The Policy Evaluation System was introduced in order for the administration to thoroughly implement its accountability to the citizens and to realize efficient and high-quality public administration as a pillar of the Central Government Reform. The centerpiece for the system involves each administrative organ itself evaluating the policies for which it is responsible, to examine how necessary, efficient, and effective their policies are. The results lead steadily to a review and improvement of the policies. (Fiscal 2009 saw 2,645 policy evaluations conducted throughout the government.)
Starting in May 2010, it became obligatory for any ministry wishing to establish, expand or extend special taxation measures related to corporation tax, corporate resident's tax, and corporate business tax to conduct policy evaluation in advance. Moreover, it was decided that ex-ante evaluation results would be always verified by ex-post evaluation.
Also in May 2010, the AEB determined standard guidelines on handling data and other resources used in the policy evaluation process, in an attempt to publicize information concerning policy evaluations conducted by each ministry.
The AEB also inspects policy evaluations conducted by each ministry in an attempt to enhance the quality of evaluation, as well as reviewing and improving policies through such efforts as evaluation activities aimed at ensuring objective and rigorous implementation of policy evaluation.
Inspection results of policy evaluations on special taxation measures
In response to requests for revising the taxation system, the AEB inspected 219 policy evaluations regarding special taxation measures conducted by each ministry in terms of "reasonability, effectiveness and suitability." The inspection revealed that each evaluation contained something that was not sufficiently analyzed or explained. The AEB therefore notified each ministry of the inspection results and reported those results to the Tax Commission (in October 2010).
The Tax Commission proceeded with a review of special taxation measures referring the inspection results and then developed a outline of fiscal 2011 tax reform in December. The same was then approved by the Cabinet meeting.
The IAA System is a framework to implement public projects that the government needs not do directly, but that are unlikely to be carried out by the private sector so that the government can provide efficient administrative services that respond to the public needs. (IAAs totaled 104, as of March 2011).
The Commission on Policy Evaluation and Evaluation of Incorporated Administrative Agencies raises opinions about whether to revise or abolish main clerical procedures and enterprises when reviewing the organizations and tasks in general at the end of the mid-term target period (three to five years) of each agency, in order to ensure efficiency and properly revise or even abolish enterprises that are no longer necessary.
With regard to the results of a task result evaluation conducted by the Commission on IAA Evaluation of each Ministry every fiscal year, the MIC conducts a strict secondary evaluation from a cross-ministerial perspective.
Evaluation results of fiscal 2010
The commission: (1) expressed opinions about 42 enterprises that would reach the end of their medium-term goal periods at the end of fiscal 2010 (November 2010), and (2) organized its secondary evaluation regarding fiscal 2009 task results(December 2010). In conducting its evaluation, the commission cooperated with the Administration Reform Conference with the latter'fs review of clerical work and projects for independent administrative agencies (IAAs). A secondary evaluation is then conducted with emphasis on reviewing the assets owned by IAAs, and stepping up and reinforcing internal control.
The Administrative Evaluation Bureau (AEB) conducts its own nationwide investigation on how policies spanning more than one ministry are difficult for a specific, isolated ministry to evaluate, and how the affairs of each ministry are conducted in terms of necessity, effectiveness, efficiency, and other factors as a third-party establishment specializing in evaluation within the Government of Japan. These investigations also monitor and analyze the issues and problems facing each ministry in a demonstrative and comprehensive manner, and present corrective actions.
In the present severe financial situation, the AEB conducts "Administrative Evaluation and Inspection concerning employee training facilities" in order to sell or make effective use of national property and run the facilities efficiently. The AEB also recommended that all 12 ministries abolish or downsize training facilities that show low availability factors, discard inefficient training programs, and optimize the collection of expenses and other practices (in December 2010).
Citizens may have a complaint or opinion regarding the national government's administration but be unaware of whom to consult. They may have consulted the competent governmental authority but remain dissatisfied with their explanations or response. Administrative counseling provided by the MIC can be casually available in such cases. Regional administrative evaluation bureaus and administrative evaluation offices located over the country, along with about 5,000 administrative counselors, who are the private citizen, assigned nationwide as familiar counseling windows near to the citizen, receive more than 170,000 complaints opinions and requests per year. The MIC provides the service necessary for related administrative organizations and establishments from an impartial position, promotes the settlement of grievances, and refers such matters to the Administrative Grievance Resolution Promotion counsel consisting of knowledgeable persons from the private sector, or recommends an AEB survey to improve administrative programs and operation.
To emphasize the monitoring of citizen voices and needs, and engage in administrative counseling activities designed to make reforms and corrections in administrative programs and implementation, the AEB will base itself on the "Action Plan for Enhancing Collaboration with Administrative Counselors and the Administrative Counseling Function" (May 2010) toward: (1) conducting reforms and corrections with "citizen focus," (2) enhancing and reinforcing the "network for collaboration and cooperation," (3) providing assistance through "voluntary efforts" of administrative counselors, and (4) "co-working" with administrative counselors.
Example of improvement based on administrative counseling.characteristic achievement
Some national universities require that applicants who have passed the exams and wish to enroll visit the campus and complete the admittance procedures there. But such procedures impose a heavy burden. The AEB therefore mediated efforts to have the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology inform and request certain national universities that do not accept applications via postal mail to consider the early introduction of a system that completes procedures via postal mail (in September 2010). Among the 19 universities concerned, 18 accepted the processing of procedures via postal mail (while the last one is considering the request). The remedies have thus already been made.
Third-Party Committee to Check Pension Records
The pension records problem has been raised as a compelling and serious issue directly related to daily lives of citizens. As one measure to deal with the pension records problem, the MIC established the Third-Party Committee to Check Pension Records (TPC).
A person who has been informed to be "no record" from the Japan Pension Service (JPS), has no receipts nor other substantial evidence, and still protests that he/she owns pension records, then he/she can apply for an investigation by the TPC through the JPS. The TPC assists the complainant by examining with scrupulous fairness his/her application, along with the supporting information and relevant evidence, in order to arrive at a just decision. When the TPC acknowledges the complainant's eligibility to have his/her pension records corrected, it suggests the correction to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW). The MHLW respects the mediation and corrects the complainant's pension records at the JPS. Through this procedure, complainants whose pension records require correction may expect the same fair treatment as any who have duly paid their pension premiums.
In addition to the Central TPC, Local TPCs are established in all prefectures nationwide to serve for each district. Application to the TPC can be accepted at nearest pension office of JPS.