Showing posts with label dpkk. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dpkk. Show all posts
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Living with the Other Fishes

Monday, August 27, 2007

Finally I could meet Mr. P yesterday, after getting his rushed phone at the mid of this week. Currently, he dedicates his life to a mid-size law firm in Jakarta which hold an affiliation with the south-east law firm and America continent law firm.

Yesterday’s appointment was promised to him in order to clarify an important case. The case was, Ms. Z his boss, a foreign citizen got panic and little bit shocked with the news that appeared in the Jakarta Post dated 21 August 2007 with the title "lawyers meet to discuss roles in global arena". Under the news, president of the Indonesian Advocates Association (“Peradi”), Otto Hasibuan commented some following issues:

a. the Ministry of Law and Human Rights as the authority to issue work permits for foreign lawyer shall send report on foreign lawyers which has received the working permits in Indonesia to Peradi;

b. Peradi suspected that in addition to 37 registered foreign lawyers working in Indonesia, there are more foreign lawyers who work in Indonesia; and

c. Peradi suspected that there are some law firms actually owned by foreign lawyers while the Indonesian staffs only act as puppets.

Therefore, while she was abroad last week, unless something happened then she would not come back to Indonesia. He asked P whether she and her colleague have already a proper license to work in Indonesia as a foreign lawyer. Besides her query, she also noted that in this globalization era, Indonesian government has committed to become a member of World Trade Organization (as ratified in Law Number 7 Year 1994). Also, it is advisable for giving concern more on the development of domestic capability rather than putting the blame on foreign aspect. In line with the gathering that held in Jakarta by 10 lawyer associations i.e. from Indonesia, India, Thailand, Japan, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines and Australia, she thought that Peradi must also give a positive contribution to harmonize the role of lawyers in this era of inclusiveness instead of keep standing on the exclusivity.

After we ordered calamari to indulge us, Mr. P continued telling his experience during this week. Basically, it is so irresistible that an Indonesian law firm have an association with an international or regional law firm which already exists in some other countries through opening of branches or affiliations. It is merely a business action conducted by some firms’ owner to be affiliated (not be owned for sure) for the purpose of grabbing the potential market being captured by those regional law firm. Mr. P said, Ms. Z often receive the client that referred by the “affiliation” in which such client has trusted that his investment in Indonesia shall be backed-up by qualified legal assistancship as the client receive in their own country. Sometimes, Mr. P added, he should introduce himself as a lawyer from the “affiliation” instead of the “local firm” solely for assuring the client that they are not treated with the wrong person.

Yesterday, both of us had the same main course to satisfy our tongue in savoring the juicy half-done US ribs. While I was busy with cutting and chopping, he started again. It may be based on a true story that Peradi come up with the indication that there are some law firms which owned by the foreign lawyers and afterwards Peradi wants to do the direct investigation to catch them. Peradi’s stance is the consequence of prohibition stipulated under Article 23 Paragraph 1 of Law Number 18 Year 2003 regarding advocates in which foreign lawyers may not appear in court hearings, practice and/or open legal services office or representatives in Indonesia. However, in Paragraph 2 of the same Law, it is stated that the law firm may employ foreign lawyers as employee or expert staff in the field of foreign law based upon permit from Indonesian government with recommendation from organization of advocates. In addition to that, foreign lawyers who provide a legal services in Indonesia may be subject to criminal sanctions including imprisonment. Mr. P said, Ms. Z seems still in the corridor of stipulated laws and regulations. She only does the advisory role and provide her expertise in cases where prospective client from her country must be convinced that Indonesian law is quite different with their legal system. That Indonesian company must has a board of commissioners while theirs not, for example. In addition, Mr. P told that Ms. Z is employed by his Indonesian partner to become a marketing agent, to anchor client or as the receiver of referrals from the “affiliation” which coincidently has same citizenship with Ms. Z.

Then my hot pancake with vanilla ice cream and his single espresso became the end session of our yesterday’s meeting. Mr. P said, her boss is one of the 37 foreign lawyers that has been registered on Peradi. Also, as required by the Decree of Minister of Manpower and Transmigration Number Kep-20/MEN/III/2004 regarding the procedure in the obtainment of Permit To Employ The Expatriate Worker (Izin Mempekerjakan Tenaga Kerja Asing or “IMTA”), his law firm already obtained the IMTA for employing Ms. Z as the legal expert in Indonesia, furthermore Ms. Z consequently has obtained the limited stay permit card (Kartu Izin Tinggal Terbatas or “KITAS”) too. And, I am quite surprised that every expatriate who wants to work here shall pay in advance a monthly fee of USD 100 of skill and development fund levy (Dana Pengembangan Keahlian dan Ketrampilan or “DPKK”). Usually, the expatriate will apply for 1 year period of working and stay permit. It then translates to USD 1,200 (or equivalent to approx. 10 million Rupiah) per expatriate to be stored in the Department of Manpower and Transmigration’s account. If every month, for instance, such Department approves application from 100 expatriates, it means that there is 1 billion Rupiah in its account to be utilized and reported in accordance with accountabilty and transparency principle on every single month. What a great asset then. Mr. P also don't know if such financial report must be opened or closed to public.

In spite of worries towards Ms. Z’ permits, Mr. P actually really concerned about Peradi’s contribution to expedite the process for foreign lawyers who applies his application to work in Indonesia legally. Still fresh in his mind, that he needed 1 month only in order to obtain Peradi’s recommendation. When Mr. P pushed the lowest person in such organizational pyramid, they only keep saying that the required recommendation still has not been signed by the relevant authority because of his occupation as an active lawyer in addition to the activity in the Peradi’s organization. And, once the Peradi’s recommendation is obtained, it does not means that his job has completed even for a half way. The recommendation from Minister of Law and Human Rights shall be signed first by the Director of Public Administration Law from the Ministry prior to process the manpower utilization plan (Rencana Penggunaan Tenaga Kerja Asing orRPTKA”). From his experience, the Ministry recommendation will take 2 to 3 weeks to be obtained. One other thing that I knew from yesterday’s appointment is beside 2 main recommendations that must be obtained by each law firm, they must also secure the entire 13 other documents to be permitted working and staying in Indonesia.

The last slurp of his espresso had signaled me that Yesterday’s appointment must be continued some other time. Lastly, Mr. P said, it is quite awkward when Peradi utters that the Ministry of Law and Human Rights must coordinate with Peradi pertaining the report of all working permit already issued by the Ministry to each foreign lawyer. Because, the scheme is already clear that prior to holding the IMTA, that the local law firm sponsoring its foreign lawyer shall apply to Peradi for obtaining the recommendation is the first thing to do.