KnE Social Sciences | The 3rd International Conference on Social and Political Science (ICoSaPS) | pages: 229-235

, , , and

1. Background

Republic of Indonesia's Law Number 15 of 2009 about Public Service opens the door for broader community participation in improving public service from participatory planning of policy/program/activity to supervising and complaining to the relevant public service unit by the community. Republic of Indonesia's Law Number 25 of 2009 about Public Service is the guarantee of just and high-quality public service organization. Community access to a public service complaint mechanism is still limited. The authors have worked in non-government organization (PATTIRO Surakarta) in calling for greater public service accountability in Surakarta city. They found that only 9% out of total 300 respondents in a Knowledge, Attitude, Practice (KAP) survey on the organization of Public Service in 2012 knew how to complain about poor public service. KAP service also recorded that only 7.9% respondents had complained and 1.2% felt they wanted to complain about the public service that was inconsistent with the Standard Service [8].

The service users' complaint is required as the feedback to the executor and the organizer of public service to improve service management quality. For that reason, it is important to the organizer of public service to open up the complaint channels. From observations, it can be found that the initial step of opening the complaint channel for the public service organization is conducted by providing a suggestion box. However, this suggestion box in the public service unit is often empty and without supporting facilities such as paper and pen. The Soeharto's regime of restricting the people's freedom of expression is still inherent in the public mindset today. Many still feel afraid of writing their complaint directly to the public service unit. National data of Republic of Indonesia's Ombudsman (ORI) note that the complaint mechanism is made available through mass media, letter (mail) or sent directly to the provider of public service.

Reformation brings about the change for the freedom of assembly and expression. Law Number 25 of 2009 about Public Service formulated since 2005 with full participation by non-government organization successfully guarantees the public participation. The guarantee of public service right fulfillment will be achieved when there is a commitment from the provider and active participation from the public (community). This paper addresses the challenges to the innovation of complaint mechanism conducted by government and non-government organization.

Innovation and breakthrough by utilizing technology development is a certainty in digital age today. In such the condition, the presence of information and communication technology encourages the comprehensive change of organizational management and organizational approach in interacting with the community. The fact shows that information and communication technology-based service facilitates the community in accessing a variety of service types, whether with computer, cellular network or mobile phone [10]. In technology age, this can be challenged and opportunity all at once in which the development today can encourage public participation in service improvement. The novelty of this article is that previous studies have not compared the challenge to complaint mechanism innovation initiated by non-government organization and government and that to on-desk and IT-based complain mechanisms. Some studies focused on customer-oriented public service quality [1,2]. Meanwhile, the research on public service complain has been conducted but has not considered the challenge to its implementation [7,5].

2. Method

This case study on the challenge to the innovation of public service complaint mechanism was conducted using participatory research in Surakarta City during 2012-2016. The data of research was collected through observationnd in-depth interview with the informants selected using purposive sampling of the Surakarta City people who have used the public service in the last two months. Firstly, the author collected the data of public service complaint mechanism innovation organization in non-government organization sector and examined the challenges emerging in the organization of on desk-based, mobile, and short message system complain mechanisms. Then the author compared the challenge to public service complaint mechanism in government sector through Unit Layanan Aduan Masyarakat (ULAS = Community Grievance Service Unit) based on web 2.0.

2.1. Findings and Discussion

There is still a distance in the communication between the public service provider and the community so that the minority society is still lacking in access to public service information. The fact in the field shows that instead many constraints result from the community reluctance to communicate to the government the problems they face or the constraint they experience in accessing the service. The community prefers to passively receiving any public service rendered. The community's inadequate knowledge about the Law Number 25 of 2009 about Public Service is still the dominant factor, which make them accept whatever public service they receive with few complaints. In addition, the public's low trust in the complaint management and the responsiveness to complaint support the service users' low complaint rate.

Participatory research on the organization of public service complaint mechanism is initially conducted with mobile complaints, which is the complaint screening activity in public area with public campaign and capacity building in the community group related to their right in the organization of public service. Mobile complaint mechanism successfully reduces the rigidity of bureaucracy in organizing complaint mechanism. If data of KAP originally shows that only 24 out of 300 respondents bravely complain with the organization of public service inconsistent with its standard, mobile complaint can convince the community to complain confidently. The incoming community complaint rate in mobile complaint is 787 in the first organization period, 1247 in the second period, and 1537 in the third period [6]. The more the number of incoming complaints, the less optimum is the organization of public service. Therefore, there should be an improvement of participative public service organization to get feedback.

