Brief introduction to the Indonesian Civil Service

The Indonesian civil service is the set of civil servants (Indonesian: Pegawai Negeri Sipil) working for government of Indonesia, either working in the central government (such as ministries, agencies) or in a local provincial/regencies/city government. Their function is either to handle government administration or to support public services such as in education, health and defense.

Like in many parts of the world, civil service is a highly regarded and prestigious career in Indonesia. Most Indonesian parents would like to see their children to work for the government. Even though a civil servant generally get a lower payment compared to a private sector, they get a good pension payment that make sure they will have an “adequate living” post-retirement.

The current legislation for Indonesian civil service system are based on the Law Number 5 2014 about State Civil Apparatus. The law preamble dictates that the government needs a civil servant who have integrity, professional, neutral and free from political interference, free from corruption, collusion and nepotism and be able to organize a public service to the community. As the preamble states, Indonesian civil servant have to be politically neutral in which they are forbidden to be a member of a political party. They are, however, still retain the right to vote unlike the Indonesian Police and Army forces who have to surrender the right. As corruption is so rampant in Indonesia, civil servants who abuses their power for their benefit will have to surrender their career entirely. Indonesian civil servant have to pledge to the national ideology of Pancasila and 1945 constitution.

The life of becoming a civil servant starts from a recruitment process. The annual civil service entrance exam (Indonesian: Seleksi Calon Pegawaian Negeri Sipil) is held to select best candidates to become a civil servant for a local government or a central government ministry/agency. The exam is really competitive with many fresh graduates or even someone who already work in a higher-salary private sector flocks together to become a bureaucrat. The exam is split into two parts. The first is basic competition test (Indonesian: Seleksi Kompetensi Dasar) consisting of nationhood knowledge test (history, constitution, ideology), general intelligence test (math, language, logic), and personal characteristic test. The second part is specialty competition test that measure the ability of a candidate to perform in their specific chosen position. When a candidate pass both test, they will get a maximum one year probation as “candidate of civil servant” (Indonesian: Calon Pegawai Negeri Sipil) and get 80% of proper monthly salary. During this period, candidates will get an orientation and some trainings from their office. They have to prove themselves worthy and pass those given trainings to become civil servant.

During their tenure, civil servants holds a specific rank and position. Rank can be promoted at some period of years based performance and qualification of a civil servant. There are three types of civil servant positions according to the State Civil Apparatus Law: Administrative (Indonesian: Jabatan Administrasi), Functional (Indonesian: Jabatan Fungsional) and High Officer (Indonesian: Jabatan Pimpinan Tinggi). Each civil servant can be transferred to a different position and/or a different agencies through a process called with/without their own will as civil servant have to pledge that they can be positioned anywhere inside Indonesian territory or any Indonesian embassy. Civil servants are entitled to several benefits such as: salaries, allowances, facilities, leave, pension and retirement, protection and career development.

That is some brief introduction of Indonesian civil service. If you have any other question, feel free to comment here. There might be another more-detailed article regarding Indonesian civil service system. Stay tune!

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