GoLive Indonesia members, Aritta Gracia Girsang and Ade Wiguna Yasin, were among the 30 chosen participants of BAGUS Australia Awards on-award program held in Canberra last week (8-10 April 2015). BAGUS (Bringing Australian Government Understanding to Students) program is aimed at introducing Australian Government departments, policies and practices to Australia Awards Scholarship (AAS) awardees currently studying in Australia.
The three-day BAGUS program included visits to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Parliament House, and the Australian Public Service Commission. Presentations were also given by the Auditor-General, ANAO (Australian National Audit Office), Commonwealth Ombudsman, Australian Commission for Law and Enforcement Integrity – Anti-Corruption (ACLEI), Merit Protection Commissioner of the Australian Public Service and also from the former First Assistant Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
The 30 participants were Australia Awards recipients and are Indonesian public officials currently studying in Australia. These participants represent key Indonesian public service organisations such as: Badan Perencanaan Pembangunan Nasional (Bappenas – the National Development Planning Agency); Badan Kebijakan Fiskal (Fiscal Policy Agency); Badan Pemeriksa Keuangan (The Audit Board of the Republic of Indonesia); Direktorat Jenderal Pajak (Directorate General of Taxes, Ministry of Finance); Direktorat Jenderal Perbendaharaan (Directorate General of Treasury, Ministry of Finance); Kementerian Perdagangan (Ministry of Trade); Kementerian Luar Negeri (Ministry of Foreign Affairs); Kementerian Kelautan dan Perikanan (Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries); Kementerian Sekretariat Negara (Ministry of State Secretariat); Kementerian Sosial (Ministry of Social Affairs); and Kementerian Kehutanan (Ministry of Forestry). In addition to these organisations, district and regency government officials from eastern Indonesia were also present.
BAGUS program highlights how Australian government implement transparency and accountability, how to develop anti-corruption agenda, how to nurture cooperation between commonwealth and states in regards to centralization, budgeting strategies, reform of public sector, and how to manage public services and public servants. Ade believes that the program enunciate strongly the importance of professionalism, passion, integrity and cooperation in managing good governance. Furthermore, the program also put forth the importance of research and development in advocating decision-making process.
Apart from the program, Mr. Nadjib Riphat Kesoema as the ambassador of Indonesia for Australia met with representatives of BAGUS participants at the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Canberra. His Excellency underlined that Australia is a key country for Indonesia therefore strong and good relationship must be continuously nurtured. During the meeting, the participants were very enthusiastic in discussion with the ambassador. Ade raised a question about the opportunity for Indonesian fisheries sector to capture Australian domestic market, considering that about 80% of Australian fish are imported. The fact that Indonesia has fulfilled 97 % compliance standard of Australian food safety standards clearly promotes good image in terms of the quality of Indonesian fisheries products, accordingly should be seen as an encouragement to penetrate Australian domestic fisheries market.
Gracia and Ade believe that BAGUS program has provided them an insight and lessons that can definitely be used as a reference to the betterment of public service sector and good governance. The program also reconnect and nurture network among fellow public officers while studying in Australia. It is hoped that BAGUS program would continue providing insightful programs and opportunities for Indonesian public servant studying in Australia to take part in the future.