State asset management reform in Indonesia : a wicked problem

Mardiasmo, Diaswati (2012) State asset management reform in Indonesia : a wicked problem. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Efficient state asset management is crucial for government departments that rely on the operations of their state assets in order to fulfil their public functions, which include public service provision and others. These assets may be expensive, extensive and or, complex, and can have a major impact on the ability of governments to perform its function over extended periods. Various governments around the world have increasingly recognised the importance of an efficient state asset management laws, policies, and practices; exemplified by the surge in state asset management reform.

This phenomenon is evident in Indonesia, in particular through the establishment of the Directorate General of State Assets in 2006, who was appointed as the ultimate state asset manager (of Republic of Indonesia) and the proprietor of state asset management reform. The Directorate General of State Assets too has pledged its adherence to good governance principles within its state asset management laws and policies reform. However the degree that good governance principles are conceptualised is unknown, resulting in questions of how and to what extent is good governance principles evident within Indonesia's reformed state asset management laws and policies.

This study seeks to understand the level of which good governance principles are conceptualised and understood within reformed state asset management policies in Indonesia (as a case study), and identify the variables that play a role in the implementation of said reform. Although good governance improvements has been a central tenet in Indonesian government agenda, and state asset management reform has propelled in priority due to found neglect and unfavourable audit results; there is ambiguity in regards to the extent that good governance is conceptualised within the reform, how and whether this relationship is understood by state asset managers (i.e government officials), and what (and how) other variables play a supporting and/or impeding role in the reform.

Using empirical data involving a sample of four Indonesian regional governments and 70 interviews; discrepancy in which good governance principles are conceptualised, the level it is conceptualised, at which stage of state asset management practice it is conceptualised, and the level it is understood by state asset managers (i.e government officials) was found. Human resource capacity and capability, the notion of 'needing more time', low legality, infancy of reform, and dysfunctional sense of stewardship are identified as specific impeding variables to state asset management reform; whilst decentralisation and regional autonomy regime, political history, and culture play a consistent undercurrent key role in good governance related reforms within Indonesia.

This study offers insights to Indonesian policy makers interested in ensuring the conceptualisation and full implementation of good governance in all areas of governing, particularly within state asset management practices. Most importantly, this study identifies an asymmetry in good governance understanding, perspective, and assumptions between policy maker (i.e high level government officials) and policy implementers (i.e low level government officials); to be taken into account for future policy evolvements and/or writing. As such, this study suggests the need for a modified perspective and approach to good governance conceptualisation and implementation strategies, one that acknowledges and incorporates a nation's unique characteristics and no longer denies the double-edged sword of simplified assumptions of governance.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 58410
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Sampford, Charles & Barnes, Paul H.
Keywords: state asset management, reform, Indonesia
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Research Centres > Law and Justice Research Centre
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 18 Mar 2013 05:47
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2015 00:24

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