Village Deliberation Agency (Badan Permusyawaratan Desa-BPD) is an institution which serves to channeling the aspiration of the village community, as well as monitoring the head of village performance. Unfortunately, currently many members of BPD do not understand their role and function as regulated in Law no 6/2014 about Village. Thus, the national secretariat of FITRA (Indonesian Forum for Budget Transparency) promotes the budget transparency and develops the complaint mechanism in the village level.

During three years of the implementation of Village Law, the role of BPD is considered not optimal. The existence of BPD is only a formality. For instance, in drafting the Village Regulation on Village Budget, the BPD tends to agree on the Draft of Village Budget proposed by the Head of Village and the village staff. The BPD rarely discusses and never make a note on the Village Budget within the internal of BPD.

The same applies to the Village Regulation Drafting Process. According to the article 62 letter a in Village Law, as well as the article 83 verse 2 in Government Regulation no 43/2014 about the Implementation of Village Law, the member of BPD has right to suggest the Village Regulation draft. As an institution which is close to the community, BPD should be able to give the suggestion based on the community’s complaint.

BPD is also still lacked in accommodating and channeling community aspiration. If the community has an aspiration or complaint, they directly communicate with the head of the village through village staff or head of hamlet. BPD as an institution or personal, usually only accommodate aspiration or complaint informally. Lack of documentation makes the role of BPD not quite progressive.

Unfortunately, BPD has not yet developed a mechanism to absorb an independent aspiration beside the formal process of development planning through Hamlet Forum, Village Forum, or Village Development Forum. BPD also does not have its own office in the village hall which enable community to deliver their aspiration and complaint.

In villages whose Head of BPD ever became the competitor of the elected head of the village, the control from BPD tends to be strict and uncompromising, though not well structured yet. In other villages, the monitoring of BPD tends to be loose.

The article 61 of Village Law mentioned that BPD has the right to ask information to the Village Head about the accomplishment of village government such as the Accountability Report, however the practice remains weak. Many villages have not conduct an Accountability Report Forum. If they did, it’s only a formality. Whereas, the Article 51 verse 3 Government Regulation no 43/2014 confirmed that Accountability Report is used by BPD to do the monitoring function. In the realm of supra village, local government and local parliament have not yet empowered BPD in a serious manner.

Therefore, socialization of Village Law is needed. Village law is still socialized to the Village Head and the staff only. Although BPD has had the budget post from Village Budget in term of allowance and operational budget, in the most regions, this number is really small and has yet to be utilized to accelerate its role and function.

While the Village Fund and other sources of village budget increase in every year, and the utilization is often not on target, even there are many misappropriation. To strengthen the BPD and the community in monitoring the village budget, it is important to work together with the local government and local parliament. The issuance of Ministerial Regulation of Internal Affairs no 110/2016 on Village Deliberation Agency, is expected to address the challenges faced by the BPD.

Written by Gurnardi Ridwan, Research Manager Indonesia Forum for Budget Transparency