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Reformers demand change to Prefecture double-dipping

Date Posted: 2004-12-02

Senior staffers on the Okinawa Prefecture payroll are getting overpaid.

Those findings are sending government officials scrambling to end a longtime system of sweetheart deals for executives managing the Prefecture’s 11 departments. The prefecture has been paying senior staff promotion and commission fees, often in advance. They have been also paying double retirement benefits.

The Ministry of the Interior has been giving the prefecture some advice, and that’s simply to “reform. It’s too much payroll.” It warns that staffs must cut salaries. The ministry notes that civil servants often retire, then go to another company as an advisor or consultant, then get another high salary. Ultimately, they receive high retirement packages from the private company as well as from the prefecture. The Ministry called the system double retirement compensation, and warns “Don’t take the executive sections again. If a person retires and goes to a private company as boss, they should get a limited salary. One that is not too high.”

Typically, senior prefecture executives take new positions in private enterprise, often with strong compensation packages. The Ministry’s proposal is to require companies to publish the names and salaries of former government workers who join their private businesses. Presently there are more than a dozen former agency and section bosses are now leading other government entities. By not paying the first retirements, officials say the prefecture could save ¥30,000,000 a year in taxes alone.

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