ATC110413: Report Joint Study Tour to Ghana & Indonesia

Public Service and Administration, Performance Monitoring and Evaluation


The Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration and the Portfolio Committee on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs undertook a joint study tour to Ghana and Indonesia from the 24 July – 31 July 2010. The Committees report as follows on their joint study tour:

1.         BACKGROUND

South Africa is a single sovereign state comprised of three spheres of government, which are interdependent, interrelated and distinct. Chapter 3 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (the Constitution) spells out the status, broad architecture, objects and duties of local government.


Many of the government’s service delivery responsibilities involve the participation of the local sphere of government. Local Government legislation, transformation processes and interventions since 1994 have sought to reinforce and mainstream the centrality and importance of the local sphere in the business of government as a whole. The local sphere of government has a corresponding public administration that is responsible for executing the duties and responsibilities of the local sphere.


Public administration practices across all three spheres are not standardised. National and Provincial spheres of public administration are standardised; but local government’s public administration practices are not the same.


It was anticipated that draft legislation would be tabled in during November 2010. However, the date was revised to 2011, due to further consultation the department was to do. The draft bill would seek to standardise public administration practices across the three spheres of government. It is anticipated that the draft legislation will be referred to both the Public Service and Administration and Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs portfolio committees.




The Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration invited the Portfolio Committee of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs to undertake a joint study tour to Ghana and Indonesia in order to learn from their standardised public administration practices, given their governance structures.


Ghana and Indonesia share the following similarities with South Africa: all three countries are democratic, have different spheres or levels government and are classified as developing countries. South Africadoes not have a standardised public administration across the three spheres of government, as Ghana and Indonesia have.


The report is split into four sections. The first section comprises of the aims of the study tour, the delegation that undertook the study tour, and the members that participated in each leg of the study tour and appreciation of the stakeholders that met with the Committees on the joint study tour. The second section focuses on the findings from the Ghanaian leg of the study tour. The third section focuses on the findings from the Indonesian leg of the study tour. The fourth section consists of the general lessons learnt from countries visited, the conclusion and recommendations.




3.         SECTION 1


3.1       Aims of the Study tour


Draft legislation affecting the Public Service and the spheres of Government is anticipated to be introduced in Parliament in the fourth term of 2010. Both Committees would benefit from learning first-hand how the spheres of government and standardised public services operated in two other democratic, developing countries.  South Africa is a younger democracy, if compared with Ghana and Indonesia. The Committees were motivated to learn from these two countries’ experiences, as both Ghana and Indonesia have had more experience in setting up systems of governance and putting in place corresponding public services.

The study tour was meant to strengthen members of Parliament in their ability to consider and amend legislation that seeks to standardize public administration practices across different spheres of Government.


3.2       Delegation that undertook the study tour


The delegation that undertook the joint study tour consisted of the following members of Parliament:


A          Members from the Portfolio Committee on Co-operative Governance were:

1.      Hon. L Tsenoli, MP (ANC): Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs)

2.      Hon. AJ Williams, MP (ANC)

3.      Hon. W Doman, MP (DA)


B          Members of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration were:

1.      Hon. JC Moloi-Moropa, MP (ANC): Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration

2.      Hon. FC Bikani, MP (ANC)

3.      Hon. L Suka, MP (ANC)

4.      Hon. JM Maluleke, MP (ANC)

5.      Hon. AM Dreyer, MP (DA)

6.      Hon. L Ramatlakane, MP (COPE)

7.      Hon. H Msweli, MP (IFP)


Both Committees were represented on both legs of the study tour that took place concurrently. The members of the delegation that participated in the Ghanaian leg of the study tour were:


Hon. JC Moloi-Moropa, MP (ANC) (Leader of the delegation); Hon. L Suka, MP (ANC); Hon. JM Maluleke, MP (ANC); Hon. W Doman, MP (DA); and Hon. H Msweli, MP (IFP).


The members that participated in the Indonesian leg of the study tour were:


Hon. L Tsenoli, MP (ANC) (Leader of the delegation); Hon. FC Bikani, MP (ANC); Hon. AJ Williams (ANC); Hon. AM Dreyer (DA); and Hon. L Ramatlakane (COPE).


3.3       Appreciation of stakeholders that met with the Committees on its study tour


The Committees appreciated the assistance of the South African Mission in Ghana, the South African High Commissioner in Ghana, the Ghanaian Parliament, the Regional House of Chiefs, the Regional Ministers, Mayors, Chief Directors and public servants of Accra, Takoradi and Kumasi regions visited, the Chief Directors of the Ministries visited, the Public Services Commission and the Ghana Institute for Management and Public Administration. The hospitality and courtesy the delegation received was greatly appreciated by the Ghanaian delegation.


4.                  SECTION 2


4.1       overview of the Ghanaian leg of the study tour


The Ghanaian government has the traditional three arms of government i.e. executive, legislature and the judiciary.  The government of Ghana has a two-tier system that consists of national government; and regional and district government. National Government elections are partisan, whilst local and regional government elections are non-partisan.


The President is the head of state and government and has a Vice- President. The President is entrusted with the responsibility to appoint a cabinet which must consist of the President, the Vice-President and ten to nineteen Ministers of State. The President also appoints a regional minister for each of the ten regions and the District Executive Officers (Mayors).