The challenge to mobile complaint innovation is the low awareness of filling in actively the participation room of public service organization among the community, particularly in the term of supervision and public service complain. Need assessment and complaint pick up are needed to maximize the service users' feedback in mobile complain activity. The community's reactiveness is still low to come directly to the mobile complain post to convey their grievance about the non-standardized organization of public service.

The next innovation is conducted by PATTIRO Surakarta in facilitating the complaint mechanism in Surakarta City's Health Service, through cellular phone as the communication media utilizing SMS Gateway service called SMS Pusat Aduan Layanan Kesehatan (PANDAN = Health Service Grievance Center). SMS-based approach facilitates the community in conveying grievance or complaining without psychological stress when facing the executor of public service. In addition to conveying grievance and complain, the community can ask for information or send message about health service in the duty area of Surakarta City's Health Service. SMS Pandan can be delivered with the following format: Info#tanya/info#info pesan#Lokasi.

Meanwhile, for grievance (complaint) it can use the following format: Keluhan#jeniskeluhan (prosedur/fasilitas/layanan/administrasi/biaya) #infokeluhan#lokasi then send to number 08112767700. From Table 1, it can be found the trend number of complaint in SMS Pandan. More than three months since SMS PANDAN was launched, only few grievances and complaints come. It is because of many factors affecting it, among others the limited socialization conducted by the local government. In its development, an innovation of course faces a challenge. Similarly, the innovation of SMS PANDAN also face challenges that can be identified in this study including, firstly, the socialization media that have ever been used are direct socialization during some event and leaflet. However, this activity can be conducted in the beginning of SMS PANDAN launching. The sustainable socialization has not been followed up. The effect of innovation has not been used to the maximum by the public. Then, sometimes the incoming complaint concerns the technical case rather than basic duty and function of DKK such as complaint when the lamp in the waiting room of service unit dies. Secondly, SMS is still prepaid in nature and the cost imposed to the SMS PANDAN service user community. Thirdly, SMS PANDAN is still dependent on network and operator not done by a person. If the operator has an assignment out of town, the server has not been used until the corresponding officer comes back.

Table 1

The Number of Complaints in SMS PANDAN in the period of November 2015. Source: PATTIRO Surakarta, 2015.

Type of complaint Number
Administration 2
Cost 0
Facility 1
Service 12
Officer 2
Procedure 4
Total 21

The government cannot be silent. Surakarta City Government has launched Unit Layanan Aduan Surakarta (ULAS). Unit Layanan Aduan Surakarta (ULAS) is the means to accommodate the public service complaint. The ULAS institution exists in the inspectorate and has its length of arm at kelurahan level. ULAS service can be provided via SMS Center, email, website, and social media and direct complaint. ULAS is organized recalling the Law Number 14 of 2008 about Public Information Transparency and Law No. 25 of 2009 about Public Service and following up the online people aspiration and complaint service (LAPOR) program as the National Public Service Complaint Management System (SP4N). The complaint management includes complaint receiving, recording, studying, clarifying, distribution, following-up, reporting and archiving. ULAS is the guarantee for the community in the organization of public service.

ULAS can be accessed through website: and to complain, the reporter should have an account to log in. If the members of society have registered and logged in, they can utilize ULAS. In addition to via interactive website, complain mechanism in ULAS is conducted for 3 workdays with the provision of 1 day in administration division and 2 days in corresponding SKPD (Local Government Agency) level. The community can use ULAS via social media such as twitter, Facebook and SMS gateway. By 2015 the number of complaint coming to ULAS was 459 complaints per year and 265 until second quarter of 2015 (Inspektorat Kota Surakarta [Surakarta City's Inspectorate], [3]). In the second quarter of 2016 there were 304 complaints in ULAS [4]. There is an increase in the community participation in the implementation public service in the Surakarta City in evaluation and complaint the public service.

