When Indonesia entered the reformation era in 1998, there were several main reformation agendas which aimed to solve major problems in political, social and economic fields arising from the financial crisis. One of the key agendas is the reformation of the bureaucracy. However, the reformation of the bureaucracy has not progressed well. As stated by Gie (2003:l), the former minister of The National Development Planning Agency, there was lack of significant improvement in the public sector although the reformation era was introduced for five years. Corruption, collusion and nepotism, inefficiency in the central and regional public sector, low public service quality, and low supervisory board function still occur. Based on the report of The National Development Planning Agency (2006, p. 2), it was found that
Given the reality in the public sector in Indonesia, this report will examine the Human Resource (HR) practices in the public sector and discuss the effectiveness of these practices in supporting organisational performance. The HR practices examined are recruitment and selection, remuneration system, training and development and performance appraisal. The HR practices will be examined in general as those HR practices are implemented in all public sectors based on the government regulation. Then, the public sector performance of all departements and ministries will be identified. The finding of the public sector performance, thus, will be related to the HR practices implemented in the public sector and theories about HR practices in order to examine factors that influence the public sector performance. This report argues that organisational performance is influenced by HR practices. As affirmed in several publications that organisations implemented HR practices tend to have higher organisational performance (Ghebregiorgis and Karsten, 2007:329; Tzafrir, 2006; Lavigna, 2002:369; Boyne et.al., 1999:418; Hiltrop, 1996:636). Finally, minimum requirement for educational background, specific examination tests, appropriate remuneration system, decentralised training and development, selection of trainees and tangible characteristics for performance appraisal are offered as recommendations to give give beneficial inputs to the public sector in Indonesia.
SITUATION OF THE PUBLIC SECTOR IN INDONESIA: A BRIEF INTRODUCTION
The public sector in Indonesia requires people who have capabilities and skills of analysis, decision making, and policy design which is hard to accomplish if the educational background is senior high school or less. Based on data from The National Civil Service Agency (The National Civil Service Agency website, 2007a), the total number of the public servants in Indonesians 3,662,336 in 2005 According to the educational background, 37 percent of public servants completed senior high school. Meanwhile, 28 percent finished undergraduate and only 0.2 percent had doctoral degrees. In addition, public servants with master degrees were only 2.5 percent. Surprisingly, there were still 2.9 percent of public servants who had elementary school background and 3.1 percent had junior high school background (for further-information refer to Appendix A). In 2006, the total number of the public servants decreases to 3.633.261 public servants (Sulistyo, 2006:l). The educational background of the public servants, thus, is still not adequate to meet the quality requirements of human resources in the public sector. In high school or less level, the skills of analysis, critical thinking and problem solving are less taught compare to university level because in those levels, students are taught to develop their understanding about theories.
The total number of public servants works for the central government and the regional government. After decentralisation was introduced at the end of 2000, the regional government was divided into two; provincial government and regency/municipality (Tjiptoherijanto, 2006:4). However, problems such as corruption, bribery and nepotism
increased when decentralisation was implemented. Therefore, to kttow”Avhy those practices still appear although the government already tried to reform the bureaucracy, understanding of the HR practices in the public sector in Indonesia is needed. The HR practices in the public sector in Indonesia are under authority of the government.
Recruitment and selection practices in the public sector in Indonesia
Since decentralisation, recruitment and selection is not arranged by the central government. Each regional government can arrange recruitment and selection for the public servants. However, the recruitment and selection process must adhere to the general and technical guidelines of the recruitment and selection process (Yuwono, 2001:59).
One of the steps for the recruitment and selection process that need to be highlighted is the third step, the examinations because this step will determine whether the applicants are fit with the jobs or not. Yuwono (2001:59-60) explained that there are four steps in the recruitment and selection process in the public sector. The first step is announcement which includes description of qualifications required. Selection of applicants who meet the requirement is the next step. The third is examinations which consist of an administration test and a screening test. The administration test, basically, consists of Indonesians’ common knowledge such as “Indonesia language, state philosophy, state structure of Indonesia, Indonesian history, and government policy”. An interview mostly about ideology is a part of the screening test. Despite the fact hat these tests are important, however there is no test to measure the quality and ability of specific skills of applicants essential in order to accomplish the jobs as the public servants. Finally, the announcement of applicants accepted as public servant candidates. The public servant candidates will have a probationary period for one until two years. The regional government is involved from the first until third step. But, the central government, namely Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Administrative Reform have authority for the final step.
