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独法見直し 仕分けの効果と限界が見えた

The Yomiuri Shimbun (May. 1, 2010)
Budget screening unit pulled its punches
独法見直し 仕分けの効果と限界が見えた(4月30日付・読売社説)

The government's latest session of budget screening was obviously inadequate in many respects, despite a certain degree of success in cutting projects undertaken by independent administrative institutions. This shows there is a limit to what can be accomplished through jigyo shiwake--the process of identifying wasteful government spending.
 独立行政法人の事業の縮減などでは一定の成果があったが、切り込み不足も目立った。事業仕分けという手法の限界とも言えよう。

On Wednesday, the Government Revitalization Unit wrapped up a four-day budget screening session--the second held by the organ since November--that targeted 151 projects carried out by 47 of 104 independent administrative agencies.
 104独法のうち、47法人の151事業を対象とする4日間の事業仕分けが終了した。

Entities subject to the latest jigyo shiwake included the Urban Renaissance Agency. The revitalization unit concluded the agency's operations should be downsized by transferring its task of providing rental housing for elderly and low-income people to the national and local governments, while also selling upscale condominiums it had built to private sector corporations.
 都市再生機構(UR)の賃貸住宅事業については、高齢者・低所得者向け住宅は自治体や国に移管する一方、高級住宅は民間に売却し、全体の事業規模を縮減するよう求めた。

The unit also decided the Japan Railway Construction, Transport and Technology Agency should hand over its earned surplus of about 1.35 trillion yen to the state coffers.
 鉄道建設・運輸施設整備支援機構が抱える約1兆3500億円もの利益剰余金は、国庫に返納すべきだと判定した。

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Easier said than done

Little progress can be made in achieving such goals as cuts in projects and the handover of surpluses if independent administrative corporations--and the Cabinet Office and ministries supervising these bodies, for that matter--are left to their own devices. Given this, it is necessary to eliminate wasteful expenditures and reconsider the propriety of each project from a third-party point of view.
 こうした事業の縮減や剰余金の返納は、独法や所管府省に任せていてはなかなか実現しない。外部の第三者の視点で、無駄を省き、見直しを図ることが大切だ。

The revitalization unit failed to unreservedly plunge the scalpel into projects deemed unnecessary. The body decided only some projects should be abolished, including a loan program administered by the Center for National University Finance and Management to build and improve facilities at university hospitals. This will probably do little to curtail government spending.
 一方で、廃止と判定されたのは国立大学財務・経営センターによる大学付属病院整備費の融資事業など、一部にとどまった。政府の財政支出を大幅に削減する効果は望めそうにない。

It should not be forgotten that the Democratic Party of Japan's manifesto for last year's House of Representatives election promised "a fundamental review of independent administrative institutions, including their overall abolition." That pledge is a far cry from what the latest jigyo shiwake session has accomplished. This clearly illustrates how slipshod the party was in working out the details of its manifesto.
 忘れてならないのは、民主党が昨年の衆院選の政権公約で、独法の「全廃を含めた抜本的見直し」を掲げていたことだ。今回の作業の実態から、大きくかけ離れている。いかに政権公約がいいかげんだったかを物語るものだ。

First and foremost, the revitalization unit's method of budget screening is unreasonable. The body concludes whether each project should be maintained or scrapped, through discussions that last barely one hour. This rule is applied to any and every project in question, the operating cost of which can range from several million yen to hundreds of billions of yen.
 そもそも、予算が数千億円から数百万円の事業まで、規模の大小を問わず、1テーマについて一律で、しかもわずか1時間足らずの議論で、その存廃の結論を出すという手法自体に無理がある。

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Can unit follow through?

In conducting a jigyo shiwake review, it is not unreasonable to single out large institutions--including the Urban Renaissance Agency and the Japan Housing Finance Agency--for discussions during which sufficient time is taken to provide different perspectives.
 URや住宅金融支援機構など大型の独法の見直しは本来、その法人だけに十分な時間をかけ、多角的に議論してもおかしくない。

The jigyo shiwake review is appropriate in its objective--that is, working to end wasteful projects and commissioning private corporations to undertake certain projects. However, the revitalization unit will alienate the public if it cites last year's change of government as a pretext for its unbending approach to budget screening and turns a deaf ear to any objections--as if to say jigyo shiwake inspectors are infallible.
 無駄な事業はやめる。民間や自治体に任せられる事業は任せる。その方向性は間違っていない。だが、「政権交代」を錦の御旗に、あらゆる反論に聞く耳を持たず、仕分け人の判定が絶対正しいという姿勢では理解を得られない。

What is important is to arrange for the revitalization unit to properly follow up on the results of its latest jigyo shiwake and continue reform of independent administrative agencies, instead of treating these results as an unalterable conclusion.
 重要なのは、今回の作業を最終結論とするのでなく、今後も、政府の行政刷新会議がきちんと事後点検する仕組みを整え、継続して独法改革に取り組むことだ。

Take the example of the body's call for the transfer of the Urban Renaissance Agency's rental housing business to the private sector and the national and local governments. It is necessary to form a final conclusion about the transfer in relation to what should be done to dispose of the 11 trillion yen debt incurred by the housing agency.
 例えば、URの賃貸住宅事業を民間や自治体に移管するのなら、11兆円にも上る債務をどう処理するのかという問題と一体で結論を出すことが必要だろう。

There are concerns that the results of the latest jigyo shiwake could be watered down if pertinent government ministries are left to decide how--and whether--the conclusions formed in the budget screening should be translated into action, which could allow bureaucrats to roll back their efforts. That should be averted.
 所管府省任せにすれば、官僚が巻き返し、今回の判定結果を骨抜きにする恐れがある。そうした事態は避けるべきだ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun,April 30, 2010)
(2010年4月30日01時46分 読売新聞)
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2010-05-01 09:42 | 英字新聞

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