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官製談合 あきれ果てた国交省の体質

The Yomiuri Shimbun(Jun. 26, 2009)
Transport ministry needs to recheck its checks
官製談合 あきれ果てた国交省の体質(6月26日付・読売社説)

Another bid-rigging case involving officials at the Construction and Transport Ministry has bubbled to the surface. The ministry needs to seriously reflect on the preventive measures it has taken following previous scandals.
 またも国土交通省の官製談合が発覚した。これまでの再発防止策は、一体何だったのか。国交省は猛省すべきだ。

Suspecting that ministry officials were involved in bid-rigging practices related to official vehicle services for the ministry's Hokkaido Regional Development Bureau, the Fair Trade Commission issued the ministry with a remedial action under a law that forbids collusive bidding by government officials.
 公正取引委員会は、国交省の出先機関、北海道開発局が発注した公用車の運転・管理業務の談合に職員が関与していたとして、官製談合防止法に基づき、国交省に改善措置を求めた。

The FTC issued the order, citing a violation of the Antimonopoly Law, to stop bid-rigging practices by 10 companies that had won contracts for official vehicle services for the ministry's Hokkaido Regional Development Bureau and eight other regional bureaus, slapping the firms with a total of about 2.6 billion yen in penalties.
 北海道開発局と八つの地方整備局の公用車業務を受注した10社には、独占禁止法違反で排除措置命令を出し、計26億円の課徴金納付を命じた。

Former ministry officials who landed lucrative posts at these private companies are said to be involved in bid-rigging concerning contracts of the Hokkaido Regional Development Bureau and five regional bureaus.
開発局と5地方整備局の発注分では、OBも再就職先で談合にかかわっていたという。

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Flawed logic

Collusive bid-rigging practices by government officials have occurred repeatedly at the Construction and Transport Ministry. Not only is it the only ministry that has been ordered to take remedial action, it is also the second time it has been ordered to do so, the first coming after a bid-rigging scandal concerning floodgate construction projects in 2007.
 国交省では官製談合が繰り返されてきた。中央官庁で改善措置要求を受けたのは、国交省だけだ。しかも、2007年の水門設備工事談合に続き、2回目である。

In 2008, the then director general of the ministry's Hokkaido Bureau was arrested on suspicion of interfering with a public tender by preadjusting the prices on bids for improvement work on the Ishikarigawa river during his time as a department chief of the ministry's Hokkaido Regional Development Bureau. He was convicted on the charges.
 08年には、現職の北海道局長が北海道開発局の部長時代に談合に加担したとして競売入札妨害容疑で逮捕され、有罪が確定した。

Behind all of this lies the collusion and cozy ties of former bureaucrats who work for private companies after leaving the ministry. A pattern forms in which current ministry officials leak information on public biddings and award orders to companies at which their former superiors and colleagues now work.
 背景にあるのは、天下りしたOBとのなれ合い、癒着だ。現役職員が、かつての先輩や同僚が再就職した会社に入札情報を漏らし、受注させる構図である。

In this latest bid-rigging story, more than 50 former ministry officials took on jobs at the three companies that were awarded most of the orders.
 今回の談合で受注の多い3社には、一時、計50人を超すOBがいた。

The 2008 bid-rigging case involving the head of the ministry's Hokkaido Bureau was partly aimed at ensuring that bureaucrats would have lucrative jobs when they enter the private sector. However, the Sapporo District Court in its verdict criticized this as a selfish motive based on the institution's flawed logic.
北海道局長の事件でも職員の再就職先確保が一因だったが、札幌地裁判決は「組織の論理に基づく身勝手な動機」と批判した。

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Outside oversight a good start

In response to the 2007 bid-rigging scandal concerning floodgate projects and the 2008 scandal of the Hokkaido Bureau chief, the Construction and Transport Ministry on both occasions compiled reports through committees that included outside experts examining the cases. The committees proposed reviews of bid contract methods and the nature of reemployment for retired ministry officials, as well as a strengthening of compliance.
 水門談合や北海道局長の事件を受けて、国交省はその都度、第三者を交えた対策検討委員会で報告書をまとめた。入札契約方式や再就職のあり方の見直し、法令順守の強化などを打ち出した。

The committee said in a report submitted at the end of April that the management of ministry staff, including any reemployment at private companies, should be handled in an integrated manner by the development administration department of the Hokkaido Regional Development Bureau.
 4月末に出した報告書では、北海道開発局について、「再就職を含む職員管理は開発監理部で一元的に実施する」とした。

The report aims to prevent senior officials at each operating division, such as rivers and ports and harbors projects, from engaging in bid-rigging in an attempt to secure jobs in private companies after retirement.
河川や港湾など各事業部門の幹部が、職員の再就職先確保のため、談合に関与するのを防ぐ狙いだ。

However, in the bid-rigging related to ministerial vehicle services, it was the chief and deputy chief of the development administration department of the Hokkaido Regional Development Bureau who relayed bidding information to former bureaucrats working at private companies.
 だが、公用車談合でOBの社長らに情報を漏らしていたのは、この開発監理部の部長や次長らだった。

The ministry again set up a committee to examine this case. However, there also needs to be a look into past preventive measures.
国交省は今回も対策検討委を設けているが、こうした過去の再発防止策も見直す必要がある。

Ensuring the efficacy of preventative measures is crucial. Just this month, the Hokkaido Regional Development Bureau appointed an FTC official for the newly created post of bid contract inspector. This move--the hiring of an outside expert--is one of the ways to help ensure the strength of the inspection department.
 肝心なのは、対策の実効性をどう担保するかだ。北海道開発局は今月、新設の入札契約監察官に公取委職員を起用したが、外部の専門家を拡充するなど監察部門の強化もその一つだろう。

With the move to decentralize administrative power, the review of branch ministerial offices, including regional development bureaus, has become an important task. The current situation in which these matters lie beyond the reach of local assemblies and residents should be changed.
 地方分権改革で、地方整備局など国の出先機関の見直しは重要なテーマになっている。議会や住民の監視の目が届きにくい現状は、変えていかねばなるまい。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 26, 2009)
(2009年6月26日01時59分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2009-06-26 11:06 | 英字新聞

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