JEL Classification L38, H70
The leader’s commitment in transparency of public information is an important part in realizing good governance. The characteristic and value inherent in good governance are to give non-governmental parties to the optimal role in government activities to create synergy between parties. In practice, good governance contains values such as efficiency, fairness, and responsiveness that makes the government can more effectively work to realize the welfare of the community. The principle of good governance is accountability, transparency, political policy formulation of openness, participation, rule of law and sense of public justice to every public policy (Sakapurnama and Safitri, 2012).
The concept of a democratic country leads to increased transparency, participation, and accountability in public service. “The role of public administration is vital in helping empower society and create Democracy” (Keban, 2004). Transparency is closely related to information disclosure for the public to obtain accurate and adequate information. “Transparency is the availability of organizational and community information able to monitor the organization’s performance” (Grimmelikhuijsen and Porumbescu, 2013).
The leader’s commitment in realizing transparency of public information by public bodies in Indonesia is still a serious issue. Transparency of public information is still considered low by some communities. There were 4 (four) government institutions that are often complained about the low data disclosure that is as follow as local government, National Land Agency (BPN), Educational Institutions and Police Institution (Marien and Hooghe, 2011).In addition, Indonesia’s data transparency level is also still left behind from the Asia-Pacific Areas. Transparency of data means openness, providing data to the public to access, use, and share. Transparency of data from 2017 Resource Governance index puts Indonesia in the fourth place on the list (Corrêa, Paula, Corrêa, and Silva, 2017).
By focusing on the disclosure information to realize a good government, the Indonesian Government issued ACT No. 14 in 2008 on Public Disclosure of Information (KIP ACT). By the issuing of the KIP ACT is expected to realize transparent governance. “Good governance was a conception of governance that was clean, democratic, and effective” (Tahir, 2014). KIP ACT requires the area to create Regional Regulations (PERDA) on public disclosure of information.
Areas in Central Java Province are committed to the disclosure of public information, and such an area is Pemalang District. Government of Pemalang District created Regional Regulation (PERDA) Number 01 in 2011 focused on transparency and community participation in local government organizing. The main aim of this entity was to ensure the right of society to know the process of planning, implementation, evaluation, as well as supervision in the implementation of local governance. According to Tahir (2014) stated that transparency in regional governance gave opportunity for the community to know the policies that are to be taken by the government. “Transparency would also encourage increased public accountability” (Mardiyanta, 2013).
The government agency that manages the disclosure of public information is the Department of Communications and Informatics (DISKOMINFO), which is designated as an Official Information Officer and Documentation (PPID). Diskominfo in this case also cooperates with all public bodies called PPID Maid in Pemalang District about the service of public information. In addition to detailed duties and authorities, PPID also makes the classification of public information consisting of as follows: (1) Public Information (2) Information that is excluded. Public information classifies into Public information that must be provided and announced periodically, public information also should be publicly announced and public information that must be made available at all times.
The Mechanisms of public information services classify as PPID of Pemalang District in a direct and indirect way. The direct way is by providing an information service desk and a service desk providing Internet access. Problems related to transparency in Pemalang District are one of them on the recruitment of village devices. In 2017, there were 8 (eight) cases of reporting related to the transparent maintenance (Diskominfo of Pemalang District, 2018). The purpose of this research is to observe how the leader commits in realizing transparency of public information in Pemalang District.
2. Literature Review
Openness and transparency could only happen if the leaders run it persistently (Bennis, 2007; Goleman, Boyatzis, and McKee, 2001; O’Toole, 2009). Leaders instill this commitment into organizational communication with stakeholders (Oliver, 2004). Leadership in transparency management of public information became an important part, such as the view of (Price, 2003) stated that “leadership was the activity of influencing people to strive willingly for mutual objectives (leadership is Activities to influence people in order to strive willingly to achieve common objectives”. In that definition the leader relates to one person, affecting the other’s sides in the group concerned. Besides that, the influence arises from the relationship of leaders with their subordinates into interaction reciprocally.
According to Yukl (2009) leadership was the process of influencing others to understand and agree with what needs to be done, and how the task is done effectively, as well as the process to facilitate individual and collective efforts to achieve Common goals. Meanwhile, Robbins and Coulter (2012) define a leader as someone who can influence others and has managerial authority while leadership was what the leader does. Leadership is the process of leading a group and influencing the group in achieving its objectives.
Leadership was an interpersonal influence in certain situations and directly through the process of communication to achieve one or more specific objectives (Hersey and Blanchard, 1995). While according to Koontz and O’Donnell (2006) leadership was an effort to influence communities to take a participation in reaching a targeted goal or achievement. Robbins (2003) stated that leadership is the ability to affect a group in reaching a goal. A leader has a goal to accomplish leadership practices. According to Terry (2012), leadership comes from a complex relationship consisting of leaders, led parties, concerned organizations and social values, as well as economic and political conditions.
