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Keeping the Public in the Dark

Pelindo Continues to Refuse to Release Public Documentation on their Reclamation of the Port of Benoa

The ongoing freedom of information hearing before the Provincial Information Office brought by Friends of the Earth (WALHI-Bali) against the State-owned Pelindo III Port Authority for Benoa reconvened on Tuesday, January 29, 2019.

As reported by Balipost.com a 3-man panel is questioning why Pelindo persists in refusing to grant information on plans and strategies for the development of the Benoa Port that, in the view of WALHI-Bali, constitute an unauthorized reclamation of the Port.

Pelindo II – Benoa, represented by R. Suryo Khasbu, said that it is Pelindo's opinion that, despite freedom of information guarantees, WALHI-Bali is not entitled to the information they seek, claiming, “all the information asked by the plaintiffs (WALHI-Bali) is unclear because they have failed to indicate the planned detailed use of the information requested.”

Pelindo III objects to WALHI-Bali’s desire to know the effects of reclamation carried out at the Port.

The head of the adjudication panel, Agus Astapa, said that the requests for information from PT Pelindo III by WALHI-Bali deserve to be answered.

The Provincial Information Office has concluded that all the required procedures to seek public disclosure have been met by WALHI-Bali, including, the legal need to identify the party requesting information, the details of the type of information sought, and the planned use of the information. For these reasons, The Provincial Information Office concludes Pelindo III is obliged to provide the information requested.

Meanwhile, WAHLI-Bali continues to bemoan efforts by Pelindo III to evade their legal responsibility  by  withholding the public information on the development of the Port of Benoa.

Following the decision in their favor under the Freedom of Information Tribunal, senior representatives of WALHI are now questioning the ongoing resistance by Pelindo III, suggesting that one explanation may be that the reclamation of the Port of Benoa was done illegally without the needed environmental studies and official permits.

Pelindo III’s written response to the order to disclose the information requested will soon be answered by WALHI-Bali.

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