Decidedly mundane…

Public Scrutiny at Work Here in Indonesia

Photo by London Permaculture

In case you haven’t heard about it, the Ministry of Social Affairs of Indonesia got quite some heat yesterday because he broke the law by driving his car on the busway lane. Someone got a snapshot of his car and post it on – where else – Twitter. At first he said that he obtained a permission from the Jakarta Metro Police, which the police later denied giving. A few hours later the minister apologized and just today visited a police station to clear things up and said that he’s OK about the police giving him a ticket.

I love how it went down. This is quite an example of how Internet can force public scrutiny over things, a fact which used to be impossible in a country where shady business is regular business like Indonesia. This is how things our government should be run. We give them money to run things and they should be more transparent about how they spend it, right? Now if everyone, especially those government officials, are onboard on this idea of public accountability, I think we can apply the same principle on the way our public offices are run. I kinda like this idea I read on Wired once about how people are trying to formulate an open standard about corporate financial reporting as a way to prevent 2008’s financial fiasco to happen again. This is the way we should pursue: open standards for public scrutiny!

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