According to Oliver (2004, p.34), organization leaders were committed to the process of collecting information and its metric systems. Commitments also run in talks and attitudes with the enforcement of transparency guidelines, ethical work in a fast and decisive manner. In addition, the commitment of leadership is demonstrated by the standards held by the top of the leadership in the documentation and communication process, and in this case the public information governance metric can also be included. According to Davis (2013) stated that “information is data that has been processed into a meaningful form for its recipients and is beneficial for current or future decision making”. Information is a collection of data that is processed into a more useful and more meaningful form for the receiving.
Assegaf and Katharina (2005) stated that “in fact, the right to obtain information is the right that the public has to acquire or access information maintained by the state. It encourages governments to develop legislation governing information that is accessible to the public. Information is said to be public information i.e. if information managed by a country other than information about a person or private legal entity is not a State property, but the community belongs to it.” Information is not only just a description provided by a person or by a public agency such as data, facts, news, or information that has been processed as well as to have important meaning but also value for a person or organization. Cole and Bruch (2006) and Makhdum and Sanusi (2001) stated that information was a collecting or managing data to give knowledge and curiosity for the public. While ACT KIP defines information as a notification, statement, idea, and values pattern, meaning as well as messages bot of data, fact, and explanation that can be seen, listened and read. These explanations should be included and presented in various formats bases on the development of information technology and communication both of electronic and non-electronic.
Information and data are two different things, so sometimes there is confusion in understanding them. The difference in information and data i.e. information is data that has been processed, formed, or manipulated according to specific requirements while data is a fact that has been written in the form of notes or recorded into various forms of media (Alamsyah, 2002). The same opinion expressed by Indrajit (2002) stated that “information is the result of data processing that in principle has more value when compared to raw data. Data can be said to have an information value if it can affect someone’s behavior.” Useful information depends on several factors that affect the recipient’s goal, the accuracy of delivery and data processing, time, space and place, form (effectiveness, relationship required, tendencies) and areas that require the attention of the organization, as well as public agency leadership, and suitability with the purpose.
Davis (2013) stated that information is data that has been processed into a meaningful form for its recipients and is beneficial in making current or future decisions. Information reduces uncertainty, is able to change the possible outcomes expected in a decision situation and it has value in the decision process. The relationships are between data and information is similar to raw materials that become finished goods. Figure 1 below explains the relationship between data and information.
Figure 1. From Data Transformation to Information
Source: Davis (2013)
Figure 2 shows how the data processing system becomes information. The value of information relates to a decision, if there is no decision then the information becomes useless. The value of information is depicted in the context of a decision (Davis, 1985). In addition, data acts as a raw material of information. Davis (2013) stated that data is a bunch of regular symbols representing the quantity, action, objects and so on.
Figure 2. From Data Management to Information
Source: Davis (2013)
Transparency is an open policy for supervision, while the information relates to every aspect of government policy that can be reached by the public. According to Tahir (2014, pp.123-124)information disclosure is expected to produce healthy, tolerant, and policy competition based on public preference. This principle itself has 2 aspects, namely (1) public communication by the Government (2) community rights to the access of information. Transparency should be balanced with the confidentiality of the Agency and information that may affect the privacy rights of individuals. Government generates large amounts of data, which are required by professional information officers.
Information is a source of life in an increasingly transparent world. Information is growing rapidly and the whole layer of society can access easily and unlimited. The Information-Transparency Cycle (I-T Cycle) consists of self-regulating, self-funded, and answers to no superior power. The transparency of information cycles has become an important part of information development in the world. More information can be disseminated to the public and can be accessed quickly. The information transparency cycle is jointly part of the industry, the economy, and the human way of life. Currently, the information transparency cycle is the fuel and the main mechanism of modern life. Figure 3 explains the information transparency cycle.
Figure 3. Information Transparency Cycle
Source: Oliver (2004, p.22)
Figure 3 above shows that information transparency cycles, and according to Oliver (2004, p. 22) they can be classified as follows:
- Information collected directly on almost every subject or activity.
- Information is easily compiled, examined, analysed, researched, filtered, refined, prioritized, studied, stored, and manipulated.
- Information is directly and cost-effectively distributed to the individuals or organizations globally.
- Direct reaction to what is or what is missing.
- More information is requested, so more information is gathered.
