facing the option to implement a program of open government data. This scheme serves as a basic policy from the government to move multiple data sources into the public domain through an application that can be used by everyone.

Some of the doubts include: (i) Is this fostering an expansion of multinational companies that produce the application? (ii) From a knowledge point of view, is this not going to allow for private sector domination in developing countries through the utilization of experts? [2] (iii) As a result of an extant capacity gap, how much can marginalized citizens utilize the infrastructure so that they can influence public decision making to be pro-marginalized citizens? (iv) Does open government data have the potential to breach privacy or personal data that is still weakly guarded in many developing countries? [3]

Most of this doubt is natural or rather, a cautious response to new ideas. To overcome that, one needs to remember that OGP mission is not only open government data. During the G8 meeting in early 2013, David Cameron stated that the UK leadership main agenda in OGP is to “drive a transparency revolution in every corner of the world.”[4]

The UK expected a measured achievement in several key areas: (i) Open Data: to open government data radically for a better accountability, improvement of public service and economy development; (ii) Government Integrity: to fight corruption and strengthen democracy through government transparency; (iii) Society Empowerment: transforming relationship between citizens and the government; (iv) Fiscal transparency: assist the community to know where the state budget goes; (v) Natural Resources Transparency: to ensure income from natural resources and extractives to be used for public goods.[5]

Change has, also, the potential for excess. To overcome potentially negative consequences from the agenda, an information regulatory function is therefore needed. UU KIP has regulated for the Information Commission to hold that function. The commission has the authority to set a standard technical guide for information provision.[6] Several focus areas that are based on the key policies above can act as priority areas for the commission in setting a standard technical guide for information provision, either in a static format or in a machine-readable format (application).

In forming the regulation, the potential excesses that have created some doubts are able to be further explored, such as how to safeguard the open government data. As an auxiliary body, the Information Commission has a mandate to both regulate information and settle disputes. Both functions become relevant in a Government 3.0 perspective. However, this is difficult to accept and understand by classic governance philosophy that tends to separate between the two functions.



[1] Article 3 UU KIP sets out the following objectives: a. guarantee the right of citizens to know public policy-making plans, public policy programs, and public decision-making processes, as well as the reasoning for public decisions; b. support community participation in the process of public policy-making; c. increase the community’s active role in public policy-making and the good management of Public Agencies; d. realize good state governance, namely governance that is transparent, effective and efficient, as well as accountable; e. know public policy reasons that affect the livelihoods of many people; f. build knowledge and educate the nation; and/or g. increase management information services with the Public Agencies in order to produce quality information services.

[2] Refer to Stephen Turner’s argument on the use of experts in the liberal democracy regime in Liberal Democracy 3.0: Civil Society in an Age of Experts. SAGE Publication, ltd. London, 2003.

[3]  This doubt has been explained by Jeff Jonas, but it has not specifically focused on developing countries’ readiness. Refer to Jonas, Jeff and Harper, Jim. Open Government: The Privacy Imperative, in Open Government Ch.. 29. Creative Commons, California, 2013. p. 316.

[4] Refer to: http://www.opengovpartnership.org/get-involved/london-summit-2013

[5]ibid.

[6] Article 26 verse (1) UU KIP states that the Information Comission is tasked with: a. receiving, evaluating and deciding upon a request for the settlement of Public Information Dispute through mediation and/or non-litigative adjudication, that has been submitted by every Public Information Applicant as referred to in this law; b. determining the general policy of the Public Information service; dan c. determining the implementation directives and technical directives. 

Public Information Disclosure Act (UU KIP) was formulated with several purposes that can be summed up into 5 stages: (i) to build a better management and information provision system in public institutions; (ii) to guarantee citizens’ right to information; (iii) to encourage public participation in decision-making processes; (iv) to encourage the accountability of governance; (v) to improve knowledge and the people’s intellectual understanding. [1]

The purposes as mentioned above shows that the UU KIP put the fulfilment of the right to information as the right to achieve the last three objectives. Most laws regulate more on the status of information, the rights’ of the citizens to access and the responsibilities of public institutions to fulfil those rights. That is why law implementation has largely on the first two objectives. It can be said that participation and accountability, however, are the outcomes of UU KIP implementation.

Furthermore, the UU KIP mandated the formation of a state auxiliary body, the Information Commission. The commission is designed to function as the first-phase in dispute settlement over access to information. Moreover, the commission is also given the authority to undertake a regulatory function.

Recently, the Information Commission published a general policy on the standard of information provision, known as the Information Commission Regulation No.01/2010 on Standard of Public Information Provision. However, the Information Commission has not expanded the regulation to focus more on strategic sectors by publishing a technical guide as regulated by the UU KIP. Momentum and support from all parties are important preconditions for the publication of more effective regulation by the Information Commission.

Open Government and the Evolution of Information Commission

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) requires the existence of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) as an umbrella law for transparency. The OGP also requires the government initiative to open up not just transparency but also participation spaces for citizens through multiple collaboration schemes.

Transparency in open government is intended to provide the citizen with knowledge on what the government is doing, while participation is intended to provide the government with the opportunity to receive support within society in the form of recommendations and expertise. Collaboration must, therefore, involve various levels of government and include the private sector in order to improve government effectiveness.