The President therefore has executive authority and has the power to appoint:[1]


(a) the Commissioner for Human Rights and Administrative Justice and his Deputies;

(b) the Auditor-General;

(c) the District Assemblies’ Common Fund Administrator;

(d) the Chairman and other members of -

(i) the Public Services Commission;

(ii) the Lands Commission;

(iii) the governing bodies of public corporations;

(iv) a National Council for Higher Education, howsoever described; and

(e) the holders of such other offices as may be prescribed by Ghana’s Constitution or prescribed by any other law consistent with the Constitution.


The President makes these appointments based on the advice of the structure called the Council of State, which is a body that consists of prominent persons.


The regional level is regarded as part of local government level, as its main function is co-ordinating and collating district development plans to regional plans are collated into national development plans.

The local government tier is structured in the following manner: Unit Committees, electoral areas, District Assemblies and Regional Coordinating Councils. District Assemblies are classified according to the size of the population they have within their demarcated areas. A Metropolitan District Assembly has a population over 250,000 people, a Municipal District Assembly has a population of over 95,000, while a District Assembly has a population 75,000 and over. For practical reasons in the metropolitan areas like Accra, there are sub-metros. Accra is divided into eleven sub-metros.

The criticism has been that Unit Committees have been largely ineffective due to their voluntary nature and lack of resources. Further the creation of sub-metros has been ineffective as well. 

The Ghanaian national general elections are partisan-based, whilst its local elections are non-partisan. Local government candidates’ campaigns must be based on constituency-based matters. Parties are by law forbidden from supporting, campaigning for and lobbying for any candidate in local government elections. The underlying reason for ensuring that local government candidates are non-partisan is to ensure loyalty to constituency concerns and accountability to the local community. At local government level, candidates are elected from the electoral area to become members of the District Assembly.

The number of members of the District Assembly is based on the number of electoral areas and the size of the electoral areas. Seventy per cent (70%) of the members of the District Assembly are elected by their constituencies, while thirty per cent (30%) are appointed by the President. The motivation for allowing the President to make appointments to the District Assembly is to cater for inclusion of scarce skills, and the representation of chiefs and women. The President makes these appointments in consultation with the Local House of Chiefs and upon the recommendation of the Minister of Local Government. The District Assembly meets quarterly, while its executive and other subcommittees meet more regularly to conduct the business of the House.

The District Assembly elects a presiding officer to preside over its meetings. However the District Chief Executive, who is a representative of central government, presides over the executive committee and is responsible for day-to-day performance of the executive and administrative functions of the District Assembly. Local government in Ghana has extended functions which include managing and overseeing critical areas such as education and health etc.

Another component which is regarded as part of local government system is the Regional Co-ordinating Council. The Regional Co-ordinating Council consists of the following authorities:

(a) the Regional Minister and his deputy or deputies;

(b) the Presiding Member and the District Chief Executive from each district in the region;

(c) two chiefs from the Regional House of chiefs; and

(d) the Regional Heads of the decentralized ministries in the region as members without the right to vote; 


In terms of the Constitution the Regional Minister is the chairperson of the Regional Co-ordinating Council.


4.2       Fiscal relations of the spheres of government


The Ghanaian Local Government is supposed to generate its own revenue from, primarily, property rates and fees (business permits) which are the main sources of local government revenue collection. The current legal framework is the Finance Administration Act (2003) which precludes municipalities from borrowing funds. However, the Local Government Financial Bill was being considered by Parliament at the time of the study tour. This proposed Bill will allow for municipalities to borrow and invest funds.


Local government is entitled to seven per cent (7%) of nationally generated revenue in order to render services. Funds are allocated annually from what is known as the Common Fund. The Common Fund is administered by a national administrator who allocates funds to municipalities based on a formula approved by Parliament. In addition to the funds allocated through the Common Fund, there is a “Grants-in-Aid” programme which allows for departments to allocate funds to municipalities. There is the District Development Fund which serves as an incentive for performing districts. This Fund is meant to encourage innovative districts to further advance their developmental programmes and to be exemplary models for other municipalities to follow. All Members of Parliament are allocated a portion of the Common Fund in order to fund development projects in their constituencies. There are specialized agencies i.e. health and education which get funds to support specific sector projects.

There are certain challenges in the fiscal relations framework which were identified by the Members of the Ghanaian Committee on Local Government and Rural Development. Some districts have no source of revenue and depend solely on national grants. Based on the annual allocation of the Common Fund, there was no multi-year planning taking place at the district/ local government level. This presented a major challenge in planning, funding and implementing long-term capital projects. The other significant challenge was the disparity between largely rural and urban districts.

4.3       Local government planning within an integrated system

Ghana has a bottom-up planning process. The structure of the planning process follows the government structure, from the bottom up. All development plans emanate from Unit Committees and are collated into comprehensive District Development Plans. Further, District Development Plans are submitted to the Regional Co-ordinating Council to harmonise and ensure synergies for regional development. Ultimately, regional plans of all of Ghana’s 10 regions are submitted to the National Development Planning Commission.

The National Development Planning Commission focuses on integrating these plans into a consolidated national development plan. This process ensures all development agencies provide input and resources to determine immediate and long-term development strategies. Within this broad framework it is then possible to develop urban and rural development strategies, informed by aspirations from the grass roots; that can be broken up into short-, medium- and long-term plans, based on the availability of resources.

