The budget should be used based on the principle of "money to follow the program", instead of "money to follow the function".
Menteri Perhubungan Budi Karya

Minister of Transport Budi Karya Sumadi has three areas of focus as he takes up his new duties in President Joko Widodo’s Working Cabinet, as.Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla aim for budget efficiency by maximising private sector participation.

Budi said the Ministry would tackle three main issues: development of human resources, budget efficiency, and connectivity. (Econograph: Widodo-Kalla’s New Cabinet Ministers).

He then gave an example: IDR 15 billion from the State Budget should be enough to finance more than ten projects, rather than the five it did in the past. “The order is private sector, then State Owned Enterprises (SOE), and finally using the State Budget,” Sumadi explained in his press release, Friday (29/7).

He emphasised that the budget should be used based on the principle of ‘money to follow the program’, instead ofmoney to follow the function’. This policy ensures that existing investments can provide public transport services.(Read: New Transport Minister Budi Karya to Get Terminal 3 Operating Next Month).

As a first step towards deregulation, Budi has asked echelon 1 staff in the ministry to map the effectiveness of existing regulations. He is also prioritising transport connectivity to reach remote areas, promote tourism and reduce price disparity.

He also believes that human resource development is vital, as the Ministry of Transport employs a huge workforce that is spread across Indonesia. Budi said he would develop a formula that would allow each member of ministry staff to self develop.

Another program Sumadi suggested was turning the ministry’s technical implementing units (UPT) with public service units (BLU). “The goals are to make the UPT more professional when it comes to servicing the needs of public transport, and to reap adequate benefits,” he said.

Budi has also asked his echelon 1 staff to prepare a ‘quick win’ in the provision of transport services. For instance, he explained, by designing a program to reactivate railways in certain areas after coordinating with the Ministry of SOE. (Read: Ministry Summons Substandard Grab and Uber).

The private sector is expected to invest in the reactivation of these railways to reap financial gains. This will also mean a share in the profits for the Transport Ministry, allowing it to distribute its budget more evenly.