Although the recruitment and selection process of the public servants seems ideal, the reality is different. Due to the decentralisation of the recruitment and selection process, many problems occur. Bribery, nepotism, question tests leakage, demonstration of results manipulation will likely occur during the recruitment and selection process (Trihusodo, 2006; Darmawan, 2005; Haris, 2005;). Given these problems, the government is considering the centralisation of the recruitment and selection process of public servants (Ministry of Home Affairs website, 2007; Kustiani, 2006).
Remuneration system practice in the public sector in Indonesi
The remuneration received by public servants is lower compared to employees in the private sector and even to employees in state-owned enterprises. Employees in the private sector can earn three to four times more than employees in the public sector (Rohdewohld, 1995 as cited in Bennington and Habir, 2003, p. 385; Tjiptoherijanto, 1995 as cited in Rohdewohld, 1995, p. 103). Because of many complaints regarding the low of the salary of public servants, the government is trying to increase the salary. In 2006 and 2007, respectively, the government increased basic salary of public servants around 15% (Sulistyo, 2006, p.l;Basuki, 2006).
The income of the public servants is based on three components which are “basic salary, allowances and other salary supplements” (Rohdewohld, 1995:101-102). Basic salary for the public servants in Indonesia is based on a “Combination Scale System” which refers to “a combination of single scale system and double scale system”. Under the combination scale system, some public servants will receive higher salary than those who are in the same rank or level (Tjiptoherijanto, 2006:5).
Allowances received by the public servants include “rice and family allowances, structural allowances, functional allowances and special allowances for the civil servants working in remote areas” (Rohdcwohld, 1995:101; Yuwono, 2001:62). In addition, other salary supplements will be received when special or certain events take place such as Idul Fitri bonuses (the moslem holy day, but all public servants regardless their religion will have this bonuses), project bonuses, official travel, and health care (Rohdewohld, 1995:102).
However, the low rate of remuneration can not be seen as an exception to have less performance in doing tasks. The public servants have to be responsible in doing tasks with their best efforts. The low salary is the reality that they have to accept since they already know when they apply to become public servants.
TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT PRACTICES OF THE PUBLIC SERVANTS IN INDONESIA.
The government realises that to improve the skills and abilities of public servants, training and development should be done as the government knows that many public servants arc high school graduates. The government has appointed The National Institute of Administration to arrange training for all public servants. Each ministry also has its own training, however, the training held by The National Institute of Administration is seen as more important especially when a public servant wants to be promoted in the future. As a result, the public servants who have higher education will obtain more training than those who have less education (Report A, 1997, as cited in Bennington and Habir, 2003:385). Structural and functional training are types of the training in the public sector (Yuwono, 2001:60). Rohdewohld (1995:108) explained that structural training is held for public servants’ career development that are in a structural position. The functional training is held for the public servants in functional positions such as medical doctors, librarians and lecturers.
However, the substance of the training which is to increase professionalism and capabilities of the public servants in doing the tasks are disappearing. Training is more likely to be means for additional income, to be promoted, and “moonlighting” (Report A, 1997 as cited in Bennington and Habir, 2003:384-385). Therefore, the skills of the public servants do not improve and cause inefficiency and tardiness in servicing the public.
Performance appraisal practice for the public servants in Indonesia
The performance appraisal of the public servants called as DP3 (Dqftar Penilaian Pelaksanaan Pekerjaari) (Rohdewohld, 1995, p. 105) is difficult to use because its’ intangible characteristic in some of the elements. The principal elements to be measured are loyalty, work achievement, responsibility, fidelity, honesty, cooperation, initiative and leadership in which the criteria for each element consist of five grades: very good (91-100), good (76-90), average (61-75), below average (51-60) and fair (under 50) (The National Civil Service Agency website, 2007b). The elements such as loyalty, honesty, and fidelity have an intangible characteristic. For these elements, it is hard to set certain standards to determine the score to be given. As a result, subjectivity appears in the performance appraisal (Putranto, 2001:323).