Whilst community needs and interests are captured in the national plan, community initiated projects are encouraged too. These projects involve the community identifying a pressing need and mobilizing resources, including contributing their own funds in order to ensure project implementation and thus realization of their interests. 


4.4       The Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture


Chieftaincy is deeply rooted in Ghanaian culture and is constitutionally protected in Ghana. Each Chieftaincy has its own customary practices. Chiefs are entrusted by the community as representatives and holders of communal land. Most land in Ghana is communally owned by the communities that reside on the land. Chiefs resolve disputes amongst members of the community. If a politician wants to campaign in a certain area, permission should be granted by the Chief in that area.


Despite Chiefs being seen as natural leaders of their communities, they are not allowed to run for public office or participate in partisan politics. They can, however, be appointed as public servants. This matter is being considered by the panel on the Ghanaian Constitutional review. The Constitution contradicts itself by stating that all Ghanaians are free to participate in partisan politics, yet the same Constitution explicitly excludes Chiefs from participating from partisan politics.


There are 196 traditional councils, which are local-level Chieftaincy councils.  Although the status of the councils differs from one region to another, they are generally well supported by the communities they belong to. Government had requested that a House be established with representatives of each of the ten regions in Ghana. The Ministry of Chieftaincy is the interface between Government and the National and Regional Houses of Chiefs. The Ministry was established in 2006. The Ministry is the secretariat of that House. All Chiefs are registered and cannot assume their duties until their names are reflected on the register.


One of the functions of the National House of Chieftaincy is to check, monitor and keep record of the lines of succession for Chiefs. The Chief’s biological sister’s children succeed the chieftaincy in a particular area when the Chief dies.  A dispute resolution mechanism has been developed to resolve questions of who succeeds the Chief in a specific area, since the Chief may have more than one biological sister and more than one nephew that can claim to the chieftaincy in that area.


There is a very small budget put aside for Chiefs. The funds are split between the Regional and National House of Chiefs. The funds support the four committees on the National and Regional Houses of Chiefs. The work done by Chiefs on these councils is for free; it is expected that Chiefs have their own livelihoods. Funds allocated are for the running and administration costs of the committees of the House of Chiefs, which are: the Judicial Committee, the Standing Committee, the Research Committee and the Last committee.



4.5       The Public Services of Ghana


The Public Service of Ghana was established during the colonial times and included the postal service, mining and any other services that the colonial government believed could assist it in exploiting the natural resources of Ghana  and transfering the resources abroad. This meant that there were very few civil servants employed by the state before independence. After independence in 1957, it was believed that there was a need for an expanded civil service so that every sphere of human life would be cared for by the state. The number of government departments and ministries expanded rapidly, which led to a need to employ more people in the Public Service.


Over time, it was felt that some of the civil service departments and entities could operate more effectively if they were independent and pursued commercial interests. This led to some of the departments and entities of the civil service being established independently of government, through legislation. These organisations became known as Public Service Organisations. Laws were passed to institutionalise their existence. For example, the Ghana  Customs and Excise and Preventative Services Organisation used to be a department under the Finance Ministry, but was later made independent. The Internal Revenue Service is now an agency under the Ministry of Finance, instead of a department. Although these Public Service Organisations have been established, they still report to the minister for the portfolio they operate in. Ministers are accountable to Parliament; and not the public service organisations.


The core civil service has Ministers heading the departments. Thereafter, there are public service organisations that have their own autonomy. Governing boards govern the public service organisations. All these organisations have their own acts of Parliament, which stipulate that they should have a governing board and a head of the organisation. However, there still remains a Minister accountable to Parliament for the sector that the public service organisation falls within.


 Although these entities were seen as being independent, the Public Service Commission still played a role in the recruitment and public administration practices of these bodies. This led to the Public Services Commission gaining the name it has, as the Public Service was no longer unitary.


Chapter 14 of the Ghana Constitution states that the Public Service of Ghana will include the following:

(a)        the Civil Service; the Judicial Service; the Audit Service; the Education Service; the Prisons Service; the Parliamentary Service; the Health Service; the Statistical Service; the National Fire Service; the Customs, Excise and Preventative Service; the Internal Revenue Service; the Police Service; the Immigration Service; and the Legal Service;

(b)        public corporations other than those set up as commercial ventures;

(c)        public services established by this Constitution; and

(d)        such other public services as Parliament may by law prescribe.


It was highlighted that the Public Service keeps growing, as Parliament enacts that certain entities or departments exist by establishing them through legislation, if Parliament believes that a certain function should be done.


Ghana affords their public servants with a pension when they retire at the age of 60. Public servants sign performance agreements. Promotion is done through levels. All ministries have gender desks, which seek to promote women in the Public Service. Most of the buildings that were visited were not accessible to persons with disabilities.


The Civil Service Council and the Public Services Commission play a role in the appointment of the civil servants. An evaluation is done annually to see if the department’s structure and personnel match the requirements of the institution’s workload. It was highlighted that the sector-heads and Ministers are accountable to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Accounts. Ministers are accountable, while public servants are not directly accountable, to Parliament, as they have signed performance agreements that hold them accountable for specific outputs.


