Amnesty questions move to allow more active TNI officers into civilian posts

Source – June 29, 2019
Amnesty International Indonesia Director Usman Hamid (Kompas)
Amnesty International Indonesia Director Usman Hamid (Kompas)

Christoforus Ristianto, Jakarta – Amnesty International Indonesia Executive Director Usman Hamid says that Presidential Regulation Number 37/2019 on Indonesian Military (TNI) Functional Posts will increase the number of active TNI officers holding functional posts in government institutions.

“The risk is that there will be a flood of active TNI officers into state civil service apparatus positions and posts which the Ombudsman warned about before”, said Hamid when contacted on Saturday June 29.

According to Hamid, the flood of active TNI officers being given functional posts has the potential to become a serious problem.

Because according to Amnesty’s records, there are already 3,823 active TNI offices working in 10 departments or non-government institutions.

The breakdown, continued Hamid, is 265 high-ranking officers, 697 colonels and 2,861 below the rank of colonel. The majority of these officers have been placed in the Department of Defense (Kemhan).

“In Kemhan there are 2,076 TNI officers comprising 85 high-ranking officers, 427 colonels while the remainder are officers below the rank of colonel”, said Hamid.

Hamid said that the presidential regulation may indeed be an effort to solve the problem of the carrier path of senior TNI officers.

But it would be better if the regulation does not create a new problem in the state civilian apparatus which is still suffering from administrative and bureaucratic challenges.

“It appears that the government is having difficulties finding other ways to accommodate the interests of mid- and high-ranking officers who do not have posts in the TNI”, said Hamid.

Earlier, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo signed Presidential Regulation Number 37/2019.

According to a release on the Cabinet Secretariat’s official website, it said that TNI functional officials will be placed under and are responsible to the organisational or working unit heads that officers are assigned to.

These TNI functional officials will have ranks which are equivalent to the rank of working or organisational unit heads.

There are at least two TNI functional posts, namely expert functional posts and skilled functional posts.

The hierarchy of expert functional posts is comprised of principle experts, mid-left experts, junior experts and novice experts. The hierarchy of skilled functional posts are supervisors, accomplished, competent and novices.

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Amnesty International Kritisi Perpres Jabatan Fungsional TNI”.]