At the end of every year, it is important to reflect upon and evaluate the quality of national budget policies. The National Secretariat of the Indonesian Forum for Budget Transparency (Seknas FITRA), together with its network of budget advocacy units across Indonesia, has consistently provided annual reports on budget performance. Such reports are an important part of its budget transparency work program and its effort to realize popular sovereignty over national budgets
2010 was the first year of President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono (SBY)'s second term of office following his re-election in 2009. In this second term, SBY should be able to be more resolute in his espousal of good budget policies and should not accord any priority to maintaining his political image. The principal emphases in the 2010 State budget (APBN 2010) were that it should promote “national economic recovery and boost community welfare”. But all that turned out to be mere rhetoric. The reality was that the budget was further removed than ever from the mandate of Article 23 of the Consititution that national budgets “shall be implemented in an open and accountable manner in order to best attain the prosperity of the people”. Instead of being used to promote the public interest, 40.7% of the 2010 APBN was consumed by routine expenditure on the bureaucracy and top echelons of the civil service. Furthermore, Rp 162.6 trillion of that 40.7% was spent on civil service costs, Rp 19.5 trillion on official travel and Rp 153.6 trillion on payment of interest on loans or loan repayments.