2014 Activities

AMAN Welcomes the Government's Decision “to Regulate the Use of Government Vehicles"

AMAN Welcomes the Government's Decision “to Regulate the Use of Government Vehicles"

AMAN welcomes the government's decision to regulate the use of government vehicles, which was announced at the cabinet meeting on Tuesday. It stated: "within the context of rationalizing public expenditure and protecting public funds, the Council decided to entrust the State Audit & Administrative Control Bureau SAACB with the preparation of a report on the use of government vehicles belonging to Public departments. The report is to be submitted to the Prime Minister to take the necessary action thereon. The council has also decided to commission the Ministry of Transport and Communications to prepare a comprehensive outlook regarding regulating the use of government vehicles; on condition that, the report includes the correct mechanisms to guarantee these vehicles’ proper use according to their indented purposes. The report must then be submitted to the Council, within two weeks of the date of this meeting, to allow the council to take the necessary legal measures concerning this matter."

The Coalition for Accountability and Integrity AMAN welcomes this decision for its positive economic impact; particularly the rationalization of expenditures. More specifically since the 2014 draft budget, passed by the Council of Ministers during the above mentioned meeting, in the amount of 4.216 billion dollars has a total deficit of 1.629 billion dollars. Moreover, this decision comes after numerous complaints and observations that were sent to AMAN regarding the circumvention of the government’s previous law number # on the rationalization of the use of government vehicles forbusiness purposes only.

An annual cost of 100 Million NIS

AMAN began its campaigns to monitor the misuse of government vehicles since 2010. It continues to work today, in cooperation with the Ministry of Transport and Communications, to stop the waste of public money and the draining of the treasury. AMAN’s interest was sparked following the receipt of numerous complaints about the misuse of government vehicles, which totaled to (4300) cars including those used by the military establishment, and (1400) carsused by civilian public employees. The total cost these vehicles require annually comes up to more than 100 million NIS; including fuel, insurance and maintenance costs.

AMAN was very relieved to learn about the Council of Ministers’decision, announced on 23/8/2010, to withdraw a total of 2100 government vehicles from the trust of senior officials in public institutions; limiting their use to official business only. Thus, all incurred fuel and maintenance costs deducted from the public treasury,shall now be available to the PNA.

This trendwas a testimony on the success of the campaign carried out to advocate and support the Ministry of Transport and Communications’ initiative to monitor the use of government vehicles. The broad scale awareness campaign was launched by AMANand lasted several months. AMAN spared no expense to ensure the success of the ministry campaign by dedicating the Advocacy and Legal Advice Center ALAC Hotline to receive citizens’ complaints regarding misused government vehicles. In addition, AMAN held seminars, field meetings and motivated citizens to report violating vehicles through news items publicized in local newspapers and banners.

The difficulties facing the campaign

The campaign did face several difficulties, especially how campaigners (AMAN and the Department of Public transport within the MOTC, in particular) had to endure severe pressures from those whose vehicles are in violation to stop the pursuit. Moreover, certain public institutions refused to support the campaign or cooperate with the campaigners. This was due to the lack of top management support for the campaign, even though the campaign was in fact proposed and discussed at the Council of Ministers.  Other obstacles included: certain top officials in many public institutions and ministries practiced collusion, and chose to look with a blind eye to the violations of their employees.

Today, we at AMAN hope that the government's decision will help put previous law in force, by putting in place the correct mechanisms to guarantee these vehicles’ proper use according to their indented purposes. In so doing, the PNA’s public treasury will save millions of shekels a month, which would have been spent on fuel, maintenance, insurance and licensing for these vehicles. It also hopes that, public money will no longer be wasted nor will the public treasure be drained, by saving the cost of operating the vehicle outside the formal labor. In addition, it will pursuit and prosecute those who use government license plates on violating vehicles. AMAN will endeavor to raise citizens’ awareness regarding the significance of reporting any misuse of public money and deeming it a form of corruption.

AMAN demands that the government follows the same measures with regard to military vehicles, it recommends the use of special patrols dedicated to public employee transportation, to be facilitated by the traffic police who will monitor and confiscated violating vehicles in all districts. It recommends that the Council of Ministersshould pass the proposed “Government Vehicles Usage System” project. It recommends activating the role of civil institutions dedicated tomonitoring and protecting public funds; in addition to activating the Department of Internal Control - within all public institutions - regarding the use of government vehicles.

Moreover, it recommends the issuance of new laws to deter and criminalize any infringement of public money. Establish a joint operations room to seize violating vehicles (in collaboration with the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the police, and SAACB) and to be facilitated with a Hotline to receive information regarding these violations.In addition, the operation room will be responsible for verifying the accuracy of government vehicles’ registration data, both the vehicles information as well as the vehicle operator’s data.It further recommends that the various Ministries need to place a clear PNA logo that contains the Name of the Ministry on the front and the sides of the Ministry vehicles. This is to allow citizens to easily identify all government vehicles and to monitor any violations.Ministries must halt any new vehicle purchases or leases for public officials use; instead they must make do with donor provided vehicles.These donated cars must follow the small –engine guidelines, otherwise these vehicles are not to be used for this purpose. Each government vehicle should be issued a user card to allowing the traffic police to identify the vehicle, its operating purposes and operating time restrictions - if any. Finally, Ministries must eliminate the exceptions system, in addition all official memos issued by various ministries in this regard, are to be monitored.


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