JERUSALEM (Jan. 24)
The Knesset Finance Committee found officials of the Vered water resources development company guilty of mismanagement but absolved them of charges of corruption in a report issued here Monday night. The report contained the results of a lengthy investigation by the committee of the bankrupt firm, formerly owned by the government, and a series of recommendations for tightening the management of government corporations.
Vered’s financial collapse last Sept., after incurring losses estimated at IL 84 million, gave rise to charges of scandal and corruption. The firm was said to have lost heavily on projects undertaken abroad which were outside the field of water development and which it was ill-equipped to carry out. Vered has since been sold to Solel Boneh, the Histadrut construction cooperative, and is no longer a government corporation.
The Finance Committee recommended strict new administrative and auditing procedures to be adopted immediately by government corporations. It warned that officials of the corporations would be held personally responsible in the future if the new regulations were ignored.
A minority report issued by the Gahal opposition faction accused Vered officials of concealing the truth when they appeared before the Knesset committee and demanded penalties against them. Gahal claimed that Vered’s loss of tax-payers’ money amounted to IL400 million. Yitzhak Golan of the Independent Liberal Party recommended that State corporations drastically curtail their overseas operations.
El Al is to expand services between West Germany and Israel this summer. With one extra flight Frankfurt-Tel Aviv and one Tel Aviv-Munich, El Al will fly these routes three times a week both ways. Flight schedules are being augmented mainly because of increased tourism.