A Special Agency and Breakthrough for Papua Development

goodmorningpapua.com – Article 68A, Law 21/2001 junto Law No. 2/2021 on Special Autonomy for Papua, mandates the establishment of a special agency in the context of implementing special autonomy (otsus). This agency is tasked with synchronizing, harmonizing, evaluating, reporting, and coordinating the integrated implementation of special autonomy and development in the Papua region.

The agency is led by the vice president and its members are the minister of home affairs, the minister of national development planning/head of Bappenas, and the minister of finance, plus one representative from each province in the Papua region. To support the implementation of the task, a secretariat was formed with an office in Papua. In accordance with PP 106/2021 which is the elaboration of Article 68A of Law 2/2021, the agency in question is named the Steering Committee for the Acceleration of Special Autonomy Development for Papua (BP3OKP).

The reasons behind the existence of BP3OKP are, firstly, empirical experience shows that for twenty years (2001-2021) there is no single institution under the President whose duty is to direct, monitor, and evaluate every special autonomy program as well as special autonomy funds and other development funds, such as DAK, DAU, DBH, Additional Infrastructure Funds, and Sectoral Funds, in order to be more focused on special autonomy programs.

Second, according to President Jokowi, to eliminate the existence of Papuan desks that have been in ministries and institutions, along with their programs and funds, so that they can be concentrated on supporting the special autonomy development program. This effort at the same time minimizes the sectoral egos of ministries and agencies in the field which often overlap in the implementation of development programs in Papua, and they often throw off responsibilities at each other.

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Third, this agency has a role in mitigating development problems in Papua whether it is in accordance with the mandate of the Special Autonomy Law and its implementing regulations including the master plan that is being worked on by Bappenas with the Papua and West Papua Provincial Governments. If the results of the mitigation deviate, it must be reported to the Steering Committee and continued to the President so that solutions are sought.

This agency also has the duty and role as a bridge to mediate the interests of the center in the Papua region, and vice versa as a connector for the aspirations and interests of Papua to the central government.

Due to the roles and functions as a moderator, catalyst, and mitigation, this agency cannot work without data (data on the number of indigenous Papuans, the need for teachers, boarding schools, the need for nurses, health centers, and hospitals for mothers and children), and facts in the field to be in accordance with the needs and interests of the community, especially indigenous Papuans as subjects and objects of special autonomy.

In principle, the existence of BP3OKP is an institutional breakthrough to direct and oversee the implementation of special autonomy, so that the handling of development can be conducted more comprehensively to address various problems in Papua, the target of which is OAP as citizens of the nation who have the right to get prosperity and justice.

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Therefore, there are some recommendations. First, the existence of BP3OKP is not only a matter of institutionalization, instruments, or demands from the substance of the special autonomy policy, but transforming problems that have been a homework that immediately need to be resolved. Moreover, the specificities explored allow for an accelerated process.

In order to accelerate that, it was agreed that the allocation of the Special Autonomy Fund of 2.25% which is a supplement to the overall central government transfers with a sharing mechanism (1% block grant and 1.25% performance-based) and other development funds to accelerate development equity and to minimize inequality.

Second, one of the weaknesses of the implementation of special autonomy so far is that development tends to marginalize OAP even more. This raises concerns and resistance to the change in Otsus. The implementation of special autonomy for the past twenty years must be recognized as less than optimal in its implementation. One of the reasons for this is the absence of a special agency that has a role and is responsible for directing it to comply with the provisions mandated by the Special Autonomy Law.

Third, the empirical experience of implementing special autonomy so far has been conducted without clear directions and guidelines through a master plan. As a result, there are no indicators to measure success or lack thereof.

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Fourth, it is the experience of two decades of special autonomy that underlies the Special Committee for Special Autonomy in the DPR, chaired by Komaruddin Watubun, proposing the existence of a body that not only directs but also controls, supervises, and takes care of the implementation of special autonomy from the center to the regions. Thus, those sitting in this body must focus on directing the implementation of Otsus.

Therefore, BP3OKP can play its role and function like the Aceh Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Agency (BRRA). By adopting the methods and working mechanisms of the BRRA model, BP3OKP can make new breakthroughs with new ways, new views, and new paradigms, as emphasized by President Joko Widodo during a cabinet meeting on March 11, 2021.

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