Implementing the Freedom of Information Law in Indonesia
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.
(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
(b) To share knowledge and lessons learned through interaction with regional and international FOI
(c) To devise an action plan for addressing the challenges associated with implementing the FOI law
The workshop is designed for legislators, public officials, government information officers, media and civil society practitioners.
Indonesian Ministry of Information, IRDI, SET, Visi Anak Bangsa, USAID Democratic Reform Support Program, World Bank Institute
November 19-20, 2008
“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.
Speakers: Fredy Tulung, Ministry of Information, Theo Sambuaga, Member of
Parliament, Ifdhal Hasim, Komnas HAM, KPK Representative
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
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
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
Moderator: Debra Yatim, Visi Anak Bangsa
Speakers: Effendy Gazali, Andy Noya, TV One, TIFA Foundation
Representative, Ministry of Information Representative
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
12.00 – 1.00 pm Lunch
1.00 – 2.00 pm Summary and Action Plan Presentation
2:00 – 2:30 pm Closing Remarks