Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto instructed his advisory panel May 19 to review the civil servant system and by the end of fiscal 1998 wrap up a report detailing ways to maximize the effect of ongoing efforts to trim the central government.

Speaking at the first meeting of the panel at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence, Hashimoto said the review is vital for reform of the administrative system and of five other areas. Pointing to recent of scandals involving bureaucrats, Hashimoto said the civil servant system should be reviewed in a way to win public trust while increasing the efficiency of public-sector services. The panel, made up of 20 opinion leaders, will review the personnel management of bureaucrats, including the current seniority system and life-time employment, according to government officials.

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