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Workshop on

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Workshop onon,ON,On

    Workshop on

    Implementing the Freedom of Information Law in Indonesia

Background:

Access to information is a fundamental human right. According to Article 19 of the United Nation’s

    Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

    Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes the right

    to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and

    ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

    To guarantee the people’s right to access information held by public authorities, a strong legal foundation

    is needed. In Indonesia, after several years of advocacy and legislative debate, the Freedom of Information Act was finally passed into law on April 3, 2008. By enacting this law, Indonesia joined over 80 countries which have legal provisions that protect the right to information for their citizens.

    Freedom of Information legislation also has significant potential to assist the development of a country. Improvements to a country’s policy-making and public service delivery can be aided by the enhanced

    accountability and opportunities for public discussion and participation that the FOI law facilitates.

    Indonesia now faces many challenges in implementing the law during the mandated two-year period. This learning event seeks to provide a forum for the discussion of these implementation challenges as well as an opportunity to build consensus on the way forward in implementing the FOI law.

Workshop Objectives:

    (a) To highlight the importance of effectively implementing the Freedom of Information Act, in order

    to gain the intended benefits of improved accountability, transparency and good governance in

    Indonesia

    (b) To share knowledge and lessons learned through interaction with regional and international FOI

    experts

    (c) To devise an action plan for addressing the challenges associated with implementing the FOI law

Target Audience:

    The workshop is designed for legislators, public officials, government information officers, media and civil society practitioners.

Partners:

    Indonesian Ministry of Information, IRDI, SET, Visi Anak Bangsa, USAID Democratic Reform Support Program, World Bank Institute

Location:

    Jakarta, Indonesia

Date:

    November 19-20, 2008

     1

    AGENDA

    “Implementing the Freedom of Information Law in Indonesia

    November 19, 2008

9.00 9.30 am Registration (Coffee/Tea)

9.30 10.00 am Introduction & Welcoming Remarks

10.00 11.00 am Session 1: Review of the Freedom of Information Law

    This session will review the main components of the freedom of information law

    and the most immediate implementation challenges. More than six months after

    the passage of the FOI law, progress toward implementation will be summarized.

    Speakers will also address what the FOI law means in relation to other legislation

    on budget transparency, asset declaration, campaign financing, freedom of

    speech/press, as well as the draft bill on State Secrets.

     Moderator:

    Speakers: Fredy Tulung, Ministry of Information, Theo Sambuaga, Member of

    Parliament, Ifdhal Hasim, Komnas HAM, KPK Representative

     Discussion

    11.00 12.30 pm Session 2: Establishing an Effective Information Commission

    The implementation timetable requires that the Information Commission be

    created by April 2009. Discussion during this panel will cover the challenges in

    forming and operating an effective information commission. In comparison with

    other countries, what are key lessons that can be applied in the formation and

    funding of an information commission? What are the key functions of the

    information commission? How will this body handle complaints regarding FOI?

    How will decisions by the information commission be enforced?

    Moderator: Agus Sudibyo, SET

    Speakers: Dr. Kittisak Prokati, Thammasat University School of Law and FOI

    Commissioner, Thailand

    Discussion

12.30 1.30 pm Lunch

1.30 3.00 pm Session 3: Implementing the FOI Law in Public Bodies

    This session will focus on key aspects of how public officials implement the FOI

    law within their agencies. What kind of training is available for public servants

    regarding FOI? What kind of budget has been allocated to carry out FOI

    implementation? What sort of processes and methods - such as proactive

    disclosure and e-government services will be used in disseminating information?

    How will the FOI law be handled within public bodies at the local level?

    Moderator: Notrida Mandica, IRDI

    Speakers: Andrew Ecclestone, Office of the Ombudsman, New Zealand

    Discussion

     2

3.00 3.30 pm Coffee/Tea

    3.30 - 5.00 pm Session 4: Public Education and Monitoring of the FOI Law

    This session will cover the challenges involved in educating the public about their

    right to information according to the law. What kind of public awareness

    programs will be undertaken? How will we know whether the law is operating

    successfully? Who should be responsible for public education and monitoring

    the government, the Information Commission or civil society and the media? How

    will these groups interact in order to carry out public education and FOI

    monitoring?

    Moderator: Debra Yatim, Visi Anak Bangsa

    Speakers: Effendy Gazali, Andy Noya, TV One, TIFA Foundation

    Representative, Ministry of Information Representative

    Discussion

    November 20, 2008

9.00 9.30 am Summary of Day 1 Sessions

9.30 12.00 pm Simultaneous Working Groups

     Group 1: Forming an Effective Information Commission

     Group 2: Implementing the FOI Law in Public Bodies

     Group 3: Public Education and FOI Monitoring

     Moderators:

     Rapporteurs:

12.00 1.00 pm Lunch

1.00 2.00 pm Summary and Action Plan Presentation

2:00 2:30 pm Closing Remarks

     3

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