4.6       Public Services Commission


The Public Services Commission (PSC) was established in 1948, under colonial rule, to ensure that the recruitment practices were done in a fair and impartial manner. Shortly after independence, the PSC was involved in recruiting Ghanaians and expatriates into the public service. The PSC has remained part of the Public Service architecture and has assigned to it specific responsibilities relating to Public Administration.


The PSC consists of nine commissioners; five commissioners are full time in the employ of the PSC, while four are employed on a part-time basis. The PSC is called the Public Services Commission because Ghana does not have a unitary public service. It is important to note, however, that the provinces do not have the liberty to exercise control of public servants that provide services to the provinces/ regions.


The Public Services Commission has been established to be responsible for the human resource matters of the entities that are constitutionally established to form part of the public services. The main role that the PSC plays is human resource management in the all spheres and entities of Government. The PSC is involved in the recruitment, selection, promotion, discipline, transfer, productivity measurement and performance management of public servants. The PSC provides the public services entities with guidelines in order to ensure uniformity of management practices. Leaving the human resource matters to the PSC ensures that there is a standardised practice across all public services entities, and a high standard of professionalism is maintained.


The PSC provides a document called the “Scheme of Services”, which provides information on the number of positions in the civil services, the salaries associated with the different positions, the requisite skills for each position, training needs, promotion and other matters related to human resource practices for public service entities. The PSC maintains a database of public servants and their competencies. In the event that a vacancy requires urgent filling, or if a secondment is necessary, the database provides a quick synopsis of the public servants available and their skills and training. Dismissals and grievance redress is also dealt with by the PSC. Transfers of public servants between public services organisations are also dealt with by the PSC.


The President is constitutionally mandated to make certain appointments into the Public Service. However, the President is also constitutionally obligated to consult with the PSC on the appointments that he makes. The Public Services Commission is directly involved in the recruitment of Chief Directors and Directors in the public services and issues guidelines on the appointment of public servants at lower levels. The Chief Director and Director levels of public servants are equivalent to South Africa’s Director-General and Deputy Director-General public servants, respectively.


It was highlighted that the challenge that Ghana faces is that its Public Service is centralised, in the sense that the regions/provinces have no control over the public servants that are employed in their administrations. If the elected leaders of a province have a problem with public servants, they will need to consult with the Public Services Commission in order to have the relevant persons transferred.  It was highlighted that one of the challenges that Ghana has experienced over time was a change in the political party that won the elections.  The challenge this posed that was that all the structures that had been set up by the previous government were not seen as being favourable to the current government. The current government is now undergoing a constitutional review in order to establish what parts of the constitution is relevant to the status quo of Ghana, and what is not.


Both the Ghanaian Public Services Commission and the South African Public Service Commission are constitutionally established. The Ghanaian Public Services Commission (GPSC), however, has a more direct responsibility in the human resource practices and policies of government than the South African Public Services Commission (SAPSC). The GPSC is directly involved in the human resource practices of government whereas the SAPSC promotes, monitors and evaluates the implementation of the constitutional basic values and principles of public services that Government should implement.


The SAPSC is recognised as independent from the SA Public Service. But it is not clear if the GPSC is independent from the Ghanaian Civil Services, since the civil service in Government is comprised of many bodies that are classified as independent. Also, the GPSC reports to the President, whereas the SAPSC reports to Parliament.


The GPSC has the responsibilities that would normally be assigned to the Department of Public Service and Administration, in terms of formulating polices relating to Recruitment and Selection, Employment, Skills Development and other human resources matters in the public service. The size of the Public Service in Ghana is smaller than in South Africa. There are five full-time commissioners, and four part-time commissioners, whereas South Africa has five national commissioners and nine provincial commissioners. Although the Public Service in Ghana is much smaller than the Public Service in South Africa, the idea that nine people can only focus on high level appointments, develop policies, norms and standards that public servants are able to implement, without many challenges, shows that there is a high degree of professionalism and skills in the Public Service of Ghana which developed over time.


4.7       Ghana Institute for Management and Public Administration (GIMPA)


The Ghana Institute for Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) was established in 1961, as a public administration institute to provide further study courses to persons who were working full time in the public service. Its original objective was to be a school for the public services. However, over the years, it has evolved to offer accredited courses in several fields, including leadership and orientation to new Members of Parliament and leaders in Government. GIMPA would have established its law school on the 9 August 2010. It has transformed from being an institute servicing the Public Service to an established university. GIMPA offers the following accredited courses:


Bachelor of Public Administration; Bachelor of Business Administration; Bachelor of Economics; Bachelor of Marketing; Bachelor of Accounting; Bachelor of Banking and Finance; Bachelor of Accounting and Finance; Bachelor of Entrepreneurship & SME Management; Bachelor of Hospitality Management; Bachelor of Science in Information & Communication Technology; Bachelor of Science in Computer Science; Health Administration and Management; Chief Executive Programme; Human Resource Management; Budgeting Financial Management; Management of Training Functions; Women In Management; Computer Skills Course; Marketing Management; Monitoring & Evaluation; Strategic Planning & Management; Project Planning & Management; and Research Skills.


Promotion in the Public Service is linked to the studies public servants undertake and complete through GIMPA. GIMPA is the only university in Ghana that focuses on public service training. All public servants receive training through GIMPA after joining the Public Service. 