Unfortunately, the presence of ULAS has not completely facilitated the community to deliver its complaints on public service and policy. The results of the interview with most users of public service show that most users did not know about ULAS. The socialization of ULAS is still limited and has not been optimal. The limited information the society obtains about ULAS implies the public's low confidence in ULAS's management of complain and responsiveness.

The second challenge is the high human trust so that the community keeps preferring on-desk complaint to IT-based complaint. The people write the complaint hesitantly because they worry that it will result in multi-perception so that they prefer using direct complaint that can be solved by the service provider or the leader of public service provider. The X generation has constraint with IT use so that they do not prefer using ULAS or exit mechanism. The Y generation not familiar with ULAS admits that they are interested in using ULAS but not for the urgent case. The improvement of human resource aware of information technology becomes the challenge to the optimization of ULAS.

Table 2

The comparison of challenges with the innovation of public service complain mechanism by non-government organization and Government.

Non-Government Organization ULAS of Surakarta City's Government
Mobile Complain SMS PANDAN
Less proactive community Human resources aware of IT The capacity of human resource aware of IT
Socialization of SMS PANDAN Minimum and less optimum socialization
Budget High human trust
Limited public satisfaction with the complaint management's responsiveness

3. Conclusion

The complaint mechanism as the habit in community's attitude and practice has begun to show significant change. The small number of community complaint against service provider is due to the low relationship between demand and supply (offering) both from community and from service provider. The community can complain passively about the improvement of public service quality. Firstly, it is due to the assumption that the improvement resulting will not affect significantly their life. Secondly, there is an assumption that service quality still below the average will not harm their life survival. Thirdly, the community's skepticism and pessimism with public service provider and organizer can lead to the community's limited number of complaints toward the high-quality public service. Fourthly, the public satisfaction with the responsiveness of complaint management is still low. Whereas establishments that receive complaints also requires a gradual process in resolving the complaint on technical procedure.

Mobile complaint becomes the public campaign about the community participation in complaint mechanism. Then, this SMS PANDAN complaint service can be the feedback and responsiveness of Surakarta City government to improve the healthcare service. Although ULAS has facilitated the community to deliver its complaint digitally, it still has the challenge of high human trust and the responsiveness of complaint management. These innovations and breakthroughs made by Surakarta City Government still need further study to find out its benefit to both government and community. The system guaranteeing the sustainability of SMS PANDAN remains to be managed better in the future by considering the development and the need of community.



Hsiao, Chih-Tung and Jie-Shin Lin, 2008. A Study of Service Quality in Public Sector. International Journal of Electronic Business Management, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 29-37.


Ilhaamie, A.G.A. 2010. Service Quality in Malaysian Public Service: Some Findings. International Journal of Trade, Economics and Finance, Vol. 1, No. 1, June, 2010-023X.


Inspektorat Kota Surakarta. 2015. Unit Layanan Aduan Surakarta. Unpublished.


Inspektorat Kota Surakarta. 2016. Unit Layanan Aduan Surakarta. Unpublished.


Lusiani, Cicilia and Lukito Edi Nugroho, 2008. Evaluasi Efektivitas Layanan Elektronis di Sektor Publik: Studi Kasus Layanan Mobile Government di Pemerintah Kabupaten Sleman. Prosiding e-Indonesia Initiative 2008 (eII2008) Konferensi dan Temu Nasional Teknologi Informasi dan Komunikasi untuk Indonesia, 21-23 Mei 2008.


Munawir, Rokhmad. 2014. Memecah Budaya Diam, Menuntut Akuntabilitas Pelayanan Publik. Surakarta: Pattiro Surakarta.


Utomo, Sad Dian. 2008. Penanganan Pengaduan Masyarakat Mengenai Pelayanan Publik. Bisnis & Birokrasi, Jurnal Ilmu Administrasi dan Organisasi, Sept---Dec 2008, pp. 161-167, Volume 15, Number 3.


Pattiro Surakarta. 2012. Laporan Survei KAP. Surakarta: Pattiro Surakarta Unpublished.


Pattiro Surakarta. 2015. Laporan Rekap Keluhan SMS PANDAN Per November 2015. Suarakarta: Pattiro Surakarta Unpublished.


Rust, R.T. and P.K. Kannan, 2002. e-Service: New Directions in Theory and Practice. New York: ME Sharpe.



  • Downloads 28
  • Views 115



ISSN: 2518-668X