Taxpayer money can be used more efficiently in university research center construction and military computer systems development, according to a spending review released by the government Wednesday.

The Finance Ministry reviewed 12 government-funded projects between fiscal 1995 and fiscal 2002 to see how efficiently budget allocations have been spent.

Specific figures on over-expenditures, however, were not released.

The latest review, the second of its kind, suggests that national universities can trim construction costs for research laboratories by building common research space instead of creating labs for individual researchers.

It also points out that construction costs for university buildings can be slashed by adopting the latest engineering technology.

Under a five-year plan to build facilities at national universities, 146.4 billion yen is allocated for fiscal 2002.

Regarding the SDF, the report says that computer system development costs can be reduced by integrating systems that are being operated separately by the Air, Ground and Maritime Self-Defense Forces.

The report also criticizes projects that are aimed at revitalizing shopping districts, saying they do not necessarily result in increased patronage of the areas.

The government allocated 4.8 billion yen in fiscal 2001 and 3.2 billion yen in the current fiscal year to projects that included: adding color to shopping streets and turning streets into arcades.

The review, however, found there is little evidence to suggest that coloring pavements helps increase the number of visitors to the districts.

The government’s first spending review, which covered 31 projects, was released in June.

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