Consequences of public sector reform: Surveying Japanese agencies
Shuntaro Iizuka (PhD Candidate, School of Social and Political Sciences, The University of Melbourne)
This paper seeks to explore the consequences of public sector reform in the case of Japanese agency reform. Pursuant to other developed countries, Japan has executed the series of extensive administrative reforms since the late 1990s. Amongst those is the agency reform, in which semi-autonomous agencies are created being structurally disaggregated from the central departments. This trend, named agencification, was globally spread backed by the then emerging administrative doctrine of New Public Management. Modelling after the UK’s agency reform, in particular, Japanese government adopted this type of quasi-autonomous administrative agencies in 2001, known as the Independent Administrative Agency (IAA) scheme. To understand the consequences of creating such semi-autonomous organisations, I conducted a questionnaire survey for the CEOs of all Japanese agencies under the IAA umbrella, replicating the equivalent international survey network of COBRA (Comparative Public Organization Data Base for Research and Analysis), which had investigated the operational realities of agencies in approximately twenty jurisdictions. Using the original dataset, this paper will examine the consequences of Japan’s administrative reform with a focus on organizational autonomy.