Public Information Openness Does Not Apply Yet to Prospective Public Officials

Rega Felix (Petitioner) attending the ruling hearing of the judicial review of Law No. 14 of 2008 on Public Information Openness, Thursday (3/21/2024). Photo by MKRI/Teguh.

JAKARTA (MKRI) — When referring to the Law on Public Information Openness (KIP Law), the type of information it regulates is public information, including agencies that manage the information, i.e. public bodies. Thus, a person in a public position referred to in the norm is a position attached to a person who has become part of the public body in question and cannot be attached to a person who is still a candidate for public office. Therefore, Article 18 paragraph (2) letter b of the KIP Law cannot apply to someone candidates for public office.

This is the Court’s legal consideration, delivered by Constitutional Justice Arsul Sani, regarding the judicial review petition by Rega Felix on the constitutionality of Law No. 14 of 2008 on Public Information Openness. The ruling hearing for the case No. 132/PUU-XXI/2023 took place on Thursday, March 21, 2024 in the plenary courtroom.

Justice Arsul continued that the information attached to candidates for public office may be in the form of exempted personal confidential information as stipulated in Article 17 letter h of the KIP Law. To reveal such information requires written consent from the party whose secret will be revealed. So, the Court asserts, the Petitioner cannot equate the phrase “a person’s position in public office” with the position of someone who is still a “prospective public official.”

Specific vs General

Furthermore, Justice Arsul said that Article 18 paragraph (2) letter b of the KIP Law is actually only intended to disclose information on a person in public office, so the Court cannot accommodate the Petitioner’s argument of his request of the disclosure of a list of names of participants and minimum qualification requirements for someone who is still in the selection process for the placement in public office. This is because they cannot be categorized as public officials and their data receive personal information protection by Law No. 27 of 2022 on Personal Data Protection, not in the KIP Law.

“In this regard, Article 4 paragraph (1) of UU KIP determines that personal data is divided into specific personal data and general personal data. In relation to full name, gender, nationality, religion, marital status, and/or personal data combined to identify a person are included in the category of general personal data,” Justice Arsul said.

A person’s name is not considered confidential data, but it is still personal data. Even if there is no violation if the names of the participants who passed selection are announced, there is no connection to the article petitioned for review because Article 18 paragraph (2) letter b of the KIP Law only concerns a person who is currently serving in a public office. The Court asserts that by requesting to obtain a list of names of participants and the minimum qualification requirements in the open selection process for the placement in public office, the Petitioner has mixed up data on an individual and a person who occupies a public office.

“In conclusion, based on the assessment of facts and law, the Court concludes that it had the authority to hear the petition. The Petitioner had legal standing to file the petition. The Petitioner’s provisional petitum was legally groundless; the Petitioner’s subject matter had no basis in law it its entirety. [The Court] rejects the Petitioner’s petition in its entirety,” said Chief Justice Suhartoyo delivering the verdict.

Also read:

Advocate Questions Personal Data Openness for Public Offices

Advocate Asks for Clear Interpretation of Excluded Information in KIP Law

Govt: Exempted Public Information Can Be Disclosed under Some Conditions 

Bank Indonesia Talks Pro-Hire Recruitment 

The Petitioner asserted that Article 18 paragraph (2) of the KIP Law excluded personal data in the form of the family history and records, the results of evaluations related to a person’s capabilities, intellectuality, and competency recommendations, and/or records on a person’s personality related to formal and non-formal education as contained in Article 17 letter h of KIP Law for persons in public offices.

He revealed his experience applying for a public office at Bank Indonesia and being declared unqualified. He then asked for the list of applicants, his evaluation results, and the results of his health assessment, which the organizing committee refused. He was only given the results of his health assessment, so he could not obtain a right to refute the public information. “There are multiple interpretations of the causality between Article 18 paragraph (2) of the KIP Law and the Petitioner’s constitutional loss, because the exam results which the Petitioner requested were excepted from public information,” he said.

Therefore, in his petitum, the Petitioner requested that the Court declare the phrase “a person’s position in public offices” in Article 18 paragraph (2) of Law No. 14 of 2008 on Public Information Openness unconstitutional and not legally binding as long as it is not interpreted as “including a list of names of participants in an open selection process in the context of filling in public offices.”

Author       : Sri Pujianti
Editor        : Lulu Anjarsari P.
PR            : Raisa Ayuditha
Translator  : Yuniar Widiastuti (NL)

Disclaimer: The original version of the news is in Indonesian. In case of any differences between the English and the Indonesian versions, the Indonesian version will prevail.

Thursday, March 21, 2024 | 19:35 WIB 32