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Feature Story

Half-hearted Delegation of Authority from District to Subdistrict in Merangin

Tuesday, Feb 13, 2018 Author: Nuzul Iskandar

The subdistrict apparatus review Sipahit Lidah Village Accountability Report on 06 September 2016 (Photo: Nuzul Iskandar)
The subdistrict apparatus review Sipahit Lidah Village Accountability Report on 06 September 2016 (Photo: Nuzul Iskandar)

Merangin. Merangin District Government has issued District Head Regulation (Perbup) No. 18/2016 on Delegation of Parts of Authority of District Head to Subdistrict Head, which replaces District Head Regulation No. 29/2012, to include evaluation of Village Regulation Draft (Raperdes) on Village Budget as additional delegated authority to subdistrict head.

It is a welcomed initiave from Merangin District Government related to District Head/Mayor responsibilities stipulated by Law No. 6/2014 on Village (Village Law), that District Head/Mayor must evaluate Village Regulation on Village Budget (Article 69) and they have to delegate the supervision and monitoring of local government apparatus (Article 112).

The Perbup details the delegated authority to subdistrict head into three areas. First, the implementation of the government’s general task that covers 25 activities, including the evaluation of Village Regulation on Village Budget and Village Regulation on Village Budget Realization Report. Second, economic and development area that covers 15 activities, and third, society and public order that are detailed in 12 activities.

This Perbup addresses the confusion of subdistrict apparatus when the Village Law came into effect in 2015, on the expected role in the implementation of the law. The Perbub becomes the legal standing in taking on the role.

However, obstacles remain in the implementation of the Perbup. Not all villages have gone through the evaluation of Village Budget Regulation Draft at subdistrict level. Some villages opt to go straight to Community and Village Empowerment Office (DPMD) at the district. Unfortunately, the DPMD does not verify whether the villages have passed the evaluation at subdistrict level and process their applications right away.

Subdistrict 1 illustrated that in 2016, there were some villages whose development items did not meet the priorities set by the Ministry of Villages, Disadvantaged Regions Development and Transmigration. The Subdistrict office urged the villages to revise them to be in line with the priorities of that year’s village fund utilization. However, instead of revising the Village Budget Draft as suggested by the Subdistrict government, these villages went straight to the DPMD that did not correct the Draft. As the consequences, several other villages did not bother to go through subdistrict evaluation and went to DPMD instead, thinking that the process was easier.

A similar experience was faced by Subdistrict 2 government. In 2017, there were indications that a village had copied the Village Budget Regulation Draft of a different village in another district. Therefore, the Subdistrict asked the village to revise the draft and adjust the data, needs, and conditions accordingly. Again, instead of complying with the request, the village government went straight to the DPMD, which passed the document without a fuss. Secretary of Subdistrict 2 added, because of such cases, subdistrict government is often seen as troubling the villages.

“We are like chicken that are given food, but their legs are bound that they can’t even reach the food,” he said.

On the other hand, according to the DPMD at the districts, subdistrict governments have yet to carry out their authority optimally in supervising, monitoring and evaluating Village Budget. The subdistricts, for instance, still lacks comprehension of existing regulations. This left villages dissatisfied after the consultation. Or else, subdistricts are not strict enough that villages ignore them.

Nevertheless, the DPMD admitted the lack of coordination with subdistrict government. The coordination has been mostly with subdistrict head without involving PMD section head in discussing technical matters or aligning their perspective about regulations related to villages. Whereas the PMD section head is the one that is frequently in touch with villages.

The condition does not undermine the good initiative from Merangin District Government. But the need for coordination remains to prepare related parties to understand and address the authority delegation. There must be attempts to align the perception between subdistricts and DMPD about the activities that can be included in the Village Budget, to reassert to villages that Village Budget documents must be evaluated by subdistricts first, and to emphasize to DPMD that it can only process the Village Budget that has been passed by subdistrict government. The expansion of documents to agree with the aspects that need evaluation, and statements that the documents have been recommended by subdistrict governments are also needed. This is particularly important so that Village Budget evaluation can optimize funds utilization according to local needs and context, without delaying the disbursement. The bottom line is, the confirmation on authority delegation to subdistrict needs to be followed up, agreed upon, and coordinated.

 

Note: The names of villages and hamlets have been altered to maintain confidentiality.

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