Corruption is quite big in Indonesia. It’s very much normal – and even a habit – just to look the other way when we are dealing with government officials here. We have to follow their orders, and if not, we won’t be able to get anything done by a public service. This includes paying more “fees” for a lot of things, like unauthorized administration fees, or simply just to “motivate” the officials to deal with our matters more quickly.
Thankfully now we can do something about it and report them quickly using the government’s latest online reporting system called Lapor (meaning report in Indonesian). Basically if people want to report improper conduct done by any public service, they can do so with this online service. The service is launched by Open Government Indonesia, an initiative to promote transparency, public participation, and innovation across government departments, and is coordinated by government unit UKP4.
I gave the service a try and so far it looks very promising. The website has a clean and simple look. Users can register themselves easily with Facebook or Twitter, and they can then use the service.
Filing a report on the site is very easy and effective. You only need to choose one of the public service categories, then fill in your report and send it. There is an option for you to upload any supporting files too, like pictures or videos of the reported misconduct or act of corruption. Users can then opt to make the report discreetly, and also remain anonymous.
Users can also file a report without going online by sending the report via SMS to 1708. In fact, about 50 percent of the reports made come from handphone messages. And just to make sure Indonesians have all the access they need to participate on Lapor, there are apps for Android, and Blackberry, with an iOS version to come soon.
Indonesia is very social, and Lapor also has social features. Users can look up reports made by other people (there’s also a “hot reports” section shown on the right side of the website), comment on them, share, and even support them. But sadly you can’t “unsupport” a report after you clicked the support button.
So far there have been some success stories derived from the service. One guy reported that he had to wait two months to change his ownership certificate details, while the correct procedure states that the process only takes about five days. Only 50 minutes after he made the report on Lapor, the user received a follow-up from the online service that he can already get his certificate back – in line with the promised procedure. You can see a few more success stories from Lapor here.
I am personally very excited with this new service. Now at least Indonesian citizens have some power in their hands to fight against injustice happening in our public service system. If this goes well, I can imagine our public service getting a lot better because the officials would be afraid of being reported by users.
Satu Layanan launches officially too
Open Government Indonesia project also fully launched its government information portal service called “Satu Layanan.” The only notable difference the portal has compared to its beta version is the number of government information services within it, which has grown to 111 from the previous 50. But I find the site’s implementation isn’t exactly totally up to par. When I tried to access information about business licenses, it prompted me back to the homepage instead. So far the site says that there are around 72,000 visitors that have accessed it.
All in all, the government’s effort to cater to more Indonesian citizens using technology is getting better by the day. If the implementation is as good as the idea, then I can definitely see these two services being used routinely by many Indonesians.