Comptroller Puts Defense Ministry in Crosshairs (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Gabe Kahn 05/01/12)
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State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss submitted his annual report to
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday.
The report has been deemed "unprecedented in scope" and contains 64
chapters reviewing a broad array of state bodies.
The Defense Ministry and IDF under Ehud Barak, however, came under
withering fire from Lindenstrauss who delivered blow after blow in
The comptroller noted that assorted IDF organs failed to follow up on
munitions acquisitions, causing a two-year delay for the army.
He also targeted the IDF failure to meet its enlistment quotas for
the Hareidi sector while simultaneously turning away prospective
volunteers due to relevant programs not being properly funded.
The report also detailed several failures in the decision-making
process regarding the IDF´s drone fleet, noting that the Defense
Ministry and the Aerospace Industries "must review their protocols
and collaboration and ensure that the existing controlling mechanisms
are applied and reviewed.
"Both should also review the great investments needed to realize some
of the projects and their impact on the defense budget."
He further faulted Israel Military Industries´ protocols, saying
that "Deciding on heavy munitions production sans budgetary backup
from the government is a fundamental failure."
Lindenstrauss´ also took aim at military export protocols
saying, "Many operational failures have been found it at least five
Nor did Lindenstrauss stop there. He went on to charge that Defense
Ministry officials, including its director general, had broken
"Given the innate sensitivity of military exports, a situation where
laws and regulations are not followed, or when the Foreign Ministry
is not consulted with, may seriously harm Israel´s interest," he said.
He then went on to slam the government´s failure to implement a plan
to create a missile defense system for civilian planes.
The creation of such a system was ordered by former Prime Minister
Ariel Sharon in 2003 following an incident late in 2002 in which
missiles were fired at an Israeli plane over Kenya.
The Transpiration Ministry was tasked with heading the project, but
failed to form a taskforce on the matter, or ever name specific
individuals to oversee the various aspects of the project.
As a result, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to suspend the
project in 2011, citing "implementation issues."
Lindenstrauss accused officials of "fumbling through it,
writing, "despite this being a matter or national and security
importance and that with each passing day the risk to civilian
aviation grows, the Transportation Ministry still took five months to
follow the PM´s order."
"The fact that a great gap still remains between the intensity of the
threat and that of its solution, is extremity grave," he wrote,
noting the Transportation Ministry had failed to even decide on the
basic concept for the system.
Lindestrauss also took aim at failings in Israel´s Health Ministry,
noting the ongoing wage conflicts with doctors and nurses, and
ongoing staffing problems in Israel´s hospitals.
"I have said on many occasions that the personal liability of those
in the executive branch [of government] is the heart of good
governance," Lindenstrauss said. Public servants "however senior,
must take responsibility for their actions or failures."
Lindenstrauss added that his final report included a review of how to
reduce the bureaucratic burden of public service.
"The role of government and the public sector is to serve the
citizens of the state," Lindenstrauss said, noting that in many
cases, his office had found that public bodies imposed a "heavy and
unnecessary bureaucratic burden on business owners and residents,"
which he said "eroded public trust in public service."
The report will be Lindenstrauss´ last, as he is set to retire. The
Knesset will vote on his replacement on May 14.
Lindesntrauss denied previous reports he was interested in pursuing
the Presidency. (IsraelNationalNews © 2012 05/01/12)
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