One of GIMPA’s current projects is looking at establishing a school for Parliamentarians, whereby training will be offered to Members of Parliament. Currently, orientation programmes for incoming Members of Parliament are offered. Retired Members of Parliament are employed to transfer skills and lecture the incoming Members of Parliament.


GIMPA is equivalent to South Africa’s newly-established Public Administration Leadership and Management Academy (PALAMA). PALAMA outsources the training it provides, whereas GIMPA conducts the training they provide themselves.  


It was highlighted that when a new government is elected, GIMPA provides orientation courses to all the incoming politicians on governance and leadership. The training is provided on GIMPA’s campus, with everyone residing on the campus for the duration of the training. Training is provided to all persons in leadership positions in Ghana, such as the President, Ministers, Members of Parliament, Mayors, Chief Directors and Directors. 


Section 3: INDONESIA


5.                  Overview of Indonesia leg of study tour


Indonesia has a population of 234, 6 million with many distinct cultural traditions. Since their independence, they have been using the centralized system of governance. But after the Suharto regime, they gradually introduced a decentralized system of governance. Proper governance is a problem in a vast island nation. Therefore, centralisation made it difficult to deliver services in remote areas. The country is prone to natural disasters and centralised disaster and crisis management made it impossible to satisfy all requisite needs of local people. Elections are constituency based, at all levels. Political parties do not decide who gets into the lists or who ultimately occupies parliamentary seats or seats on any structure. Therefore the following structures and authorities are directly elected by the people:

  • The President of Indonesia
  • Members of Parliament
  • Members of the Senate
  • The Governor of a province or region
  • Members of the Provincial/regional Parliament
  • Members of the District Parliament
  • Members of the city or village Parliament


5.1       Commission (Committee) 2, which is equivalent of Committee on Public Service and Administration.


The function of any given commission is to pass legislation, perform oversight over relevant institutions and to control and vote for the portfolio budget. Each commission has seven advisers. Each member of the commission (MP) has two advisers. Each member has a personal assistant (PA). All technical personnel attached to the commission must have a Master’s degree as a basic qualification. Each commission, in collaboration with ombudsman, sanctions poor service by its relevant institutions. The commission ensures that mobile offices are provided in areas where there is no infrastructure. Each commission is very strict regarding service delivery and corruption, as these issues become crucial during election campaigns.


Commission 2 has oversight on the following areas and institutions: Regional autonomy; elections; public service; public services; Home Affairs; State Security; State Secretariat; Cabinet Secretariat; Employment Agency; State Security Agency; and Housing.


5.2       Ministry of Home Affairs (Central Government) as represented by Dr H Syamsul Afief Rivai, the Director-General: Regional Development.


Home Affairs is responsible for norms, standards, procedures and policy related to the Public Service. It provides guidance to local government and the general public service sector. Home Affairs is responsible for regional development in terms of spatial planning, environmental management, urban development and modernisation of the Public Service. The Indonesian Government introduced the public service modernization policy through the Department of Home Affairs as follows:

  • promoting Public Service professionalism;
  • promoting position-based civil service structure and merit principles;
  • establishing a school of public service for training public servants;
  • establishing a statutory commission to act as a guardian of professionalism and impartiality in the Public Service; and.
  • entrenching a single service salary structure for all civil servants for all spheres of government.


The Home Affairs Department introduced a Regional Development Planning Policy 2010 - 2014 which entails the following:

  • Improvement of health systems and facilities
  • Provision of quality education
  • Reduction of poverty and unemployment
  • Provision of energy
  • Provision of environment and disaster management
  • Ensuring of post-conflict development
  • Provision of technological innovation
  • Ensuring of the mprovement of food security
  • Ensuring of infrastructure development; and
  • Ensuring of equitable distribution of services to all.


A challenge experienced is the number of posts for the three spheres of government determined by the Minister responsible for public administration. The panel deciding on strategic positions (senior management) takes longer to make a decision on candidates. Skills and leadership training given at the school of public service remains a challenge.


5.3       National Development Agency (the Bappenas) under the Ministry for National Development Planning (NDP)


The National Development Planning Agency targets sectors regarding development planning. Sectors targeted include energy, national and regional infrastructure, national ports, airports development and infrastructure, pro-poor budgets, employment-creating development, agriculture, the mining industry and forestry sectors.


The main functions of the Ministry for National Development Planning are:

  • designing policies and determining long-term, medium-term and annual national development programmes;
  • co-ordinating development planning undertaken by all development planning stakeholders;
  • ensuring collaboration with all planning institutions;
  • evaluating the national development plans;
  • supporting the compilation of the national budget;
  • mobilisation of domestic and foreign funding bodies;
  • facilitating and providing guidance to the government agenda in their development activities; and
  • submitting evaluation and recommendations’ report to the President of Indonesia.


Macro-planning is targeted for economic growth. The Minister of Home Affairs gets the priorities of local government and duly requests allocation from the national budget. The Minister of Finance controls what gets into the budget. Every macro-plan is over a five-year period but implemented and monitored on annual basis. There are three kinds of allocation to local government, i.e. unconditional grant, which is a general transfer; spatial grant, which is for poverty reduction; and the revenue-sharing grant, which comes from natural and other resources.


