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2014年6月13日 (金)

行政不服審査 改正法で公正・迅速性高めたい

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Revision of administrative complaint system must boost fairness, efficiency
行政不服審査 改正法で公正・迅速性高めたい

We hope the administrative complaint investigation system, in which citizens can ask the central and local governments to terminate or redress administrative actions, will be improved, thereby improving fairness and convenience.
 政府や自治体の処分の取り消しや変更を求める行政不服審査制度を充実させ、公正性や利便性の向上につなげたい。

In the current Diet session, the revised Administrative Complaint Investigation Law was passed with the approval of all parties except the Japanese Communist Party. It marks the first drastic revision of the law since it was enacted in 1962. The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry aims to enforce the revised law in fiscal 2016.
 改正行政不服審査法が共産党を除く各党の賛成で成立した。1962年の法制定以来、初の抜本改正だ。総務省は2016年度の施行を目指している。

Compared to lawsuits, the system offers the advantage of making it easier and less costly for citizens to seek procedures. In fiscal 2011, about 30,000 public petitions were filed with the central governments, while local governments received about 18,000. The types of grievances covered by the system include social security and tax issues, recognition of work-related accidents, public information disclosure and traffic violations.
 行政不服審査制度は、裁判に比べて簡易で、費用がかからない利点がある。11年度の申立件数は、中央省庁が約3万件、自治体が約1万8000件だった。対象は社会保険、税、労災認定、情報公開、交通違反などと幅広い。

The main focus of the revised law is the introduction of a system to appoint examiners at the section-chief level and other officials who are currently not involved in such administrative matters. This is a logical move to improve neutrality in examining petitions.
 改正の目玉は、行政処分に関係していない課長級職員らを「審理員」に指名し、審査に当たらせる制度を導入した点だ。審査の中立性を高めるには妥当だろう。

At present, officials already involved in dealing with administrative problems are sometimes put in charge of such work. Thus the possibility of the original administrative actions being reviewed has been low, and the fairness of such a system has been questioned.
 現在は、処分に関与した職員が不服審査も担当することがある。これでは処分が変更される可能性は低く、公正性が疑われる。

The central government reconsidered its position and accepted petitioners’ complaints in 10.6 percent of such cases in fiscal 2011, while the same rate among local governments was 2.8 percent. These figures are said to be lower than those of other countries.
 処分が見直された割合を示す認容率は、11年度の場合、政府が10・6%、自治体は2・8%で、諸外国と比べて低いとされる。

3rd-party panel to help out

The revised law adopts a two-step process in conjunction with the administrative complaint investigation system. A third-party panel of experts, known as an administrative complaint investigation council, will be established to judge the propriety of the administration’s examinations of complaints.
 改正法は、有識者による「行政不服審査会」などの第三者機関を設置し、行政による審査結果が妥当かどうかを判断する、二段構えの仕組みも設けた。

However, the revised law stipulates that the third-party panel will not handle complaints if similar ones have already been dismissed many times, as it would be inefficient for the panel to examine every complaint. This is a proper system.
 ただし、既に同様の申し立てが多数棄却されている場合などは対象外とした。第三者機関がすべての案件を審査するのでは非効率だ。適切な仕組みと言える。

The revised law also gives consideration to the usefulness of the administrative complaint investigation system for citizens. The period during which citizens can file complaints with central and local governments has been extended from “within the current 60 days” after the original administrative actions were decided to “within three months.”
 国民の使いやすさにも配慮した。不服申し立てができる期間を、現在の処分後「60日以内」から「3か月以内」に延長する。

The revised law also includes a stipulation that each government should make efforts to set a “standard examination period,” a yardstick for reaching a conclusion on each case.
 結論を出すまでの目安となる「標準審理期間」の設定に各役所が努力するとの規定も設けた。

Complaint cases that have taken more than a year for the central government to examine have accounted for an average of 10 percent of all cases, compared to an average of around 20 percent for local governments. We hope the administration, bearing in mind the establishment of the standard examination period, will speed up the procedures.
 審査が1年を超える例は、ここ数年、政府で平均1割、自治体で2割前後を占めている。「標準審理期間」の設定を踏まえ、行政は審査を迅速化してもらいたい。

There are some problems with the new system that must be resolved before its launch.
 新制度には課題もある。

Some have pointed out worries that officials or superiors involved in administrative actions could unfairly interfere with the duties of the newly appointed examiners. It is important that each government, as a whole, devises a system to ensure the independence of examiners.
 審理員に対し、処分に関与した職員や上司から不当な横やりが入る恐れが指摘されている。役所全体で審理員の独立性を確保する仕組みを考えることが大切だ。

In the mid and long term, it will also be worth discussing a plan to cultivate personnel who can serve as examiners.
 中長期的には、審理員を務める人材を計画的に育成していくことも検討に値しよう。

Small local governments may be concerned that they cannot cope well with the volume of complaint cases with only a few officials.
 小規模な自治体では、少ない職員で審査に十分対応できるのか、という懸念もあろう。

It is important for the ministry to put emphasis on mapping guidelines for the new system, training officials for such purposes, and supporting local governments.
 総務省は、新制度の運用マニュアルの策定や職員の研修などに力を入れ、自治体を支援することが重要である。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 12, 2014)

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