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President Joko Widodo Takes Back Control of State Intelligence Agency

July 20, 2020, 11.29 PM

JAKARTA, - President Joko Widodo has taken back control of the State Intelligence Agency (BIN), placing it directly under him, based on a document obtained by on Sunday, July 19.

Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mahfud MD said the move has been effective since July 3. BIN was previously under the supervision of the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs.

“The President explained that he will need intelligence [from BIN] directly,” he said in his official Twitter account on Sunday, July 19.

 Also read: President Jokowi Says He Will Abolish 18 Government Agencies Soon

“But coordinating ministries can still request intelligence from BIN. As a Coordinating Minister, I continue to have BIN officials to give briefings.”

According to BIN official Wawan Hari Purwanto, the agency's transfer from the ministry to the President’s office is part of President Jokowi’s efforts to streamline the government.

“The move is designed to simplify BIN’s system of reporting to the President and make his decision-making quicker, more precise and efficient,” he said. “It is also designed to bolster the secrecy of the information itself.”

Wawan added flexibility is important because of the dynamic nature of political, economic, socio-cultural and defense fields that call for an out-of-the box approach.

Legislators hailed Jokowi’s decision to place BIN directly under him.

“BIN should have a ‘single user’ or ‘client’ as it is directly answerable to, and that is the president,” said House Commission I on Defense, Foreign Affairs and Information legislator Abdul Kharis Almasyhari.

Also read: Look, Indonesia's State Intelligence Agency Joins Social Media Fray

Kharis’ fellow Commission I legislator Christina Aryani agreed, saying: “Placing BIN under the president’s control and making them directly answerable to him is the right thing.” 

“BIN is also part of the Covid-19 Task Force, as [the coronavirus] is seen as a national security threat. Aside from assessing potential threats, their job also covers prevention of those threats.”

Christina hoped that BIN will be able to work more quickly without coordinating with the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs. BIN has reported directly to the president since its inception in 1946. 

(Writers: Achmad Nasrudin Yahya, Haryanti Puspa Sari | Editors: Diamanty Meiliana, Icha Rastika, Bayu Galih)


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