Spatial plans and development plans are integrated for proper cohesion to avoid misalignment. Reporting models are in place to effect monitoring and evaluation of community projects. For every spatial development planning project, there is a commitment by the private sector developers to invest in the community that the development project occurs in. Sanctions such as a fine and jail sentences, are imposed on companies and project leaders who flout legislation when implementing projects.


Budget allocations to regions always cause structural conflicts. Transversal conflicts exist among the sectors of forestry, agriculture, irrigation schemes and mining regarding spatial development, environmental impact assessments and funding. Land occupancy and refusal by communities to relocate, prevent agricultural activity in arable areas. Issues on climate change and pollution hinder industrial plans. It is not easy to implement the participatory planning process because not all stakeholders are happy with processes or the outcomes. It’s also difficult to inculcate the sense of ownership regarding regional and local plans if the central government is involved. It was a challenge to plan and carry out plans properly because of the 150 active volcanoes in Indonesia.


5.4       Senior Social Development Specialist of the World Bank, Indonesia


The World Bank is directly involved in projects, with only small works outsourced. Projects are directly managed by the villagers. Decisions regarding projects are made by the villagers. When outsourced companies take ownership of projects and decisions, funding by the World Bank is withdrawn immediately to protect community empowerment. Project funding formula is 60% government and 40% World Bank loan and credit. Budget for village projects is channelled through block grants, which are sub-divided into investment grant, planning grant and community development grant. There is also a green grant. This grant is an incentive for engagement in environmentally friendly projects. Criteria for funding are based on village population; the number of poor families in a village and on competition amongst villages, based on good and achievable project proposals. Preference is always given to the Java-Bali village because it is densely populated.


The Senior Social Developmental Specialist deals with the demand-driven development projects for women and village issues. He was asked (seconded) by the Indonesian Government to develop the bottom-up development planning model. He utilises student civil engineers to assist villagers to formulate community development proposals. Funding from his office helps realise projects on road construction, retainer walls to mitigate fertile soil erosion, and the construction of drainage and water systems.


Proper monitoring and evaluation mechanisms are in place at the World Bank for local project investments. Regular evaluations of poverty reduction programmes are conducted. To mitigate financial risks, investments are geographically based, rather than household based. The government withdraws funding in cases where funds get misused by the villagers. For accountability, each village has to have four village assembly meetings in a year; and there has to be three inter-village meetings in a year. To avoid corruption by manipulative businessmen, communities are involved in manual labour regarding the execution of projects. The following control mechanisms are applied regarding household conditional grants to women:


  • Compulsory consultation of a community clinie by pregnant women
  • Consultation of a midwife when giving birth
  • Attendance of post-natal care
  • Commitment to send the child to early childhood development (ECD) facility.


Some of the challenges are that there is no maintenance grant in place to maintain infrastructure; villages are sanctioned after structural and technical harm has been done on projects, and improvements can only be effected in the subsequent year.


A province is headed by a governor. Each province has its own legislative body, called Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Daerah (which literally means "Regional People's Representatives Assembly"). Governors and representative members are elected by popular vote for a five-year term. Indonesia is divided into 33 provinces. Regions have about the same line-function administrative heads as the central government.


A provincial government will at most consist of 50 Members of Parliament, 20 or more regional delegates and two district delegates. The mayor of a regional city is a political head of the city government, but the head of a district government is an appointed official. Sixty per cent of regional revenue (West Java Province) comes from agricultural production, 20% is from the industrial activity and the other 20% comes from services like trade and financial services. This split of revenue differs from region to region.


Role of a regional government


  • Effecting the use of the e-governance system.
  • Providing licensing services and the procurement of requisite service for a region.
  • Providing education and health services to a region.
  • Playing the role of a co-ordinating authority for the region.
  • Supporting local government with funding.


Regions have the authority to manage national resources located in their area and are responsible to maintain the environment conservation.


Regional authority has powers over marine areas and resources to cover the following matters:


(a) Exploration, exploitation and management of marine wealth to the extent of the marine area boundaries

(b) Administration of administrative interests

(c) Spatial administration

(d) Law enforcement of regulations issued by Regions or the authority which is delegated by Government

(e) Assistance for the enforcement of state security and sovereignty.


The structure of the Indonesian system is as follows:

a)      Provinces: 33 autonomous provinces.

b)      District/cities (Municipalities): 497 autonomous district units; i.e. 404 districts and 93 cities.

c)      Sub-districts: ± 7000 Administrative units.

d)      Villages: ± 70,000 units; sub-divided into rural villages (traditional authorities) and urban administrative villages.


A Province’s executive head is called a Governor. The province has a provincial council, which is a regional legislature, ranging from 45-100 members. The senior civil servant is the secretary of province under the command of the Governor.


The District/city’s executive authority is a City Mayor or Regent of a District. District/city council has 20- 45 members directly elected by the people. Local civil service is headed by the Secretary of province under the command of the Governor.


A sub-district is headed by the Camat. A sub-district head is appointed by the mayor/regent. A sub-district operates as the city or district local agency and it is administrative in nature. A sub-district is funded by the city/district budget. It functions as a co-ordinating body of a city/district concerning the budget. Population ranges from 10 000 – 25 000 people. A sub-district is accountable to the city mayor\regent via the secretary of a city/district.