Public information is information provided, created and maintained by the Government. Such information belongs to the community entrusted to the Government to implement itself (Tahir, 2014, p.124).In accordance with the public information, under ACT KIP, this type of information is generated, stored, managed, transmitted, and/or received by a public agency, related to the organizer, the state, other public agencies appointed by the law, as well as other information relating to the public interest.
3. Research Method
This research is using a secondary data approach. The techniques of data retrieval used by researchers are focused on the documentation such as public documents (newspaper, paper, Office report) or private documents (Diary, letters and e-mails) Creswell (2016, pp.254-255).
4. Results and Discussion
The leader’s commitment in realizing the transparency of public information in Pemalang District can be observed in the activity program in Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (Diskominfo). In 2019, Diskominfo had 6 (six) public information transparency programs with reference to the results of the evaluation of program planning in 2018. According to Bennis, Goleman, and O’Toole (2008), openness and transparency can only happen if the leaders apply it persistently. Leaders instill this commitment into organizational communication with stakeholders (Oliver, 2004). Table 1 shows the transparency programs of public information have been implemented in 2019.
Table 1. Transparency Program of Public Information in Pemalang District 2019
|No||Program / Activities||Budgets (IDR)||Approximated Budgets (USD)|
|1.||Communication, information and mass media development program||15.835.000||1014.74|
|2.||Facilitation programs for improving Human Resource communication and information||708.000.000||45370.22|
|3.||Information cooperation program with mass media||930.000.000||59596.47|
|4.||Institutional strengthening program in communication management and regional||681.600.000||43678.45|
|5.||Program Improvement of communication and informatics governance||4.748.419.500||304289.31|
|6.||Regional data/information/statistical development program||650.000.000||41653.45|
Source: Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (Diskominfo) in Pemalang District (Researcher Managed, 2019)
Note: 1000 IDR = 0.064 USD
Based on the transparency program of the public information there are objectives that are necessary to achieve. Strategic targets are mentioned in table 2, below.
Table 2. Strategy Target of Public Information Transparency
|No||Strategic Targets||Achievement Indicators|
|1.||Improving information services and public aspirations||
1. Rising rank of public information disclosure of Central Java
2. The fulfillment level of public information on website
3. Actionable online community complaints services on time
|2.||Strengthening the quality apparatus of communication informatics||Presentation of a skilled civil apparatus in the field of communication and informatics|
|3.||Improving community access to public information||Number of public groups gaining media literacy|
|4.||Realization of infrastructure development of information and communication technology||
1. Availability of data center
2. Assessment of electronic-based governance system
3. Fulfillment of information security management system
|5.||Integrated data between all OPD||Integrated availability Data Statistic Percentation|
Source: Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (Diskominfo) in Pemalang District
In the table above the strategic target of the program is related to the rank of Office of Information Management and Documentation (PPID) in Pemalang District. It also integrated the data between the OPD and increased public access to information publicly. Assegaf and Katharina (2005) stated that “in fact the right to obtain information was the right that the public has to acquire or access information maintained by the state. Thus, it encourages Governments to develop legislation governing information that is accessible to the public”.
According to Assegaf and Katharina (2005), there are 2 (two) public information classification groups such as:
- (1) Public information consisting of
- (a) public information that must be provided and announced periodically
- (b) public information that must be announced immediately
- (c) public information that must be available all the time
- (2) public information that is excluded.
As such, there are multiple outlets that gather and make information available to the public. Office of Information Management and Documentation (PPID) in Pemalang District applies Information Lists and Public Documentation (DIDP). In creating DIDP there are other public agencies involved, as well as the Regional Device Organization (OPD) that is locate in Pemalang District.
However, in DIDP, coordination meeting conducted by Diskominfo is not attended by the public agency originating from the village government or BUMD located in Pemalang District. In the preparation of DIDP, there are four approaches done in accordance with the following guidelines:
- Checking the list of public information that is categorized as mandatory, periodic, and immediately, and pouring in the provision of public information listings;
- passive approaches, where the existence of excluded information appears as PPID conducts a consequence test of the public information requested by the applicant;
- The active approach to which DIDP drafting is conducted involves not only information that is open or information that must be provided and announced, but also includes confidential information where information is excluded;
- A separate approach in which the DIDP arrangement conducted by the PPID only contains the types of public information that is categorized as open information. The presence of excluded information is organized into a separate list of excluded information lists.
However, DIDP preparation in Pemalang District did not go through according to DIDP guidelines. Therefore, the decision of district Secretary of Pemalang District Number 188.4/34/ in 2018 about the information list and documentation of public government in Pemalang District did not refer to the guidelines for the formation and operation of PPID provincial government and Regency/City. The problem is DIDP preparation in Pemalang District because of the absence of public classification test. Public classification test activities should be done because it is a duty on lack of public knowledge of its rights in KIP ACT. It is contradicted by previous works (Bickers, Hopkins-Burns, Bennett, and Namay, 2015) which found that it was required to be cautious about sharing intergovernmental information, especially regarding income and debt information. It is a major concern the occurrence of information misuse by government agencies, low accuracy of information, and the security of information handling process by government agencies.
