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From Accounting to Accountability in the Indonesian Parliament - BAKN Practice Development Workshop | 19-20 October 2011 | Bandung

^ Workshop participants and facilitators in Bandung  
Click here for the list of Participants  

The Indonesian Parliament’s commitment to enhanced public sector oversight took another step forward recently when members and staff from the parliament’s public accounts committee (the Badan Akuntabilitas Keuangan Negara or BAKN) participated in a two-day workshop on public accounts committee work practices convened by the Centre for Democratic Institutions (CDI).

Improving the capacity of parliament to oversee the operation of executive government and its agencies is an important theme in CDI’s work. This workshop is in the latest in a series of CDI initiatives to support the emergence of BAKN as a significant body in the Indonesian parliament.

The BAKN was established by the DPR in 2009 to review reports from Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) on the financial and operational performance of public sector agencies and to advise DPR committees on issues which warrant further and closer examination by the parliament. This role places BAKN at the heart of parliamentary oversight processes in Indonesia.

 
 
 
 
  ^^^^^ The Workshop in Session

Since its inception BAKN has developed an approach focussing on consideration of BPK’s annual report on central government finances and BPK’s twice yearly summary reports of financial, performance and special purpose audit reports.

In close consultation with BAKN members and staff, CDI devised a two day workshop to allow BAKN to reflect on international practice in parliamentary review of audit reports. The aim of the workshop was to consider whether aspects of BAKN’s practices and procedures could be refined to enhance parliamentary oversight of pub2lic sector performance, efficiency and effectiveness.

The workshop, which was facilitated by Professor Kerry Jacobs (Professor of Accounting at the Australian National University and an international expert in parliamentary financial oversight) and Grant Harrison (CDI’s Deputy Director and former Chief Adviser to the Australian Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee), was conducted in Bandung on 19 and 20 October.

At the conclusion of the workshop BAKN members and staff identified four areas where it could adjust its work practices to provide more effective advice to the DPR and enhance parliamentary oversight of executive agencies. These were:

  1. to develop criteria to guide its assessment of which BPK audit findings warrant parliamentary attention – ensuring that ‘public value’ is considered and that deeper attention is given to fewer issues;
  2. to gather information from a broader range of informants (including through public hearings) – deepening its understanding of audit findings and agency responses;
  3. to present more targeted, evidence-based reports - to persuade readers (especially those on DPR committees) to take action; and
  4. to provide advice to BPK (on behalf of parliament) about potential audit topics and on the quality & usefulness of BPK reporting

Participants also saw value in seeking to establish a BAKN website (to encourage easier public access to information about the work of the committee) and to lobby within DPR for changes to BAKN’s legislative mandate directed at expand its powers of investigation.

The workshop was a rare opportunity for BAKN to take time out from its work and consider how the Indonesian parliament can improve its oversight of public sector performance. The ideas discussed and developed during the workshop have significant potential to enhance the impact of BAKN’s work. CDI will be liaising closely with BAKN in the coming months to look for opportunities to support the implementation of these changes.

The Workshop on BAKN Practice is the latest in a series of CDI initiatives to support the emergence of BAKN as a significant body in the Indonesian parliament – for more information about previous activities see the following links:

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CDI-IPD | Parliamentary Financial Scrutiny Course for Indonesia | February 2010
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The Australian National University

School of International, Political & Strategic Studies

The Centre for Democratic Institutions (CDI) supports the efforts of democracies in the Asia-Pacific region to strengthen their political systems. It provides training, technical assistance and peer support for parliamentarians, political party organisers and emerging leaders in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific, with a particular focus on Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji. CDI sponsors research and publications on political change and democratic governance.

Established in 1998, CDI is funded by the Australian Government. The Centre is based in the College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra.

© Centre for Democratic Institutions, The Australian National University. Please direct all comments to cdi@anu.edu.au. Last modified 28 August, 2014 CRICOSProvider Number: 00120C Web Counter

 

 

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