A rural village is managed by the head of village (Kepala Desa) as the executive. It has a legislative body called the village council. Kepala Desa is elected directly by people for a six- year term. It has its own revenues, but, in most cases, it is aided by the district budget. The Camat has oversight over the rural village. Population ranges from 2000 – 10000 people.


The urban village is managed by the head of urban village (LURAH). The Head is appointed from the civil service. The urban village is funded by the district/city. The Camat has oversight over the urban village. Population ranges from 2000 – 10000.


All officials in all spheres of government are civil servants. Salary structures in all spheres are similar/ same for the equivalent post and qualifications, and good performance is rewarded. Depending only on qualifications and performance, the salary will differ even for the same post.


No resignation is required when moving from one sphere of government to another. Central (national) government is regarded as the institution of policy makers/designers, regional government as policy implementers and districts are responsible for the delivery of infrastructure.


5.5       The Vice Governor of Jakarta, Indonesia


Cities are not seen, in terms of planning, as separate from the national sphere. For example, emphasis of the national health system is on family planning programmes at regional level. Sub-district and villages are designed as centres responsible for family planning programmes, but they are monitored and sponsored by central and regional government. Centralization is presently not the policy regarding the provision of service, but service provision is devolved to local government. There are two types of hospitals, for example; regional and local hospitals. Regional hospitals operate at sub-district level and local hospitals operate as community health care centres.


Hospitals are integrated service posts, which focus on services to children under five years. They are subsidized to help poor families with regard to health matters. Each poor family receives a hospital card with which it can have access to services at regional and local hospitals. The hospital can claim against the card from central and regional government for services rendered to a card carrying family. Central government gives support to schools for operational cost. Poor families are divided into two categories, namely; poor families and very poor families.


The central government gives loans through the Government Bank to the following:

  • The provincial government.
  • A private citizen who wants to borrow money for business or any other venture. No collateral is required from both the regional government and private citizen when borrowing money from the government bank.


Regional government develops small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) in the villages to market their products.


Indonesia has a compulsory education policy of over nine years at public schools. Central government subsidises infrastructure for education e.g. buildings and personnel. Regional government gives support in respect of operational costs e.g. subsidization of schools and uniforms.


Health deals with population control. Urbanisation is controlled. Regional government collects data on poor families and issues an indigent family card for subsidy purposes. The card may be used at regional government hospital, community health centre (local hospital) and private hospitals. Regional government also offers quality care for any kind of disease and the treatment is similar regardless of financial status. Regional government gives training on fruitful spending to local government structures.


5.6       Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin)


It is an established norm that business and politics should have a common vision to develop the people and the economy. Tax collection is a responsibility of central government and not regions. There is an established anti-bribery pact between the companies and the Chamber. There is a designed road map for co-operative governance between the Chamber and business. The Government and the Chamber are partners in terms of regulations and passing legislation on business operations, corruption and fraud. Disclosure of assets is required in terms of legislation.


The Chamber is established by legislation. It is headed by the chairperson who coincidently is a Member of Parliament. It has oversight over 280 associations and 12 sectoral units; e.g. mining, agriculture, services, etc. The Chamber has offices in all regions and 400 offices in sub-districts.


The Chamber has a dedicated public policy official who designs the social security system in the Chamber. This official is responsible for health, personnel supervision and labour relations matters in the Chamber. There is a dedicated committee in the Chamber dealing with control of business monopoly as set out in legislation. There is requisite co-operation between Government and the Chamber regarding tax related matters, e.g. investigations, tax collections, objections and appeals regarding perceived misinterpretation of relevant legislation. The Chamber solicits the co-operation of the Minister for Law and Human Rights to deal with the infringement of rights of businesses and matters of corruption.


The challenge is that corruption is rife in the industry. In terms of disclosure policy, only assets must be declared but not the value and business interest which makes it challenging to root out corruption. This makes the administrative component of the Chamber easy to hire but difficult to fire. 


5.7       Chairperson of the Ombudsman Indonesia


The Ombudsman Indonesia was initially set up as a National Ombudsman Commission in 2000. It took eight years to transform the commission into an Ombudsman. The Ombudsman is governed by the Ombudsman of Republic of Indonesia Act 37 of 2008 and the Law of the Republic Indonesia Public Services Act 25 of 2009. The Ombudsman has the function to supervise the administration of public services, which is executed by the state officials and public officials in: central and regional government; state-owned enterprises (SOEs); state-owned legal entities, and private sector and individual entities that are assigned to administer certain public services.


The Ombudsman consists of nine members who are elected by the House of Representatives based on the candidates nominated by the President. One of these members is the Chief of the Ombudsman and another is the Deputy Chief of the Ombudsman.  The Ombudsman Indonesia further consists of Ombudsman assistants, who are appointed and who can be removed by the Chief of the Ombudsman. These are the administrative and technical personnel, the equivalents of director-generals, deputy director-generals, chief directors and directors (the senior management service – SMS) in South Africa. The South African equivalent of the Ombudsman Indonesia is the Public Service Commission.


The qualification of being appointed as Chief, Deputy Chief and Member of Ombudsman is a bachelor’s degree in law or public administration and 15 years experience in either of these two disciplines. Members are mostly retired judges and legal experts. Minimum age of 40, at least, is required to qualify as a member of the Ombudsman.


