Activities 2023

AMAN Coalition holds a Panel Discussion on the Reality of Managing the Government Vehicle File

AMAN Coalition holds a Panel Discussion on the Reality of Managing the Government Vehicle File

AMAN Coalition holds a Panel Discussion on the Reality of Managing the Government Vehicle File: Recommendations to Rationalize Public Expenditures in line with the Austerity Plan


Ramallah – The Coalition for Accountability and Integrity – AMAN held, at its headquarters in Ramallah, a panel discussion on a report titled “The Reality of Government Vehicle File Management”, which aims to provide practical recommendations that help adopt suitable measures to strengthen the system of integrity, transparency, and accountability in managing public affairs and funds and rationalizing government expenditures.

The session was opened by Mr. Jehad Harb, Principal Researcher at AMAN, who pointed out that the report under discussion aims to reduce government expenditures as much as possible, in a way that supports the budget, given the difficult financial circumstances faced by the Palestinian National Authority, especially with regard to salaries, and in line with the austerity plan adopted by the government.

The report aims to examine the extent of compliance with procedures and regulations in the process of managing public vehicles and transport, both civil and security, in order to come up with practical recommendations that help decision-makers strengthen the integrity and anti-corruption system in government vehicle management. Harb added that there is a tangible development in legislations related to managing government vehicles, which was represented by the existence of a system for the operation of government vehicles for the civil sector.

Move towards taking over the maintenance of security vehicles

For his part, Assistant Chairman of the Supply and Equipment Authority (SEA), Brigadier General Haitham Saad Al-Din, said that the SEA, in its attempt to save on vehicle maintenance expenses, prepared a feasibility study, including a random sample of ten security agencies and bodies. In light of this, there is a tendency for the Supply and Equipment Authority to take over the vehicle maintenance process to rationalize maintenance expenses.

Saad El-Din added that there are instructions from the Prime Minister to the Head of Supply and Equipment Authority, Major General Saeed Al-Najjar, on the necessity of replacing the fleet of security vehicles and modernizing them, according to professional standards, based on the axes, needs, specifications, maintenance, and sustainability of the fleet.


Al-Shuaibi stresses the need to do a rational vehicle management

For his part, AMAN’s Board of Directors Advisor for Anti-Corruption Affairs, Dr. Azmi Al-Shuaibi, highlighted the importance of rationalizing the management of vehicles, which takes up a significant share of the general budget, in light of the budget deficit that has been ongoing for years. He also stressed the need to save on government expenditures that have increased, and are reflected in the payment of employee salaries and being solved at the expense of raising taxes and prices. At the same time, he warned that the financial crisis may extend for years to come, and the only way out of it, if government expenditures are not reduced, may be to search for external support that will have political and national costs.

The Director of Military Finance Oversight, Brigadier General Osama Abu Sultan, explained that insurance for vehicles belonging to security services is not carried out through bids, but rather at a fixed price, and distributed in equal proportions among all insurance companies. The same applies to fuel. He also pointed out that, recently, there has been a difficulty in contracting with fuel companies, due to the government’s delay in paying for procurements.

Recommendations to reduce expenses

During the discussion of recommendations to reduce government spending on vehicles and avoid the risks of corruption in the use and procurement of vehicles, the Head of Services Department at the Ministry of Social Development, Kamal Nassar, stressed the need to install electronic meters in all government vehicles, in order to reduce the suspicion of using vehicles outside of official work hours, and require each vehicle to have a specific amount of fuel for monthly consumption. Nassar also suggested the activation of the vehicle tracking feature, in order to limit the use of vehicles outside of work hours.

An official from the traffic department of the Ministry of Health, Issa Shakhshir, noted that the cost of maintaining electric cars at the Ministry is very low. By comparing between cars that run on fuel and the electric cars, which save on maintenance and fuel, Shakhshir suggested the need for ministries and official bodies to start buying electric vehicles to save on significant fuel expenses.


Developing the legislative system related to managing government vehicles

The report prepared by AMAN Coalition called on issuing a more detailed law than Decree Law No. (14) of 2023 on regulating the operation of security forces’ vehicles. The detailed law must encompass both the civil and security sectors. It is also imperative to update the regulations issued by the Council of Ministers in this regard in line with the law.

The report also recommended reconsidering the legal provisions that allow the purchase of government vehicles to be used personally upon retirement by some groups included in these provisions. It also calls to reconsider the legal provisions related to removing government vehicles from service, so that the standard of minimum kilometers traveled and period of use would be adopted together instead of adopting each standard separately. This would enable the extension of service of vehicles whose traveled kilometers are less than the minimum, even in cases where the vehicle usage minimum standard is applied. Other standards need to also be adopted with regard to vehicle profiles, such as the nature of maintenance carried out in recent years, fuel consumption rate, and other standards related to vehicle maintenance costs.

The AMAN report recommended providing codes of conduct for employees of the High Council for Public Procurement, employees of the General Supplies Directorate, and employees of the General Public Transport Administration, and not to be limited to the functional code of conduct and general work ethics.

The Ministry of Transport should also activate a telephone line and other means to receive complaints from the public about the misuse of government vehicles, as well as following up complaints and taking relevant measures if the complaint was found to be true, while guaranteeing confidentiality and protection to complainants.

Moreover, the High Council of Public Procurement Policies must do subsequent oversight on government vehicle tenders to ensure the correctness of procedures in place. It is also crucial for the State Audit & Administrative Control Bureau (SAACB) to do an instantaneous monitoring of tenders for procuring government vehicles and not suffice by subsequent monitoring.

Furthermore, it is necessary to obligate all ministries, government institutions, and security agencies to use the electronic ring” system in filling fuel for their vehicles, as well as canceling the coupon system.


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