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2009年1月14日 (水)

公務員改革―新たな体制で仕切り直せ

2009/1/14

--The Asahi Shimbun, Jan. 13(IHT/Asahi: January 14,2009)

EDITORIAL: Reform of bureaucracy

公務員改革―新たな体制で仕切り直せ

Reform of the nation's calcifying bureaucratic structure remains stalled despite a consensus among many lawmakers in both the ruling and opposition camps that the system badly needs to be revamped.

 現状を改める必要性では与野党の多くの議員が一致しているのに、具体的な動きとなると足踏みしているのが、国家公務員制度の改革である。 

Last year, the government abandoned its plan to set up a new Cabinet bureau in fiscal 2009 that would have allowed the prime minister's office to control all senior bureaucratic appointments. Currently, all such personnel moves are decided by the relevant ministries and agencies. The step has been postponed to April next year, the start of fiscal 2010. The government now says it will shortly decide on a blueprint and a timetable for the entire makeover of the bureaucratic system. This will include expanding the basic labor rights of national public servants.

 政府は昨年、公務員の幹部人事を各省任せにせず、首相官邸で一元的に管理するための「内閣人事局」の09年度中の発足をあきらめ、来年4月へと先送りした。そのうえで、労働基本権の拡大なども含めた改革全体の工程表を近く決めるという。 

Prior to the start of fiscal 2010, however, a Lower House election must be held as the current term for the chamber's members expires in September. The scope of this reform will change the nation's bureaucratic system fundamentally. Therefore, the job should not be rushed just to meet the deadline. We believe it would be better to leave the task to a new administration, which could then confront the challenge with its own ideas.

 来年4月といっても、任期満了を今秋迎える衆議院の総選挙がそれまでに必ずある。ことは日本の官僚制度の基本にメスを入れようという大改革だ。あたふたとスケジュールにこだわることなく、新たな政権のもとで仕切り直すのが賢明だ。 

The creation of the new Cabinet personnel bureau, a step based on an agreement between the ruling and opposition parties, was stipulated in the law to reform the central bureaucracy that was enacted in June last year. The principal objective is integrated management of personnel decisions concerning senior bureaucrats under the chief Cabinet secretary, instead of independently by respective ministries and agencies.

 内閣人事局は、与党と民主党の合意で、昨年6月に成立した国家公務員制度改革基本法に盛り込まれた。各省ごとにやっていた幹部人事の原案づくりを、官房長官のもとに一本化することが柱になっている。 

The nation's central bureaucrats are working in a highly compartmentalized organization steeped in a culture that stresses turf consciousness. That is why they are often described as putting the interests of their ministries ahead of the national good. The bureaucracy cannot function for the benefit of the public unless this mind-set is changed. It was significant that the rival political camps agreed on this point even with a legislative gridlock due to the opposition's control of the Upper House.

 「省益あって国益なし」と言われるほど、中央省庁の官僚には縦割り意識が染みついている。そこに風穴を開けなければ、国民のための行政はできない。ねじれ国会の中、与野党がそういう問題意識で一致したのは意味のあることだった。 

Following enactment of the legislation, an advisory panel of experts published a report on the issue last November. It said the sections in charge of planning and management of the entire personnel system at the National Personnel Authority, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and the Finance Ministry should be transferred to the new Cabinet personnel bureau. However, the negotiations with these ministries proved tougher than expected, forcing the government to abandon its plan to establish the new bureau in fiscal 2009.

 これを受けて有識者による顧問会議が昨年11月に報告書をまとめた。人事院や総務省、財務省の、公務員人事にかかわる部門を内閣人事局に移すという内容だ。ところが、これらの役所との折衝が難航し、それが09年度内の発足を断念する直接の理由となった。 

The advisory panel didn't spend enough time discussing the key issue of how to give the new bureau the effective authority to make personnel decisions concerning senior bureaucrats at all ministries and agencies. Due partly to the leadership change that handed the reins of power to Prime Minister Taro Aso, the start of the panel's discussions was delayed. The panel had only a month to put together its recommendations.

 ただ、この顧問会議では、人事局に幹部人事の原案をつくるだけの実質的な権限をどうやって持たせるかという中身の議論が極めて不十分だった。麻生首相への政権交代もあって検討開始がずれ込み、実質的な議論の期間が1カ月しかとれなかったからだ。 

Some ruling Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers who campaigned for the legislation warned about acting rashly to set up the new bureau, while some members of the main opposition Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) who were involved in the talks over revisions to the bill were irked at being left out of the process of drafting the plan.

 このため、基本法を推進した自民党議員からは「拙速に形ばかりつくるべきではない」と骨抜きを警戒する声が出たし、基本法案の修正協議に加わった民主党からも、蚊帳の外に置かれた不満が出たりしていた。 

Late last year, the government set up a new center within the Cabinet Office to help retiring bureaucrats find new private-sector jobs--a step adopted by the administration of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as an answer to the problems linked to the traditional practice of amakudari. But there was a problem. The center was established while the appointments of the members of the committee in charge of approving the employment of retiring officials were blocked by the opposition parties. It is still unclear whether former bureaucrats on private payrolls should be allowed to hop from one job to another, a practice known as watari that was originally designated for a ban.

 政府は昨年末、安倍政権下で新設が決まった天下りあっせんのための「官民人材交流センター」を発足させた。だが、天下りを承認する監視委員会の委員が野党の反対で決められないままの見切り発車だった。本来やめることになっている「わたり」と呼ばれる再々就職のあっせんを認めるかどうかもあいまいなままだ。 

All the parties should present their own plans for overhauling the bureaucracy, including measures on the amakudari issue, as part of their campaign platforms. Then, the new administration should push through the reform with support from both the ruling and opposition camps.

 次の衆院選にあたって、各党は、天下り問題も含めた公務員制度全体の改革案を、政権公約として改めて示すべきだ。そのうえで新たな政権のもと、与野党で強力な体制をつくり、実行に移すしかない。

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