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Points Concerning "Modalities for Fundamental Reform of Recruitment Examinations"

The Cabinet will play the central role in considering and compiling recruitment examinations for use from FY2005 based on the "Guidelines for Reform of the Public Servant System."

Issues identified in the "Guidelines"

  • Securing talented human resources who will be able to respond to administrative needs for the public sector
  • Allowing ministries and agencies to hire people on their own initiatives under the new personnel system
  • Responding to changes such as the establishment of law schools

(1) Effect a transition from recruitment centering upon written examination to recruitment that emphasizes personnel evaluations

(Current system)
Successful applicants are primarily narrowed down through written examinations and selected according to the highest scores

  • For Type I, the final number of successful applicants is set as approximately twice the number of positions to be filled (2.5 times this fiscal year). However, in reality, the number of successful applicants is four times the number of positions (4.5 times this fiscal year) to be filled and this is narrowed down by interviews of candidates who visit each ministry and agency after the announcement of first round of successful applicants. From that group, selections will be made of tentative unofficial successful candidates.
  • Due to an excessively stringent selection process, the pool of final successful applicants does not meet the diverse needs of each ministry and agency. In addition, it has been pointed out that the time period when students can visit each ministry and agency is short and that, they are excessively restricted at a place where they visit.

(Reform Proposal)
Recruitment will be based on comprehensive personnel evaluations by each ministry and agency of a greater number of successful applicants

  • The Cabinet will establish common rules concerning personnel evaluations (visits to each ministry and agency) to ensure transparency and fairness. (Efforts will be made to improve transparency through measures such as wider information provision as well as improve fairness through measures such as establishing assessment standards.)
  • Regarding the examination schedule, revisions will be made to set an early date and shorten the time required for the examination with a view to giving sufficient consideration to the needs of candidates, and allowing each ministry and agency to conduct comprehensive personnel evaluations after the announcement of successful applicants.
  • Regarding the final number of successful applicants for Type I examinations, the National Personnel Authority will be requested to increase the number up to approximately 2.5 times for FY2002 and by approximately four times for FY2003 of the number of those to be recruited for each year respectively. The scale of the number of successful applicants for Type I examinations after FY2004 will be considered based on the conditions of implementation in FY2002 and FY2003.
  • Due to the criticisms of the overemphasis on acquired knowledge in the content of examinations, efforts will be made to improve the situation.

(2) The Cabinet will conduct the planning of the system of recruitment examinations

  • The Cabinet will conduct the planning of the system of recruitment examinations with a view to securing talented human resources able to respond to administrative needs.
  • The National Personnel Authority will submit opinions as necessary with a view to ensuring neutrality and fairness.
  • The National Personnel Authority will implement recruitment examinations.

(3) The career system will be revised and personnel management that prioritizes ability will be promoted

  • With a view to securing efficient human resources, appropriate examinations will be implemented for Type I, Type II and Type III applicants.
  • A framework will be established to provide a planned approach for nurturing public servants who will be able to take up managerial positions within ministry to which they belong.
    In order to correct the obstacles inherent in the career system, post-employment strict assessments will be made of Type I public servants, and by paving the way to make Type II and Type III public servants eligible for intensive training, ability-oriented personnel management will be advanced in the Cabinet, ministries and agencies, regardless of the type of recruitment examination taken by public servants.

(4) Securing human resources with graduate school level education

  • For human resources who have completed at least a certain level of graduate school curricula including those from law schools to be established, consideration will be given so that flexible treatment can be possible for the selection of examination subjects and appropriate merit-based remuneration can be applied, regardless of whether or not in administrative or technical fields.