The House of Representatives (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat or DPR), the lower house of Indonesia’s parliament, declared its open parliament initiative in 2018. Indonesia was the first country in Asia to join the global initiative. In December 2018, the DPR published its first Open Parliament Indonesia National Action Plan (OPI NAP); co-created with WFD and local civil society stakeholders spearheaded by the Indonesian Parliamentary Center (IPC).
WFD has also facilitated the sharing of knowledge and experience of open parliament between MPs and civil society leaders from Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Following this support, in December 2020, the second open parliament national action plan was published with wider civil society participation in the process. The plan sets out how open legislation and open data principles would enhance transparency and public participation in parliamentary processes. In 2020, WFD succeeded in widening the participation of civil society stakeholders in the co-creation of the open parliament second action plan from 1 to 12 civil society organisations.
WFD supports the open parliament initiative through the Inclusive and Accountable Politics (IAP) programme funded by the UK FCDO.
WFD works closely with the Indonesian parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (Badan Akuntabilitas Keuangan Negara or BAKN) to continually improve parliament’s oversight of government budget and expenditure. Through the Inclusive and Accountable Politics (IAP) programme, WFD has provided extensive learning opportunities for the BAKN by facilitating study visits to the Public Accounts Committee of the UK House of Commons as well as the UK National Audit Office, holding thematic workshops, and training the committee’s staff and leadership. WFD continues to be a partner to the committee in upholding its mandate and carrying out its role in scrutinising public finances. Capacity building initiatives facilitated by WFD have successfully led to the BAKN’s first assessment of government spending in 2020 which focused on energy subsidies.
WFD has played a central role in introducing methods to review the application, effectiveness and consequences of laws to the Indonesian Parliament at both national and subnational levels. This practice is known as post-legislative scrutiny. An amendment to the 2011 Law on Formation of Legislation in 2019 established the procedure for legislative scrutiny in the legislation cycle. With support from the British and Canadian Embassies in Jakarta, WFD ran a string of post-legislative scrutiny pilot projects in subnational parliaments focusing on local regulations that discriminate against women, religious minorities, LGBT+ people, and people with disabilities.
WFD has led successful focus group discussions on environmental issues involving MPs from relevant committees through a partnership with the Indonesian Parliament’s Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation Committee (Badan Kerja Sama Antarparlemen or BKSAP). The discussions have garnered much-needed attention on environmental sustainability with an emphasis on how the parliament can play an instrumental role in helping Indonesia achieve its nationally determined commitments under the Global Green Growth programme. WFD’s work in this area emphasises the need to enhance access to information, public participation, and accountability in environmental programming as well as the need to include marginalised groups – particularly indigenous peoples – in the process.
In 2021, WFD began implementing a programme that will seek to introduce regulatory impact assessment, cost-benefit analysis, green budgeting, and green oversight to parliamentary analysts and MPs as well as enhance the parliament’s role in overseeing the government’s implementation of climate action agendas.