Progress Towards Transparency in The U.S. And Indonesia Governments and Participation Opportunities For Non-State Actors
Director of Public Policy, Program on Government Oversight, (POGO)
Executive Director, OpenTheGovernment.org
Deputy IV, President’s Delivery Unit for Monitoring and Oversight (TBC)
Former Coordinator, Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW)
With legislative elections weeks away, the debate about transparency in Indonesian politics is heating up. In the United States, too, transparency has become a major political issue—particularly in light of the ongoing revelations about the NSA’s data-collection efforts. Both Indonesia and U.S. are also aiming for a more transparent process in many specific government sectors, including disclosure of government and company costs in the mining industry through EITI (Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative). These are some among many important issues in the United States and Indonesia regarding transparency.
In response to those demanding more political transparency, both the Obama and Yudhoyono Administrations have supported legislation granting Americans and Indonesians unprecedented access to information about their leaders’ policy making processes.
Recent laws reflect the two governments’ intention to move towards this ideal. The Obama administration has recently launched the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Oversight and Implementation Act of 2014, an effort to further empower the FOIA and other transparency related laws. The Government of Indonesia has also worked toward this goal, through the 2008 Transparency of Public Information Law, strengthening the Central Information Commission (Komisi Informasi Pusat) and placing increased government transparency and accountability within the tasks of the President’s Delivery Unit for Development Monitoring and Oversight (UKP4). Both countries work together on this issue through the Open Government Partnership (OGP), a multi-national initiative that aspires to create more open, accountable, and responsive governments to their citizens.
Participation by the public in both countries is also part of the effort to make the government process more effective and efficient. This is not only an exercise of the right of the citizen, but also an integral part of the progress toward the ideal form of inclusive government. Inquiries from the non-state actors, including businesses, NGOs, religious groups, and other interest groups, have become a need for the government to further itself.
However, many questions remain about the extent and efficacy of both countries’ pro-transparency initiatives. How much progress has been made by the U.S. and Indonesia toward the ideal transparency? How can the Indonesian and US governments and citizen more actively involve their respective publics in policy making? What are some of the challenges that must be overcome for that to happen? How will existing laws help, or hurt, that process? What are areas of cooperation that can be made between U.S. and Indonesia in the effort to improve transparency in both countries?
To answer those questions, USINDO in cooperation with Kemitraan is delighted to host an Open Forum discussion with Mrs. Angela Canterbury, Director of Public Policy for the Project on Government Oversight (POGO); Dr. Patrice McDermott, Executive Director of OpenTheGovernment.org; Tara Hidayat, Deputy IV of President’s Delivery Unit for Monitoring and Oversight (UKP4) (TBC); and Danang Widoyoko, former Coordinator of Indonesia Corruption Watch (ICW).
Please join us in this informative event. To register, please kindly RSVP HERE by March 26, 2014 at 2:00pm.