Conceptually, open government is an initiative for the government to reach its purpose of information openness, as has been advocated by the UU KIP. Doubt, however, often exists when facing the option to implement a program of open government data. This scheme serves as a basic policy from the government to move multiple data sources into the public domain through an application that can be used by everyone.

Some of the doubts include: (i) Is this fostering an expansion of multinational companies that produce the application? (ii) From a knowledge point of view, is this not going to allow for private sector domination in developing countries through the utilization of experts? [2] (iii) As a result of an extant capacity gap, how much can marginalized citizens utilize the infrastructure so that they can influence public decision making to be pro-marginalized citizens? (iv) Does open government data have the potential to breach privacy or personal data that is still weakly guarded in many developing countries? [3]

Most of this doubt is natural or rather, a cautious response to new ideas. To overcome that, one needs to remember that OGP mission is not only open government data. During the G8 meeting in early 2013, David Cameron stated that the UK leadership main agenda in OGP is to “drive a transparency revolution in every corner of the world.”[4]

The UK expected a measured achievement in several key areas: (i) Open Data: to open government data radically for a better accountability, improvement of public service and economy development; (ii) Government Integrity: to fight corruption and strengthen democracy through government transparency; (iii) Society Empowerment: transforming relationship between citizens and the government; (iv) Fiscal transparency: assist the community to know where the state budget goes; (v) Natural Resources Transparency: to ensure income from natural resources and extractives to be used for public goods.[5]

Change has, also, the potential for excess. To overcome potentially negative consequences from the agenda, an information regulatory function is therefore needed. UU KIP has regulated for the Information Commission to hold that function. The commission has the authority to set a standard technical guide for information provision.[6] Several focus areas that are based on the key policies above can act as priority areas for the commission in setting a standard technical guide for information provision, either in a static format or in a machine-readable format (application).

In forming the regulation, the potential excesses that have created some doubts are able to be further explored, such as how to safeguard the open government data. As an auxiliary body, the Information Commission has a mandate to both regulate information and settle disputes. Both functions become relevant in a Government 3.0 perspective. However, this is difficult to accept and understand by classic governance philosophy that tends to separate between the two functions.



[1]Article 3 UU KIP sets out the following objectives: a. guarantee the right of citizens to know public policy-making plans, public policy programs, and public decision-making processes, as well as the reasoning for public decisions;b. support community participation in the process of public policy-making; c. increase the community’s active role in public policy-making and the good management of Public Agencies; d. realize good state governance, namely governance that is transparent, effective and efficient, as well as accountable; e. know public policy reasons that affect the livelihoods of many people;f. build knowledge andeducate the nation; and/or g. increase management information services with the Public Agencies in order to produce quality information services.mengatur tentang tujuan sebagai berikut:  a. menjamin hak warga negara untuk mengetahui rencana pembuatan kebijakan publik, program kebijakan publik, dan proses pengambilan keputusan publik, serta alasan pengambilan suatu keputusan publik;  b. mendorong partisipasi masyarakat dalam proses pengambilan kebijakan publik; c. meningkatkan peran aktif masyarakat dalam pengambilan kebijakan publik dan pengelolaan Badan Publik yang baik; d. mewujudkan penyelenggaraan negara yang baik, yaitu yang transparan, efektif dan efisien, akuntabel serta dapat dipertanggungjawabkan;  e. mengetahui alasan kebijakan publik yang mempengaruhi hajat hidup orang banyak;  f. mengembangkan ilmu pengetahuan dan mencerdaskan kehidupan bangsa; dan/atau  g. meningkatkan pengelolaan dan pelayanan informasi di lingkungan Badan Publik untuk menghasilkan layanan informasi yang berkualitas.

[2] Refer to Stephen Turner’s argument on the use of experts determination in the middle of liberal democracy regime in Liberal Democracy 3.0: Civil Society in an Age of Experts. SAGE Publication, ltd. London, 2003.

[3] Thise doubt has been explained by Jeff Jonas, but it has not specifically focused on developing countries’ readiness. Refer to Jonas, Jeff and Harper, Jim. Open Government: The Privacy Imperative, in Open Government Ch.. 29. Creative Commons, California, 2013. pHal. 316.

[4] Refer to: http://www.opengovpartnership.org/get-involved/london-summit-2013

[5]ibid.

[6] Article 26 verse (1) UU KIP states that the Information Comission is tasked with: a. receiving, evaluating and deciding upon a request for the settlement of Public Information Dispute through mediation and/or non-litigative adjudication, that has been submitted by every Public Information Applicant as referred to in this law; b. determining the general policy of the Public Information service; dan c. determining the implementation directives and technical directives., Komisi Informasi bertugas: a.  menerima, memeriksa, dan memutus permohonan penyelesaian Sengketa Informasi Publik melalui Mediasi dan/atau Ajudikasi nonlitigasi yang diajukan oleh setiap Pemohon Informasi Publik berdasarkan alasan sebagaimana dimaksud dalam Undang-Undang ini; b.  menetapkan kebijakan umum pelayanan Informasi Publik; dan c. menetapkan petunjuk pelaksanaan dan petunjuk teknis.

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