The performance appraisal is confidential. The appraiser must be a person who already supervises the public servant at least for six months (The National Civil Service Agency website, 2007). The result of the evaluation will be given to the public servant and the evaluator’s supervisor (Rohdewohld, 1995:105). The public servant can appeal if he/she objects to the result in fourteen day after the result accepted (The National Civil Service Agency website, 2007b). However, it is difficult to propose an appeal if the public servant still want to work because an appeal is seen as a rude act of challenging to supervisor.
Public sector performance in Indonesia
To know whether an organisation has performed well or not, an organisation must measure its performance, including the public sector. There are no genera! guidelines from the government in order to measure the public sector performance in Indonesia (Mintorahardjo, 2006, p.). Thus, public sector performance is usually measured by independent organisations. One of them is The Indonesian Survey Institute. This institute held a national survey to measure government performance from November 2004 to October 2006 (The Indonesian Survey Institute, 2006). There were 1,239 respondents who were above 17 years old or married by the time the survey was done. The respondents were selected by using multistage random sampling. The respondents were asked to rate 37 departments and ministries based on the score: very bad (1-1.50), bad (1.51-2.50), average (2.51-3.50), good (3.51-4.50) and very good (4.51-5.0).
The result showed that all departments and ministries had a score ranging from good to average. None of them had very good, very bad or bad scores. The highest score, 3.86, went to The Indonesian National Army, meanwhile the lowest score, 3.27 was gained by Department of Forestry. The Coordinating Ministry of Economy, Finance and Investment had the second lowest score, 3.32 In addition, Department of Man Power was in the third lowest score, 3.34. Meanwhile, Department of Religion and Department of Health had the second and third highest score, respectively, 3.79 and 3.76 (for futher information refer to Appendix B). Although every department or ministry had a score above average, when the public were asked about public servants performance the result was different.
Based on the survey of research and development division of Kompas on April 2005 and March 2007, the performance of the public sectors had shown fewer improvements according to the community. In 2005 (Triardianto, 2005), 47 percent respondents said that the public servants’ image was low because of the weaknesses in servicing the public. For corruption problems, 75,4 percent respondents admitted that corruption practices existed. Moreover, 53,8 percent respondents confessed that the discipline of the public servants was low. In 2007 (Sultani, 2007), 62.9 percent of respondents admitted that it needed much time when they were dealing with the public servants. In addition, 58 percent respondents considered that the public servants were easy to bribe. For work effectiveness, 65.3 percent respondents felt dissatisfied. These surveys showed that public servants’ performance still had not met the expectation of the community they served.
The result of the public sector and public servants performance indicates the implementation of HR practices in the public sector. Inappropriate implementation of HR practices causes fewer performances in the public sector. Thus, the evaluation of IIR practices will be beneficial in order to improve the performances.
EVALUATION OF HR PRACTICES IN RELATION TO THE PUBLIC SECTOR PERFORMANCE
HR practices implemented in the organisation will influence the organisational performance. There many publications that give evident about those relations such as Ghebregiorgis and Karsten, 2007, p. 329; Tzafrir, 2006; Lavigna, 2002, p. 369; Boyne et.al., 1999:418; Hiltrop, 1996:636. Furthermore, the concepts of HR practices applied in the private sector are alike with the concepts applied in the public sector (Tilden and Kleiner, 2005. p. 44). HR practices such as recruitment and selection, remuneration system, training and development and performance appraisal influence organisational performance.
The public sector performance in Indonesia is also influenced by the HR practices implemented. According to the survey done by the Indonesian Survey Institute from 2004 to 2006. it was found that the performance of all 37 departments and ministries were good. However, the result can not clearly show the influence of HR practices. The influence of HR practices is shown when the performance is measured to the public servants such as done by Kompas. Most of the result of the survey shows that the performance of public servants is not adequate yet.
The recruitment and selection process in the public sector results in less work effectiveness and less services to the community. This is because the selection process is not designed to search out the best candidates. As stated by Koch and McGrath (1996, as cited in Ghebregiorgis and Karsten, 2007:323), a recruitment and selection process which is complicated will result in higher employee productivity. The complicated selection will enable organisations find people with the appropriate skills and abilities for the job. On the ‘”‘other hand, the examination tests for public servant applicants only looks at the general knowledge and more likely to know the loyalty and the ideology of the applicants as Indonesian. The specific abilities and qualities of applicants required by the job can not be shown through those kinds of tests. As a result, the public servants can not create innovation that will support the jobs efficiently and effectively (Gie, 2003:5).
