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事業仕分け 政治家が責任持って決定を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Nov. 28, 2009)
Budget decisions rest with lawmakers
事業仕分け 政治家が責任持って決定を(11月28日付・読売社説)

The Government Revitalization Unit on Friday ended its nine-day budget screening session to identify wasteful spending in fiscal 2010 budget requests for government-led projects.
 予算の無駄を洗い出す行政刷新会議の事業仕分けが、9日間の作業日程を終えた。

The unit judged that many of the 449 projects it examined should be abolished or downsized. The task force also demanded that some funds already distributed to independent administrative organizations and public-interest corporations be returned to the national coffers.
 対象とした449事業の多くに廃止や縮減などの判定を下した。

The money to be returned and savings raked in from the abolished projects outlined in the initial budget requests will top 1.6 trillion yen.
 独立行政法人や公益法人が抱える基金に国庫返納を求めた分を加えると、ひねり出した成果は1・6兆円を超えた。

Although this is still short of the government's target of 3 trillion yen, the savings could be used as a precious financial resource for next fiscal year's budget.
 目標の3兆円には届かなかったが、来年度予算に使える貴重な財源の一部にはなろう。

However, the first attempt to broadcast part of the government's budget drafting process live on the Internet created many problems.
 しかし、インターネットで国の予算編成作業の一端を同時中継するという初の試みは、数多くの課題を残した。

Some members of the unit's screening teams, comprised of lawmakers and experts from the private sector, basked in the public exposure and often played to the gallery, snapping at officials from the government organizations to give them explanations on the projects. It was appalling behavior.
 国会議員や民間有識者からなる仕分け人が、公開を意識してパフォーマンス的な言動を繰り返し、各府省の説明担当者を一方的にやり込める場面が相次いだのは見苦しかった。

The criteria by which budget examiners were chosen from the private sector also remain unclear.
 民間の仕分け人をどういう基準で選んだのか、それも不明なままだった。

===

Changes needed

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said he plans to continue the budget screening in and after fiscal 2010. If so, we think it is necessary to revise the rules for running the session--such as by giving sufficient opportunities for budget briefers to answer questions and clarifying the standards by which budget examiners from the private sector are selected.
 鳩山首相は、来年度以降も事業仕分けを続ける意向を表明している。そうであるなら、説明者側に十分な反論の機会を与え、仕分け人の選任基準を明確化するなど、運営方針の見直しが必要だ。

Many questions also have been raised about why some government projects were subject to the screening when it was obvious they could not be discussed properly in just one hour.
 仕分けの対象とされたテーマに疑問を呈する声も多かった。わずか1時間の議論では手に余る案件が幾つも含まれていたからだ。

Projects that fell under this category included allocations for the so-called sympathy budget for U.S. military forces in Japan, the Foreign Ministry's support of international institutions and funding to promote science and technology.
 在日米軍に対する「思いやり予算」や対外援助、地方交付税、科学技術振興関連などだ。

These matters are all closely related to what the nation should be and its future. They cannot be solved so easily.
 いずれも国の在り方、将来にかかわる問題で、簡単に答えが出るような話ではない。

===

Science gets cold shoulder

Perhaps the biggest controversy during the screening was the panel's decision to effectively freeze the budget for a next-generation supercomputer project.
 中でも、波紋を呼んだのは次世代スーパーコンピューターの開発予算を巡って、「事実上の凍結」という判定が出された件だ。

Nobel laureates and business leaders have poured scorn on this decision, saying that short-term cost-effectiveness was not the proper standard for evaluating science and technology projects. They also warned that Japan could eventually lose the global race to develop advanced technology.
 ノーベル賞受賞者や経済界からは、「短期的な費用対効果ばかりをみる議論は、科学技術にはなじまない」「世界の先端技術開発競争で、日本が負けてしまう」といった強い批判が噴き出した。

We wholeheartedly agree with them. The unit might have lacked the strategic thinking needed to deduce what fields should be given priority in budget allocations from long-term and international points of view.
 その通りだろう。長期的かつ国際的視点で、どんな分野に予算を重点配分していくか、という戦略的思考が、行政刷新会議に欠けていたのではないか。

It was also regrettable that the unit decided to abolish a project to encourage children to read books.
 子供に読書を勧める事業を廃止としたのも遺憾である。

Ill-advised judgments made by the panel this time around must be corrected in the future.
 誤った判定については今後、見直していかねばならない。

The decisions made during the budget screening session are not final. The government could treat them as a set of criteria for making decisions on the budget, but it should not be bound by them.
 そもそも、事業仕分けでの判定は、最終的なものではない。判断材料の一つにはなるが、縛られてはなるまい。

The responsibility for deciding how to treat the unit's judgments in the budget drafting process now rests in the hands of this nation's lawmakers.
今後の予算編成の中で、政治家が責任を持って扱いを決めるべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Nov. 28, 2009)
(2009年11月28日01時49分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2009-11-28 05:33 | 英字新聞

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