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2012年6月26日 (火)

地方公務員法 政治活動への規制強化が要る

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Jun. 26, 2012)
Political activities by local civil servants must be curbed
地方公務員法 政治活動への規制強化が要る(6月25日付・読売社説)

Central government officials face criminal penalties if they engage in political activities, but there are no such punitive provisions for local government officials. Is there any rational explanation for this?
 国家公務員の政治活動には罰則があるが、地方公務員にはない。合理的な説明はつくのか。

Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto has raised this question. He plans to submit a bill to the Osaka City Assembly in July to establish an ordinance that would restrict political activities of city government officials. The mayor initially considered including a provision that would ban all political activities by city officials and criminally penalize violators.
 大阪市の橋下徹市長がそんな問題を提起している。「職員の政治的行為の制限に関する条例」案を7月市議会に提出する方針で、当初は罰則で禁じる条項を設ける考えだった。

In response, the central government adopted a view at a Cabinet meeting that stipulating punishment in an ordinance restricting political activities of local government officials violates the Local Civil Service Law. As a result, Hashimoto had virtually no choice but to remove the punitive clause from the bill.
 これに対し、政府は「地方公務員の政治的行為を制限する条例に罰則を設けることは地方公務員法に違反する」との見解を閣議決定した。橋下氏は罰則規定を条例案から外さざるを得なくなった。

According to the government view, the Local Civil Service Law, which was enacted in 1950, did not include a criminal penalty clause because the government concluded when drawing up the legislation that administrative discipline would be enough for violations of restrictions on political activities.
 政府の見解によると、1950年成立の地方公務員法は、制定過程で「政治的行為の制限違反には懲戒処分による対応で足りる」として、罰則を設けなかった。

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Few activities regulated

In fact, few political activities by local government officials are subject to restrictions, and in any case violators are not penalized. However, political activities by central government officials are strictly restricted based on the National Civil Service Law and rules set up by the National Personnel Authority. Violators face imprisonment of up to three years or a fine of up to 1 million yen.
 地方公務員は、制約される政治活動の対象が少ないうえに、罰則もない。だが、国家公務員の政治活動は、国家公務員法と人事院規則で厳しく制限されている。違反すると3年以下の懲役か100万円以下の罰金が科せられる。

Why are the two groups handled so differently? The government's explanation that disciplinary actions are enough to deal with violations by local government officials is inadequate.
 なぜ、こんなに違うのか、「懲戒処分で足りる」だけでは十分な説明とは言えない。

Irrespective of whether they work for central or local governments, public servants must maintain political neutrality. Given that decentralization of power will progress further in the future, local government officials will be required to become aware of and assume responsibility for their political activities just as central government officials are.
 国であれ、地方であれ、公務員には政治的中立性が求められる。今後、地方分権が進むことを考えれば、地方公務員も政治活動に関しては国家公務員と同等の自覚と責任が必要となろう。

Against the backdrop of Hashimoto's bill are interventions by the labor union of city government officials into elections, which could be described as excessive.
 橋下氏が条例案を策定した背景には、職員労組の過剰とも言える選挙への介入がある。

Up to 2003, the labor union worked as one of the support groups for successive mayors in election campaigns. In the Osaka mayoral election last year, executives of the labor union distributed election campaign handouts that were not approved by the city's election administration commission. The handouts called for voting for the then incumbent mayor, an act that appeared to be excessive.
 2003年までは、職員労組が歴代市長の選挙母体に加わっていた。昨年の市長選でも、労組役員らが前市長への投票を呼びかける法定外の選挙ビラを配布するなど、その行為は目に余った。

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Teachers problematic, too

In addition, there are problems involving teachers.
 一方、教員の問題もある。

In Yamanashi Prefecture, it came to light that a political organization comprising the labor union of teachers and school officials in the prefecture as well as other groups were involved in collecting political funds in an organized manner for the House of Councillors election in 2004. In the House of Representatives election in 2009, the labor union of teachers and school officials in Hokkaido illegally provided political funds to the election campaign office of a Democratic Party of Japan candidate.
 04年参院選では山梨県教職員組合などで構成される政治団体が、組織ぐるみで政治資金集めに関わっていたことが発覚した。09年衆院選では北海道教職員組合が、民主党候補の陣営に違法な政治資金を提供する事件も起きている。

Political activities by public school teachers are restricted just as those by central government officials are. But they are not subject to penalties. This omission presumably is behind such political activities by school teachers and officials.
 公立学校教員の政治活動は国家公務員と同じ制限を受けるが、罰則はない。それが、こんな政治活動の背景にあるのではないか。

To restrict activities of civil servants that are not part of their jobs, we believe it would be effective to strengthen restrictions of such activities by establishing punitive clauses.
 逸脱した活動を抑制するためには、罰則を設けて規制を強化することが効果的だろう。

The DPJ is supported by the All Japan Prefectural and Municipal Workers' Union and the Japan Teachers' Union. Will the party remain reluctant to create punitive clauses in the Local Civil Service Law and the special law on civil servants engaged in education?
 自治労や日教組の支持を受ける民主党は、地方公務員法や教育公務員特例法に罰則規定を設けることに、やはり及び腰だろうか。

Ruling and opposition parties must deepen discussions on regulating political activities by local government officials and consider revising the relevant laws.
 与野党は地方の公務員の政治活動規制について議論を深め、法改正も検討すべきである。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 25, 2012)
(2012年6月25日01時25分  読売新聞)

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