At the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR), there is an absence of public involvement in the deliberation of the State Budget Bill (RUU APBN) and Government Ministry/ Agency Work Plan and Budget (RKA-KL) eventhough the existing official regulation allows such situation. This became the background issue of this research. This research is aimed to explore, present issues and provide inputs to members of the DPR in considering policy choices to improve public information accessibility during the deliberation process of the RUU APBN in the DPR. To focus on the issue, this research takes a case study concerning the border issues with the consideration that this issue is often subjected to instant, partial, and unsustainable treatment by the policy makers.
In general, this research is based on the premise that the DPR as people's representatives should uphold their representation functions in conducting other functions. The existing DPR working system and mechanism should also put the principle of good governance, including transparency, accountability, and public participation into practice. The findings of this research showed that access to public information and public participation in the deliberation process of RUU APBN conducted by the government and DPR are still very limited. The attention of the government and DPR regarding border areas, especially in women and other marginalized groups is limited. Information about the State Budget itself is difficult to obtain.
DPR very rarely conducted a Public Hearing with the public or elements of the public in connection with the deliberation of the State Budget Bill. Up to the present, DPR only discussed the Proposed State Budget (RAPBN) that has been formulated by the Government, which had received inputs from the public through the Meetings for Development Planning (Musrenbang). This process within DPR is conducted with the assumption that inputs from the community have been completed in the Musrenbang forum.
Considering the limitations of this research, initial recommendations to reduce the problems on the deliberation process of the State Budget Bill in the DPR are as follows: (i) Increase public access to participate in the process of RUU APBN Deliberation at the DPR; (ii) Increase human resources capacity at the DPR forpublic information services and for supporting the functions ofDPR; (iii) Review the laws and regulations concerning the DPR's budgeting function; and (iv) Increase the awareness of the DPR concerning the interest of women and other marginalized groups in border territories.