事業仕分け―国会の意義ある試み

--The Asahi Shimbun, Nov. 18
EDITORIAL: Diet screening of government projects holds significance
事業仕分け―国会の意義ある試み

Are all projects run by the government's ministries and agencies really necessary?
 省庁の事業が必要かどうか、

Even if they are necessary, isn't there some wasted spending?
必要だとしてもむだがないか、

Such questions were discussed in an open forum.
公開の場で議論する。

Screening of wasteful government projects, a signature policy of the Democratic Party of Japan-led administration, was conducted this time in the Diet transcending the walls between ruling and opposition parties.  民主党政権の看板政策の一つである事業仕分けが、国会に舞台を移し、与野党の垣根を越えて行われた。

The screening was done by a subcommittee of the Lower House's Committee on Audit and Oversight of Administration.
仕分けをしたのは衆議院の決算行政監視委員会の小委員会だ。

Fourteen lawmakers from the DPJ, the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito spent two days looking into four projects--the development of supercomputers, clerical work to check health insurance claims, housing facilities for government employees, and expenditures to independent administrative institutions and other organizations related to nuclear energy.
 民主、自民、公明各党の14人が2日間にわたって、スーパーコンピューターの開発、診療報酬明細書(レセプト)の審査事務、国家公務員宿舎、原子力関連の独立行政法人などへの支出の4事業について議論した。

While asking for the opinions of academics and local government officials, the lawmakers exchanged views, sometimes in heated debate, with senior vice ministers, parliamentary secretaries and senior officials representing their respective ministries and agencies.
 参考人の学者や自治体関係者らに意見を求めつつ、省庁の副大臣や政務官、幹部職員と時に激しくやりあった。

For each project, they reached conclusions, such as "reductions or revisions of budget requests" and "changes of organizational structures and systems."
事業ごとに「予算要求の縮減・組み替え」や「組織・制度の改変」などの結論を出した。

In the previously conducted DPJ screening, the government checked the government.
 民主党の事業仕分けは、政府が政府をチェックする構図だ。

There was no system requiring ministries and agencies to act on the conclusions without fail.
出した結論を省庁に必ず実行させる仕組みがなく、

In fact, budgets were spent as originally planned for quite a few projects once things simmered down.
ほとぼりが冷めた後に予定通り予算が消化されていた事業も少なくない。

This time, the Diet, as an "outsider," checked the work of the government.
 今回は、国会が「外部の目」で政府の仕事を点検した。

The executive board of the committee, which is authorized to make recommendations to the Cabinet, will discuss how to handle the conclusions.
その結論をどう扱うか、決算行政監視委は理事会で協議する。同委員会は内閣への勧告権を持つ。

We urge the committee to take a firm stand that the government cannot ignore.
出した結論を政府がうやむやにしないよう、強い姿勢で臨んでほしい。

The screening also has great significance in the sense that it once again questions the way the Diet should be.
 国会のあり方を問い直す意味でも仕分けの意義は大きい。

In Diet deliberations, the Lower House Budget Committee is regarded as the star.
 国会審議では、予算委員会が花形とされる。

Although it has been repeatedly pointed out that ex post facto checks are indispensable in cutting budget waste, the Committee on Audit and Oversight of Administration has failed to show a strong presence.
一方、「予算のむだをなくすには、事後のチェックが不可欠」と繰り返し指摘されてきたにもかかわらず、決算行政監視委の影は薄い。

If the committee looks closely at waste and inconsistencies in projects through the screening process, it should be able to develop the ability to see through the "lies" of government offices that use every conceivable means to secure budgets.
 仕分けを通じて事業のむだや矛盾に目を凝らせば、予算確保に手練手管を繰り出す役所の「ウソ」を見抜く力が養われるはずだ。

Instead of writing off this attempt as a one-shot deal, we want the committee to continue the efforts while spreading the move to other committees as well.
今回の試みを単発に終わらせず、他の委員会にも広げながら続けてもらいたい。

To prepare for the screening, the members of the subcommittee analyzed the administrative project review sheets of ministries and agencies.
 小委員会のメンバーは、仕分けに備え、省庁の行政事業レビューシートを分析した。

The documents contain the objectives, budget amounts, actual spending, flow of funds and evaluations of accomplishments for each of the more than 5,000 projects.
5千を超える事業ごとに、目的や予算額と執行額、資金の流れ、事業の成果に対する評価などを省庁が自らまとめた資料だ。

While using the results of such self-examination by the government's ministries and agencies, the committee should dig deeper to check each item to make the process more effective.
こうした政府側の自己点検結果を生かしつつ、掘り下げてチェックすれば効果的だろう。

It was Takeshi Shina of the DPJ and Masaaki Taira of the LDP who took the initiative to prepare for the screening of wasteful government projects in the Diet.
 今回の事業仕分けを準備してきたのは、階(しな)猛(民主)、平(たいら)将明(自民)の両氏だ。

They are both in their 40s and are serving their second term as Lower House members.
Both worked for private companies in the past.
ともに40歳代で当選2回、民間企業で働いた経験がある。

Lawmakers are urged to re-examine their roles as representatives of the people with fresh ideas.
 新たな発想で、国民の代表としての役割を見つめ直す。

Doing so leads to enhancing the trust of voters and serves as the foundation for political leadership.
それが有権者からの信頼を高め、「政治主導」への礎ともなっていくのではないか。
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2011-11-20 07:21 | 英字新聞

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