Cablegate: Consular Management Visit to Bali Consular Agency
DE RUEHJS #0098/01 2340725
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 210725Z AUG 08
FM AMCONSUL SURABAYA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0275
INFO RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA 0261
RUEHJS/AMCONSUL SURABAYA 0280
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 SURABAYA 000098
DEPT FOR CA/EX: AMBER BASKETTE, AND CA/OCS/ACS/EAP: CHRIS
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CMGT CASC CPAS ID
SUBJECT: CONSULAR MANAGEMENT VISIT TO BALI CONSULAR AGENCY
1. Summary. Supervisory Consular Officer / Surabaya Consular
Section Chief (CSC) Terry Mobley visited Bali from July 24 - 25.
During the visit, CSC and Bali-based Consular Agent Joshua
Finch reviewed Consular Agency operations, visited with a few
long-term American citizen residents of Bali, and met with
several local officials. Mr. Finch is doing an outstanding job
in Bali meeting the needs of a steadily growing American citizen
population, including both long-term residents and tourists. The
Consular Agency has experienced an increase in workload during
the past year as tourist numbers from the United States have
increased significantly - an increase of approximately 30
percent through June of this year compared to the same time last
year. CSC and ConAgent Finch discussed the possibility of
adding either an additional ConAgent or an additional Locally
Engaged Staff (LES) member. We also agreed to work on the
development of standard operating procedures for routine
American citizen services as well as the need for a
Bali-specific contingency plan for handling potential plane
crashes, natural disasters, and terrorist attacks. End Summary.
2. CSC Mobley met with ConAgent Finch and Consular Assistant
Siti Harimala on July 24 and 25. They are both doing an
outstanding job in addressing the needs of approximately 600
American citizen residents in Bali as well as a substantial and
growing American tourist population, currently averaging between
50,000 and 60,000 visitors per year. CSC conducted a formal
cash count with both ConAgent Finch and sub-cashier Harimala and
reviewed their work requirements. CSC and ConAgent conducted an
inventory of accountable consular items and reviewed the Office
of Inspector General (OIG) checklist for Consular Agencies. We
also discussed proper storage of non-controlled items such as
mail received for American citizen retirees in Bali and
Indonesian passports with U.S. visas (issued at the U.S.
Consulate in Surabaya) awaiting pick up at the Consular Agency.
Lastly, we discussed the need to establish Standard Operating
Procedures (SOPs) for routine services provided by the Consular
Local Officials and the Australians
3. CSC and ConAgent met with Mr. Chadik Wibowo, Acting General
Manager and Director of Security at Denpasar Airport. Mr.
Wibowo was very pleased with the U.S. Transportation Safety
Administration's (TSA) October 2007, designation of Bali's
International Airport (Bandara Ngurah Rai) as compliant with
International Civil Aviation security standards. He was also
pleased with the U.S. Government's decision in May 2008 to
cancel the travel warning for Indonesia which had been in effect
since October 2007. He noted plans to begin rebuilding and
converting the current domestic terminal in Denpasar into a new
international terminal. The project is expected to begin next
year. Once the new international terminal is completed, the
current international terminal will be converted into the
domestic terminal. We also discussed the fact that the only
direct international flight between Bali and the U.S. and its
territories, a twice weekly flight to Guam, will cease
operations in August 2008. This flight has been used for
extraditions in the past. Mr. Jusuf Hadi, Director of
Immigration in Bali, noted that American arrivals to Bali
numbered approximately 7,000 in June and indicated that U.S.
tourist visitors to Bali were up roughly 30 percent this year
compared to last.
4. Australian Consul General Bruce Cowled said that Australian
visitors to Bali rank second after Japan, with 30,000 visitors
in June alone. Mr. Cowled informed us that there are currently
14 Australians imprisoned in Bali. He explained that the
Consulate provides food for all Australian prisoners in Bali
because the quantity and quality of the food provided by the
prison is insufficient. Mr. Cowled informed us that there has
been discussion within the Indonesian corrections system of
transferring some prisoners from Bali to the more restrictive
and remote "island prison" in central Java. The Australian
Consulate has expressed their opposition to the potential
relocation of Australian prisoners already incarcerated in Bali.
He also informed us that the Consulate had established
excellent working relationships with local officials,
relationships he described as invaluable in the development of
the Consulate's contingency plan for emergency situations,
components of which he agreed to share with CSC and ConAgent.
5. There are currently no Bali-specific plans in place to
respond to emergency situations such as natural disasters, plane
crashes, and terrorist attacks. CSC and ConAgent discussed the
need to develop contingency plans and contact lists specifically
for these three types of potential crises. We agreed to work on
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development of a Bali-specific emergency response plan over the
coming several months. As aforementioned, we discussed
contingency planning briefly with the Australian Consul General
who offered to share components of the Consulate's contingency
plan with CSC and ConAgent. ConAgent Finch and Consul General
Cowled both noted that mobile telephone networks were shut down
during both the 2002 and 2005 terrorist attacks in Bali. Post
is currently investigating the possibility of procuring a
satellite telephone for the Consular Agency in order to address
this deficiency in mobile communication capability.
Planned Activities / Improvements
6. Consular Agent Finch and Consular LES Harimala, who between
them have 13 years experience at the Consular Agency, have been
doing outstanding work. Based on the CSC's review of the
Consular Agency and discussions with Consular Agent Finch, the
following activities are planned for the coming months:
--Work with the Consular Agency to develop an emergency response
/ contingency plan specific to Bali.
--Explore the possibility of procuring a satellite telephone for
use by the Consular Agency.
--Work to develop additional SOPs for routine American citizen
services provided by the Consular Agency, in addition to the
quality SOP already developed for notarial services.
--Arrange a time for the Consular Agent and Consular LES to
visit the Consulate General in Surabaya for consultations.
--Explore the need for additional Consular Agency staffing.
--Work with the Medical Unit at Embassy Jakarta to determine a
suitable time to visit Bali in order to provide first aid
training to Consular Agency personnel.
--Update the Consular Agency web page and add a link to the
supervisory post, U.S. Consulate General Surabaya.