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Culture and Tourism Board Officially Dissolved

Long Rumored Move to Absorb Board into Ministry Finally Announced in Jakarta.

(5/29/2003) President Megawati Soekarnoputri issued a decree on Monday, May 26, 2003, formally dissolving the Culture and Tourism Development Board (BP Budpar) headed by Setyanto P. Santosa. Under the terms of the decree (No. 29/2003), the activities and functions of the board will be absorbed by the State Ministry for Culture and Tourism, headed by Minister I Gede Ardika.

The BP Budpar had recently come in for intense criticism from Indonesia's tourism stakeholders, including a "motion of bad faith" condemning the Board for inefficiency and corruption sent in a letter to the President and signed by representatives from a number of professional tourism associations.

Responding to the announcement of the closure of his organization, Chairman Setyanto Santosa, quoted in the English-language Jakarta Post, said, "BP Budpar is still very young, and even if the accusations from the tourism industry can be proven true, we should have been given a chance to rectify our wrongdoings."

Questioning the wisdom of the decree and its effect of the numerous tourism promotional programs already underway, Setyanto hoped that the final dissolution of his Board could wait until 2004 and end of the tenure of the current cabinet. He also pointed out that State regulations limit the size of the State Ministry for Culture and Tourism to a maximum 400 employees, asking what would become of the 4,400 staffer employed by the now defunct Culture and Tourism Development Board.

The Board was established in February of 2002.