Jakarta, 21st of August 2019. 36 civil society organisations reported Musdhalifah Machmud, Deputy for the Coordination of Food and Agriculture to the Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Darwin Nasution on Wednesday, 21st of August 2019. The report was in connection with the issuance of Letter Number: TAN.03.01/265/D. II.M.EKON/05/2019 dated on the 6th of May 2019, concerning Data and Information related to Palm Oil Plantation.
“The deputy letter was used as an excuse for several Public Bodies to refuse to provide public information. In Jambi for example, a request for information by our researcher was denied by the Plantation Office, on the basis of the Deputy’s Letter. Obviously this is a violation of procedure,” explained Henri Subagiyo, Director of the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL).
Although not explicitly addressed to Ministries/Institutions or Regions, the information contained in point 3 of the letter does indeed appear to provide direction to the Ministries/Institutions and Regional Governments to determine data and information regarding the Land Cultivation Rights (HGU) of palm oil plantations (in the form holder name, map and location) as information excluded. The directive is reiterated in point 4 which asks Ministries/Institutions and Regional Governments not to make initiatives to make agreements with other parties in providing data and information related to palm oil plantations.
“We urge the Coordinating Minister for the Economy to give instructions to all of his staff to comply with the provisions of Law No. 14 of 2008 concerning Public Information Disclosure (KIP Law). The KIP Law states that HGU information along with supporting documents are open information. This has also been decided by the Supreme Court in the information dispute between Forest Watch Indonesia and the Ministry of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning/National Land Agency (ATR/BPN),” added Ahmad Hanafi, Director of the Indonesian Parliamentary Center (IPC).
Desiana Samosir (Activist of the Freedom of Information Network Indonesia-FOINI Coalition) said, “The Deputy’s letter is against the law and must be revoked. Constitutional violations of access to information cannot be tolerated.”
In their demands, 36 civil society organisations urged the Coordinating Minister for the Economy to:
- To revoke and cancel the Deputy Letter for the Coordination of Food and Agriculture Number: TAN.03.01/265/D.II.M.EKON/05/2019 dated on the 6th of May 2019.
- Instruct relevant ministries/agencies and regional governments to obey the Supreme Court’s decision regarding HGU information.
- Comply with the information exclusion mechanism as regulated in the Public Information Disclosure Act (KIP Law), by conducting a Consequency Test mechanism before deciding on information exemption by the Information Management and Documentation Officer (PPID), including determining the retention period for information exemptions based on PP No.61 of 2010 about the implementation of the KIP Law.
- Instruct PPID (Information and Documentation Management Officer) relevant ministries/agencies and regional governments to classify, and determine data and information about HGU of palm oil plantations (name of holder, map, and location) as information that can be given to the public and put it in the List of Public Information.
- Instruct the Superior of PPID (Information and Documentation Management Officer) Ministry of Agrarian Affairs and Spatial Planning/National Land Agency to comply with and implement Central Information Commission Decision Number: 057/XII/KIP-PS-MA/2015, Jakarta District Court Decision Number: 2/G/KI/2016/PTUN-JKT, and Supreme Court Decision Number: 121 K/TUN/2017 to provide administrative documents related to HGU (name of HGU permit holder, place or location, area of HGU granted, type of commodity, and a map of the HGU area complete with coordinates) to Forest Watch Indonesia, as well as opening access to that information to the wider community.
Furthermore, the 36 organisations asked the Coordinating Minister for the Economy to cancel the Deputy Letter within 10 (ten) working days. If not, civil society organisations will take other legal remedies guaranteed by legislation.
List of Civil Society Organisations
Indonesian Center for Environmental Law (ICEL), Indonesian Parliamentary Center (IPC), Indonesian Forum for Budget Transparency (FITRA) of North Sumatra, Indonesian Forum for Budget Transparency (FITRA) Riau, Clinic for Public Information Openness Univ. Islam Indonesia, Association of Initiatives, Institute for Community Study and Advocacy (ELSAM), Yayasan Pusaka Bentala Rakyat, Greenpeace Indonesia, Association of HUMA, BUMI Foundation, PLH North Kalimantan, North Kalimantan Environmental Advocacy Institute (Lalingka), Mining Advocacy Network (Jatam), AMAN Bengsibas (Bengkayang, Singkawang, Sambas), Green Landscape Institute (LemBAH), North Kalimantan Environmental Care Association, SAMPAN Kalimantan, Kalimantan Legal Aid Association (PBHK), Bela Banua Talino Institute (LBBT), Aceh Transparency Society (MaTA), Indonesian Forum National Secretariat for Budget Transparency (FITRA), Borneo Initiative, Mitra Insani Foundation (YMI), JIKALAHARI Riau, East Kalimantan Environmental Advocacy Network, West Kalimantan JARI, ELPAGAR West Kalimantan, Regional Study and Information Centre (PATTIRO), West Kalimantan Gemawan Institute, Community Solidarity for NTB Transparency, Circle of Advocacy and Research (Linkar)s West Kalimantan Borneo, KOMIU Central Sulawesi, KIPRA Jayapura Foundation, Alliance of Indigenous Peoples of the Archipelago (AMAN), Medialink.
Henri Subagiyo (0815 8574 1001)
Ahmad Hanafi (0811 9952 737)