Leadership commitment in transparency of public information management is one of the key elements. Leadership is an interpersonal influence in certain situations and can direct the process of communication to achieve one or more specific objectives (Hersey and Blanchard, 1995). In addition, Koontz and O’Donnell (2006) stated that leadership is an effort to influence people to participate in achieving common goals. Robbins (2003) stated leadership is the ability to influence a group to achieve goals. A leader has a goal to accomplish leadership practices. Moreover, (Terry, 2012) leadership rose from a complex relationship consisting of leaders, led parties, concerned organizations and social values as well as economic and political conditions.
Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (Diskominfo) as the primary PPID that has tasks and functions in communication and informatics affairs requires innovative leadership. Based on the work plan of Diskominfo as the primary PPID in communication and informatics affairs must carry out the activities that have been created. In the implementation of transparency of public information, information services are conducted through online media, printed media, radio, television, outdoor media (billboards, banners, posters) and traditional media. Information services through online media were implemented using a specific website [http://ppid.pemalangkab.go.id]. However, there are a number of inactive websites in Pemalang District.
Figure 4. Website Report Condition in Pemalang District
Source: Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (Diskominfo) in Pemalang District (2019)
Figure 4, presented above, shows that there were 87% of websites that were not updated and the rest were rarely updated, whereas others become inactive. Leaders’ commitment in improving the management of regional device website in Pemalang District is needed. Transparency is an open policy for supervision while the information about every aspect of government policy that can be reached by the public. According to Tahir (2014, pp.123-124)information disclosure was expected to produce healthy, tolerant, and policy political competition based on public preference. Transparency should be balanced with the confidentiality of the Agency and information that may affect the privacy rights of individuals.
At this time, the public complaint on the information in Pemalang District is served through the Regent Hallo application. The application of the Hallo Regent is created by Diskominfo to serve public complaints on the service of information and other services. Data on the results of PPID report showed that in 2018 as many as 191 complaints entered. With the breakdown of complaints as follows: the local device answered 100 complaints and 91 complaints were missed. Figure 5 below illustrates the number of complaints in the application of Hallo Regent in Pemalang District.
Figure 5. Community complaints (total number 191) through Short Message Service in Pemalang District 2018
Source: Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (Diskominfo) in Pemalang District (2019)
Figure 5 shows that the number of public complaints on publicly classified information is high. A very high percentage of complaints have not been answered by the primary PPID or PPID helper. It takes leaders’ expertise in dealing with issues related to public complaints of the need. People complain through an online SMS media (Hallo regent) or official website of the District. There complains were related to access to information, education field, information security, and infrastructure. This requires attention from the leader in Pemalang District to find a solution to this problem.
Additionally, public complaints come through via SMS, online in Hallo Regent Application and on the complaint website that has been provided by the official portal [https://www.lapor.go.id]. The public complaint on the information service is a major PPID task to complete, by coordinating it with PPID Helper. Every complaint that comes through has to be responded to because it is stipulated in the Standard Operating Procedure. A leader’s commitment is needed in responding to each complaint, as it will affect the transparency of public information in Pemalang District.
Leader’s commitment in transparency management of public information by primary PPID and its helper aims to ensure community rights to know the plans for public policy development, public policy programs, and decision-making processes. In addition, it also encourages participation, improving the active role of the community in the public policy retrieval process. Establishing good state implementation and improving the management as well as service of information aims to produce quality information services. Therefore, the role of leaders becomes a very important part. Oliver (2004) stated that an organization leader is committed to the process of collecting information and its metric system. In addition, the commitment of leadership is demonstrated by the standards held by the top of the leadership in the documentation and communication process and the public information governance metric. Commitments have to be enforced by transparency guidelines and ethical work in a fast and decisive manner.
The leadership commitment in realizing the transparency of public information in Pemalang District has not been carried out effectively. This is because the leader responsible for information and documentation has not been properly performing his tasks and functions. In addition, the primary PPID has not been able to influence the subordinates and demonstrate expertise and skills in the management of public information transparency. There is still some improper planning programs so that the transparency of public information in Pemalang District is still categorized to informative. In addition, the commitment of the leader in planning for the training program for the PPID officers is not conducted. PPID officers have a high workload. PPID officers, both primary and auxiliary, must conduct information management, documenting and filing, implementing information services and resolving complaints and information disputes.
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