Dwiyanto Indiahono


The study aimed to describe bureaucratic neutrality at regional level and its
necessity in direct regional head elections in Indonesia. This research is important in examining
whether state civil apparatuses are tempted to enter the practical political arena in regional head
elections despite being prohibited by the principle of bureaucratic neutrality. This study employed a
descriptive quantitative research method and index analysis techniques. A research population of
12,539 state civil apparatuses (SCAs) in Banyumas, Indonesia was utilized, 400 of which were
selected as the research samples. Employing Slovin formula, 95% confidence level and margin of
error 4.92% were obtained. This study indicates a satisfactory level of bureaucratic neutrality at 3.18
or 79.59. Indicators of high bureaucratic neutrality level include the absence of SCAs’ support to
non-incumbent or incumbent regent candidates on social media as well as the non-response of SCAs
to the request of incumbent regent candidates’ campaign team to perform actions that may benefit
incumbent regent candidates. Meanwhile, indicators of low bureaucratic neutrality level include the
preservation of neutrality upon discovering other SCA colleagues’ support to non-incumbent or
incumbent regent candidates on social media and the preservation of no support to non-incumbent
or incumbent regent candidates. These findings present an opportunity to realize a professional merit
and bureaucracy system in Indonesia. This study offers recommendations of increased neutrality
awareness campaigns among bureaucratic officials and the importance of encouraging SCAs to
consistently remind colleagues who may violate the principle of neutrality. Enforcement of legal
actions against violators of bureaucratic neutrality is also necessary as a deterrent effect for
bureaucratic officials who are not committed to upholding bureaucratic neutrality.