The functions of Ombudsman Indonesia are:

  • receiving grievances on presumption of maladministration in administering public services;
  • conducting substantial investigation of a grievance;
  • following up on a grievance which is under the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman;
  • conducting own motion investigation into the presumption of maladministration in administering public services;
  • conducting co-ordination and co-operation with other state organs or public agencies, as well as non-governmental organizations and individuals;
  • developing networks;
  • conducting the prevention of maladministration in administering public services; and
  • conducting other assignments as mandated by the law.




6.         Lessons learnt


The lessons learnt from Ghana and Indonesia can be applied to the rationalisation of how Community Development Workers, Thusong Service Centres, normalisation of public administration practices across the three spheres of government, the role and function of traditional leaders in South African and the institutions supporting the Public Service can be strengthened and streamlined for effective service delivery, transparency and strengthening of democracy. Some of the lessons included:


  • It was a correct decision of the committees to conduct a joint study tour to Indonesia and Ghana, because both countries had experienced centralisation and decentralisation of the public service.
  • Salary structures in Indonesia were similar/same across all spheres of government for the equivalent post and qualifications, with good performance being rewarded. Only on merit and qualifications will the salary differ for the same post.
  • In Indonesia, no resignation is required when an official moves from one sphere of government to the other.
  • In Indonesia there is an established anti-bribery pact between the companies and the Chamber of Commerce. There is a designed road map for co-operative governance between the Chamber and business.
  • The Government and the Chamber of Commerce are partners in terms of regulations and passing legislation on business operations, corruption and fraud. The South African equivalent would be the National Anti-Corruption Forum (NACF), which is a partnership formed by the Government, business and civil society.
  • In terms of disclosure policy, only assets are declared, but not the value thereof. Business interests are not declarable in terms of legislation.
  • Home Affairs in Indonesia is a super ministry, dealing with regional development, civic affairs, modernisation of the Public Service and service delivery matters, health systems in regions, environment and disaster management, and inland security.
  • Indonesia conducts direct elections at all levels. Political parties do not decide who gets into the lists and to ultimately occupy parliamentary seats or seats of any structure. This means that the following structures and authorities are directly elected by the people:


o  The President of Indonesia

o  Members of Parliament

o  Members of the Senate

o  The Governor of a province or region

o  Members of the Provincial/regional Parliament

o  Members of the District Parliament

o Members of the city or village Parliament.


  • A portfolio committee (commission) of Parliament in Indonesia is structured in the following manner:


  • Each commission has seven advisers
  • Each member of the commission (MP) has two advisers
  • Each member has a personal assistant (PA)
  • All technical personnel attached to the commission must have a Master’s degree as a basic qualification.


  • In Indonesia, centralisation policy made it difficult to deliver services in remote areas. The country is prone to natural disasters. Centralised disaster and crisis management made it impossible to satisfy all requisite needs of local people. The country resolved in 2000 to phase in a decentralisation policy.


  • Ombudsman Indonesia has the function to supervise and monitor the administration of public services, including those as executed by the State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs), as well as a private sector or individual entity assigned to administer certain public services.


  • The qualification for being appointed as Chief, Deputy Chief and Member of Ombudsman (membership of the Public Service Commission) is a bachelor’s degree in law or public administration and 15 years experience in either of these two disciplines. Members were mostly retired judges and legal experts. The minimum age of 40, at least, was required to qualify as Member of the Ombudsman.


  • In Ghana, the President consults with the PSC on the appointments he or she makes in the Public Service.


  • Ghana’s Institute of Management and Public Administration has over the years transformed into a fully-fledged university specialising in courses and degrees solely for the Public Service and for the Members of Parliament.


  • It was very difficult for regional government in Ghana to remove officials in their region because they are hired by the central administration.


  • For transparency and neutrality purposes, the Ghanaian Public Service Commission dealt with the transfer of public servants between public service organisations.


All of the above can be fruitfully adapted to the South African situation with respect to spheres of government and the Public Service.


7.         Conclusion


An interesting observation from Ghana was that they had a highly skilled public service that was controlled by the national sphere of government, but that the institutions supporting the public service, the Public Service Commission and the Ghana Institute for Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) played a pivotal role in supporting the public service. Matters concerning the role of traditional leaders were of concern too for Ghana, as the role of traditional leaders as the natural leaders of their communities, but being explicitly excluded from politics in a constituency-based system posed a constitutional contradiction.


In Indonesia, the institutions supporting the civil service also played a pivotal role in the success of the governance system in place. The focus for Indonesia was on the local sphere of government, whereby the needs of the local communities were directly responded to. There is a strong focus on disaster management based on the environment challenges Indonesia faces.


The lessons learnt from the study can be applied to how South Africa can strengthen its institutions supporting democracy, Thusong Service Centres, Community Development workers, Public Service training institutions and support for traditional leaders and upcoming draft legislation to standardise administration practices across the spheres of government.

The Portfolio Committees concerned will debate from an informed perspective on deployments of personnel across the spheres of government; salaries, service delivery, resignations and movement of personnel between spheres when dealing with the draft legislation on these issues.


The delegations conclude that the study tours were worthwhile in order to learn the intricacies of both centralisation and decentralisation of public administration along the spheres of government.


Report to be noted.


[1] Chapter eight, Constitution of the Republic of Ghana (1992)


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