The low rate of the salary for the public servants makes the public sector hard to find the best people because this kind of salary will not attract the best people to apply as public servants. As defines by Ghebregiorgis and Karsten (2007:324), high compensation enables organisations to employ the best people. The best people will search for organizations which will give them attractive benefits in exchange of their best skills. As a result, the public sector employs so many people from less educational background with less skills and abilities to accomplish the tasks. Besides that, the low salary will make the performance of the public sector not optimal, because the salary which can be included as the physiological needs in the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (Robbins et.al., 2005:525) can not be a motivator for the public servants to work. Although sometimes job security offered to the public servants can be an exchange for motivation, public servants still need money to meet their needs. Therefore, bribes, corruptions and “moonlighting” (Gie, 2003:5; Rohdewohld, 1995:102) often occur in the public sector as practices to cover up the lack of salary.
The training and development for the public sectors do not emphasis specific skills needed to be improved because most of the training is only about genera! skills and abilities needed by the public servants to do the tasks or to have promotion. Tilden and Kleiner (2005:50) explain that competency should underpin the training programs. By using competency-based training, the public servants who have a lack in skills will improve, thus, this also will allow less educated people to receive training. If the training and development programs in the public sector are designed to meet the need of the specific skills from the jobs, ineffective, tardiness and time consuming which are always found in the job practices of the public servants (Gie, 2003:5) will be overcome.
Good performance appraisal should more emphasized on tangible characteristics such as “employee’s knowledge of his/her job duties, attitude toward his/her work, ability to work independently” (Camardella, 2003:105), employee’s productivity, employee’s initiatives or ideas because these characteristics are more easily to be measured and can show the real achievements done by the employees. For example, employee’s knowledge of his/her job can be measured from how many tasks done by the employee without asking his/her supervisor or colleague and how long the employee accomplishes one task. Another example is for employee’s initiatives or ideas, the measurement can be such as how frequent does the employee share his/her ideas, does the employee find a solution with his/her own thoughts when facing a problem, does the employee finish his/her tasks by following procedure or create a new way which is also legal. Given these characteristics, the public servants will be treated fairly because those characteristics will minimize subjectivity.
The HR practices in the public sector in Indonesia still have weaknesses in order to solve problems that always occur in the public sector. The recruitment and selection processes which only test common knowledge will make it difficult to find appropriate people for the jobs. The low remuneration will demotivate the public servants in giving their best attempt to accomplish tasks. In addition, training and development are not emphasised as skills needing improvements. Moreover, the performance appraisal consists of elements which are highly subjective.
Given those realities above, the design of the HR practices need to be renewed. The HR practices will solve the problems if the design meets the need required by the public sector. It is recommended that to select appropriate public servants, the recruitment and selection need to be more specific. The minimum educational background should be a university degree. The examination test need to consist of specific tests based on the skills needed by the jobs such as cognitive abilities tests, personality tests, assessment centres (Dessler et.al., 2004:227-230) which can measure the quality and capabilities of applicants.
For the remuneration system, it is recommended that salary earned can fulfil the public servants’ average basic needs. Besides that, to enhance individual performance, incentives or bonuses that depend on the result of their jobs or their performance appraisal can be given. It will encourage each public servant to give their best efforts for the jobs. In addition, it is recommended that training and development are arranged more by each department and ministry because they know specific skills need to be developed. Before training is held, public servants need to be assessed in order to select people who really need to be trained. Public servants that already trained need to receive an advance training to improve their skills. Finally, it is recommended that elements such as honesty, and loyalty need to be changed to other elements such as work productivity, creativity, innovation, and work knowledge. There needs to be certain standard for each element in order to give fair result for all public servants.
Restructuring the HR practices in the public sector in Indonesia is necessary because the reformation of the bureaucracy can only progress if there is an attention to renew the HR practices. Although it may take periods of time, renewing the HR practices will assist the government to solve many problems that occur in the public sector such as corruption, nepotism, bribery and low performances. The HR practices recommended can be an introduction to have more development of the public sector HR practices in the future.
Staf Pengajar Jurusan Administrasi Bisnis,
Fakultas Ilmu Administrasi, Unika Atma Jaya, Jakarta