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Japan: Spending on Public Works Surges in Disaster-Hit Areas
Source: yomiuri.co.jp
Source Date: Saturday, October 27, 2012
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government
Country: Japan
Created: Nov 01, 2012

Public works spending in 58 disaster-hit municipalities in eastern Japan increased 2.6-fold in fiscal 2011 from predisaster levels, but municipalities are suffering from a lack of qualified personnel to carry out projects, according to the Board of Audit.
In a report submitted to the Diet, the board called for assistance for these municipalities, saying the surge in reconstruction-related work has caused serious shortfalls in personnel, which has led to a decline in execution rates of public works.

The board audited the execution of government reconstruction subsidies and grants allocated to the 58 municipalities in seven prefectures, including Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima, which were hardest hit by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

The 58 municipalities' public works spending financed by reconstruction-related government subsidies and grants totaled about 592.6 billion yen in fiscal 2011. This figure was 2.6 times higher than the 223.1 billion yen spent on average for annual public works expenditures in the preceding five years.

In 10 municipalities in the three northeastern prefectures, the figure surpassed pre-disaster levels by 10-fold.

Public works spending per employee in the civil engineering division was nearly 20 times its predisaster level in Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture, and over 10 times the pre-disaster level in five other municipalities.
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