Responding to Presidential Decree No. 37 of 2019 concerning Military Functional Positions

Press Release

Civil Society Coalition for Security Sector Reform

Not long ago, the government issued Presidential Regulation (Perpres) No. 37 of 2019 concerning Functional Positions of the National Military (TNI). This regulation is an implementation of Article 31 of Government Regulation No. 39 of 2010 concerning the Administration of Indonesian National Armed Forces Soldiers.

This regulation regulates and explains the functional positions of the TNI. In Article 1 paragraph 1, it is explicitly explained that the functional position in question is a position of a TNI soldier in a TNI organizational unit (Article 1 paragraph 1). Thus, automatically, this regulation cannot be used as a legal basis for active TNI soldiers to occupy functional positions outside the TNI organization.

Of course, this Presidential Decree must not be interpreted to fill civilian positions by active officers. All articles below that explain the functional positions of the TNI must refer to the provisions contained in Article 1 paragraph 1, namely positions within the TNI organizational unit.

We view that Presidential Decree 37/2019 can be one of the short-term solutions to overcome the buildup of high-ranking officers within the TNI organization. However, a number of additional efforts and strategies are still needed to prevent the accumulation of high-ranking "non-job" officers from returning in the future.

For this reason, we ask the government to think about structuring a promotion system based on needs and competencies. For example, the recruitment of soldiers must be adjusted to the members who are about to retire.

In addition, there are various long-term solutions, starting from a zero growth program in recruitment, tightening in school/education selection for the continuation of high-ranking officers at the Indonesian National Army Command and Staff College which must be proportional to existing positions, a merit system in career and position promotion, and others. Without a long-term strategy in overcoming the reorganization of the TNI, it is difficult to build an effective, efficient and professional organization in the future.

Jakarta, July 4th, 2019

Civil Society Coalition for Security Sector Reform

Imparsial, KontraS, YLBHI, LBH Jakarta, LBH Pers, WALHI, Institut Demokrasi

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