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Immigration Department to be Revamped

Justice and Human Rights Minister Promises Sweeping Changes in the Works.

(1/9/2006) Speaking following a meeting with the President on Wednesday, January 4, 2006, Indonesia's Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Hamid Awaludin told the press that Indonesia's Immigration Department would undergo fundamental and sweeping changes in 2006.

Responding to angry criticism from President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and extensive press coverage in recent weeks, Minister Hamid was quoted in the Indonesian-language Bali Post as saying that the promised changes would go beyond mere changes in those who occupy key posts but extend also to cover job descriptions and specific functions within the immigration directorate.

The Minister suggested that current areas of responsibility where there is little or no supervision of immigration affairs would result in new appointments, while unnecessary bureaucratic positions would be eliminated. Insisting that the immigration department would remain under his Ministerial portfolio, Hamid said Indonesian immigration would continue to operate as a Directorate General, but with a much more "rational, streamlined and efficient" style of management.

"Refreshment"

According the Minister, part of the immigration revamp will include a "refreshment" of staff, indicating that significant changes in staff appointments would commence early in 2006.

Hamid also told the press that President Yudhoyono remain firm in his desire to see structural change take place within Indonesia's immigration department, not only to address recently uncovered large-scale financial malfeasance but also to repair the damage done by poor immigration service to Indonesia's image both at home and abroad.

Hamid confirmed to the press that two immigration officials have recently been recalled from the Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in connection with inidications of widespread abuse within the Consular section of that Embassy.