Ombudsman urges Indonesian govt to empower office of public advocate

Ombudsman urges Indonesian govt to empower office of public advocate

A screenshot of head of the Ombudsman of the Republic of Indonesia, Mokhammad Najih, participating in a public discussion on national Ombudsman, streamed by the Ombudsman RI YouTube channel on Thursday (October 21, 2021). (ANTARA/Putu Indah Savitri)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian Ombudsman Head Mokhammad Najih called on the government to empower the office of public advocate by opening its branches in cities and districts across the country. 

"We hope the Ombudsman can get strengthened," Najih remarked during a public discussion on the national Ombudsman, streamed on the Ombudsman YouTube channel on Thursday.

The government could support the enhancement process by allowing the establishment of Ombudsman branch offices in provinces, cities, and districts, he said.

Despite the fact that the Ombudsman has established its offices across Indonesia's 34 provinces, it has yet to have offices at city and district levels, Najih stated.

The Ombudsman head reiterated the importance of the supervisory agency's role in monitoring executive, legislative, and judiciary offices in Indonesia to ensure the authorities remain steadfast in maintaining a high quality of public service.

Related news: Ombudsman presses for evaluating Highest Retail Price policy for rice

The Audit Board of Indonesia (BPK) has received Constitutional status, hence its existence as the state finance auditor is protected, Najih pointed out.

"While the BPK has attained Constitutional status, the Ombudsman is yet to be recognized by the Constitution despite its function as the public service auditor. We should establish a new Constitutional concept regarding auditory function as the newest branch of government," he said.

He expressed the hope the Ombudsman's institutional enhancement will be followed by human resources development, as currently, the agency's regional branches are working with limited staff.

Public service supervisory work in West Java and East Java provinces, each of which has more than 25 districts and cities, would be challenging as each province's Ombudsman office has only 20-25 staffers, he pointed out.

"Hence, it is important to enhance the Ombudsman's institution to improve the agency's duty and fulfilling its goal according to its legal basis," Najih stressed.

Related news: Good public services mark of state presence: President