Australia Awards in Indonesia

The Australia Awards are prestigious, transformational scholarships and short courses offered to emerging leaders for study, research and professional development in Australia

07 Apr 2016

Valuing Experience in Australia and Giving Back

Sudarto has served as Head of Sub Directory Business Process Transformation at the Directorate General of Treasury since January 2009. He also serves as part time lecturer on Public Finance for the Magister Accounting Program at the prestigious University of Indonesia. Prior to 2004, Sudarto was lecturer at the Economics Higher Education Institution of Trisakti  (STIE Trisakti, Jakarta) and the Economics Higher Education Institution of Indonesia (Sekolah Tinggi Ilmu Ekonomi Indonesia, STIEI, Jakarta) and was also a budget planner at the Ministry of Finance.

Taking his academic and professional background into consideration, Sudarto applied for an Australian Development Scholarship to pursue a PhD in Economics (Social Security and Dynamic General Equilibrium Model) in 2003. Sudarto made the effort to foster continuous communication with a professor in Australia on his PhD proposal and to inquire the professor’s availability as Sudarto’s academic supervisor.

“I believe that one’s academic supervisor plays a crucial role in determining the successful completion of a PhD Endeavour,” Sudarto said. “One can refer back to the supervisor’s previous projects and journals that he or she has published, among other things. That is why I was determined to establish a good relationship prior to the start of my studies,” Sudarto further explained.

Upon his return from Australia, Sudarto stated that his way of thinking has broadened. “I realize that in such a diverse and vast world, we need to keep an open mind, be it in our personal lives or when conducting research and analysis,” Sudarto said.

Sudarto continued that the skills he gained and found beneficial in conducting his responsibilities as Head of Sub Directory Business Process Transformation at the Directorate General of Treasury came not only from academic literature but also his daily experience while in Australia.

What he learned from his Australia Awards experience is that the public sectors in Australia are small but very effective. “All we have to do is just pick up the phone, or open the web site, and let costumer service handle the rest. We mostly don’t have to go directly to the office, for example, for submitting some paper based applications or making some payments – we just transfer and most public services in Australia do not utilize cash payment. That is why an e-government plays an important role and indeed we have to move toward implementing e-government to improve our public service,” Sudarto explained.

Sudarto is now responsible in ensuring that the transformation of budget and treasury business processes in the Ministry of Finance from traditional system into modern one runs smoothly. This project will require improvement in public financial business process, IT and change management. Sudarto is part of a team working on a project under the Directorate General of Treasury and the Directorate General of Budget of the Ministry of Finance aiming to implement an integrated financial information system (IFMIS) called SPAN (Sistem Perbendaharan dan Anggaran Negara, or National Treasury and Budgeting System).

SPAN is a holistic budget and treasury transformation process encompassing budget preparation, budget execution and government accounting and reporting that will cover around 2,500 real time users from more than 300 offices of Ministry of Finance across Indonesia. The system will interface with many other IT systems such as the debt management system within the Ministry of Finance or the IT systems of around 30,000 spending units (ministries/institutions and work units) from Sabang to Merauke as well as the IT systems of many banking institutions.

SPAN project is still in the development phase and is targeted to pilot-launch in early-2012 and up and running by 2013. In this project, Sudarto serves as Team leader for Business Process Improvements. “This is the largest project the Ministry of Finance has ever undertaken. SPAN will modernize the IT system and try to realize ‘the best practice’ of IFMIS including electronic transactions in the public financial sector. In order to achieve that, we need to streamline our business processes first,” Sudarto explained.

“Numerous people at higher level positions under the Ministry of Finance are working together as a team in the project, all determined for SPAN to give a widespread positive impact for the Ministry and obviously the people of Indonesia. By the time SPAN is ready for launch, the transformation would not only encompass the Directorate General of Budget and the Directorate General of Budget Treasury in the Ministry of Finance but also all public financial practices in all line ministries in Indonesia. Hopefully it will really improve the efficiency and transparency of the public sector practice and obviously the quality of development in Indonesia,” he added.

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