Who’s in Charge?

IT WOULD BE WONDERFUL IF SOMEONE COULD GIVE US A CLEAR answer to the question “Who’s in Charge?” The government’s mishandling of the basic  functions such as the distribution of basic foods at a reasonable price is raising the question in the minds of many millions of Indonesians.
The government has instituted some sound and sensible programs. Over the past three years it has been able to put together sound guidelines for infrastructure development, and for the creation of special economic zones (SEZ), to name just two.

The decision to curtail imports of expensive kerosene as a fuel for domestic cooking stoves and replace it with cheaper compressed natural gas (CNG) was also sensible and pragmatic.
Yet none of these programs have gone anywhere. In the most recent example of policy failure, the botching of the conversion program from kerosene to CNG is an indictment of the government’s ability to manage.

As government to continues to fail in what be believe are basic managed and marketing functions, our question at GlobeAsia is changing. What we now have to ask is: Why is no-one in charge in the government?

The government’s role in securing basic food supplies – sembako, as they are known in Indonesian – is a complex one and subject to many factors, with major factors such as high international prices out of the hands of the government itself.

However the clumsy meddling by the government for the past year in attempts to restrain the price of cooking oil represent a failure in decision making. Now, after a year of high prices in the market, the government has finally decided it will subsidize the price of cooking oil for the poor.
To add to the sense of disaster, the conversion program from kerosene to CNG also been a complete failure. Conversion make sound economic sense given the current expenditure of trillions of rupiah in subsidies on imported kerosene and the lower cost of CNG.

Again the government has totally mismanaged the program, in the past few weeks having finally swallowed its pride and agreed to suspend it. Poor people who received CNG tanks under the program complained that a high percentage leaked, exacerbating fears that the cooking fuel is unsafe.

The program is now being handed over to Pertamina, the agency that shoukd have had the job in the first place, rather than the Ministry of Cooperatives and Small Enterprises handling outs bits and pieces to small companies. Finally, it has become clear who is running this program.
Now that Pertamina is in charge, there is a clear responsibility, a clearly identified institution that must be called to account if the program fails in a second time.

Under the original program with the government in charge, it was not clear who was responsible. Should we ask the President or the Vice President about a simple conversion program ?
If it is clear who is running a program, it will also be clear who to blame if the program goes wrong. At the moment, if you fire a bullet to shoot the culprit, it will inevitably hit the president and vice president. This is hardly a sensible outcome of what should be logical devolution of responsibility.
We ask once again, who is in charge in this country ? If we cannot manage a conversion program like this, how can we run this enormous country ?
The government is failing in communications and in coordination. Failure in coordination brings with it the failure of cooperation. These are management issues that are so fundamental that they must changed. For a start, when you have a program, make sure you have someone in charge.
All this time it has been the people of Indonesia who have been suffering from a severe cost to the economy caused by incompetent management. They now face a volatile immediate future as the political parties recognize the weakness of the government.

Business has a right to call on government to act urgently to improve its management systems.  We also urge the political community to resist using the world of business as a convenient football with which to score points with one sector of voters or another.

0 Komentar

Brand creation, trend analysis & style consulting

Memiliki ketertarikan penelitian pada Operations Management, Integrated Marketing Communications, Strategic Management, Philanthropy, Social Entrepreneurship and Neuromarketing