Shikli's Proposal

Shikli to Smotrich: Transfer the money to the Arab authorities

Social Equality Minister Amichai Shikli responded to Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich's decision and called on him to transfer the budgets to the Arab authorities, while finding a way to prevent spillover to criminal organizations

(Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90)

Minister of Social Equality, Amichai Shikli, responded today (Tuesday) to the decision of Finance Minister Zeev Smotrich not to transfer budgets to Arab authorities and called on him to reconsider his decision. In his letter, Shikli requested that the money be transferred to Arab authorities while finding a way to prevent funding from flowing to criminal organizations.

"As a minister trusted with authority for Economic Development in the Arab society and the implementation of government programs in this sector, I find it necessary to address your decision to halt the transfer of budgetary allocations to Arab authorities," wrote Shikli. "Indeed, there is a serious problem of unprecedented proportions of criminal elements taking control of tenders in some Arab authorities. However, there is no justification or logic in denying the balance grants that the authorities relied upon in their annual budget planning, grants whose denial will lead to impoverishment and the cessation of essential services for residents."

"My position as Minister for Social Equality is that action must be taken to transfer the budgets to the authorities" Shikli clarified. "Despite the fact that the Hirsch report did not deal with the current budget, but with the development budgets, it is possible to draw from its recommendations components that will enable better supervision of the current budget as well."

Shikli presented the components that can be used to monitor the funds: the creation of framework tenders for waste collection and transportation in areas where criminal organizations have been found to be particularly involved, the establishment of a database of approved contractors for work in the field of local authorities with an individual police investigation for each contractor, the establishment of a tender committee based on the professionals that are in the authority and not the members of the council, and changing the method of payment in tenders with an emphasis on the prohibition of checks deducted for cash, or payment in cash and charging payment through bank transfers."

"In addition, I propose, as part of the project, to establish a minority division in the spatial districts of the Israel Police, a dedicated unit for the supervision of tenders in the Arab authorities within the framework of the current budget," Shikli concluded.

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