Bekasi city launched a smart city unit today, joining a string of Indonesian cities which have recently set these up.

The unit, called the “Patriot Operations Centre”, will be used by the Mayor to centrally monitor public services. It will tap into sensors and CCTV cameras in the city and bring together data from across agencies.

It will help the Mayor identify agencies that are performing poorly. “The existence of the POC will lead to more transparency in the SKPD [local authorities] who laze at work”, Mayor Rahmat Effendi said.

The Mayor will be able to give direct orders to agencies to act early when issues arise, said Erwin Guwinda, planning head, Department of City Planning. There will be a focus on basic services like cleanliness and healthcare, he added.

“For example, if there is accumulation of garbage, with the use of POC, the Mayor can direct orders to the district head or related agencies”, he told Radio Dakta.

Bekasi is the latest city in Indonesia to set up a central unit to monitor services. Other cities include Jakarta, Makassar, Bogor,Bandung and Banda Aceh. These Indonesian Mayors are making technology a priority in their strategies, to make the best use of limited resources.