Indonesia’s vision for digital government in 2025

By Husni Rohman

Bappenas Deputy Director of Public Services, Husni Rohman, writes about Indonesia's plans to build a Gov.UK style website by 2025.

President Joko Widodo has stated that he will reform public service delivery in the next five years. He wishes to create a ‘Pemerintahan Digital Melayani’ (digitised service government) that has citizen perspective/orientation (citizen first). This objective will be achieved through several strategies, such as integrating national and subnational services, as well as strengthening online services (e-services).

There are two keywords that will be emphasised in implementing both strategies that is integrated and online. These keywords will differentiate our upcoming strategies with the previous period.

Global environment

The United Nations through its 2018 e-Government Survey places Indonesia in 107th out of 193 member states. This survey measures e-government effectiveness in public service delivery, consisting three main aspects that is infrastructure readiness, human resource capacity, and e-service availability.

At the ASEAN level, Indonesia ranks 7th position, below Singapore (7), Malaysia (48), Brunei Darussalam (59), Thailand (73), Philippines (75), and Vietnam (88). This survey also notes that Indonesia is experiencing transition period from mid-scored level country to high-scored level country, along with four other Asian countries:India, Iran, Maldives, and Kyrgyzstan.

Furthermore, globally, on average many countries are experiencing an increased score due to the higher use of e-service in their respective countries. Based on the survey, the use of e-service has increased 18% in 2016 to 47% in 2018. Birth registration is a service that has been digitalising rapidly, from 44 countries implementing in 2014 and 86 countries in 2018. Besides, there are several new type of services that have transformed into e-services, such as applying visa, registering social insurance and business permit.

National baseline

In the Indonesian context, the Ministry of Administrative Reform measured the e-government maturity level over 616 government institutions in 2018 and concluded that majority of government institutions have been implementing e-services, particularly for its internal work.

However, these e-services have a common problem: they are unintegrated, unsustainable, and have low use. An absence of integrated and holistic policy is the main cause of those problems which generated partial planning and strategies in implementing e-government. Before 2018, there was no guidance and standard to develop e-service. As a result, many government institutions develop e-services in partial way, even in the sake of innovation.

These innovations spread in many sectoral services, such as civil registration, health service, tax service, land registration, business permit, etc. Each service has various maturity level, either informative (one way) or transactional (two way) service.

However, if we learn from other advanced countries, they are similarities on how to integrate many e-services, by building national portal. Denmark (1st rank) in UN Survey has, South Korea (3rd) has, UK (4th) has, Finland (6th) has, and Estonia (16th) a leading country of digital government has

Those portals reflect “one stop shops” concept which has become basic norm in many developed countries, such as Austria, Belgium, Japan, and Singapore.

Next steps for Indonesia

Where should we start to realise a similar vision? As a guiding policy, we have the Presidential Regulation No. 95/2018 on e-Government which states that one strategy to implement e-government is to develop a national portal on e-service. This portal will include all services provided by central government and local government, and targeted to be done by 2025.

Currently, Indonesia has Public Service Information System as mandated by Law No. 25/2009 on Public Service, but it contains only basic information. Going forward, we will transform this information system into national portal that provide integrated e-services for citizen.

There will be two types of portals: central government portal and local government portal. Each portal will provide various sectoral services, among others are education, business and work, housing, communication, environment, health, social insurance, tourism, and many other strategic sectors. This portal can be develop either on regional basis or sectoral basis. As Indonesia has many central and local government institutions which have existing e-services initiatives, there must be a direct intervention and policy to consolidate the various existing e-services.

Furthermore, there are several strategic policies that are needed to create the portal. First, there should be a review of existing e-service initiatives produced by government institutions. This review aims to identify e-services profile, either its business process or maturity level.

Second, we need to standardise the business process of services to ensure smooth consolidation amongst various services in one portal. This process should refer to service standard that regulated in public service law which is very important for citizen as a guidance to control service delivery performance.

Third, there should be a data and information integration as a prerequisite to establish interoperability amongst e-services . This integration should refer to One Data principles on data standard, metada, data interoperability, and reference code, as mandated also by President Regulation Number 39 year 2019 on One Data Indonesia. Those principles will ensure that data managed by service provider is accurate, up to date, integrated and accountable.

Fourth, building the portal itself as an end product. Government of Indonesia has allocated Rp 11 bilion for five years – indicatively - in its National Medium Term Development Plan 2020-2024 to build this portal. This portal serves as a display for citizen so that they aware what services are provided by government and can be assessed online.

Finally, integration of online services (e-services) will strengthen offline (physical) service integration such as One-Stop Integrated Service (PTSP) and Public Service Hall (MPP). If related stakeholders can have agreed policies and strategies then our goal to have national portal on e-services that can be assessed by citizen - anywhere, anytime -, can be realised before 2025.

The author is Husni Rohman, Deputy Director for Public Service Affairs in Indonesia's Ministry of National Development Planning (Bappenas)