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Avidan to Head Watchdog Committee to Guard Against Corruption

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Shimon Avidan, past secretary of the Mapam-sponsored Hakibutz Haartzi movement has agreed to head a three-man watchdog committee proposed by Defense Minister Shimon Peres to guard against corruption, fraud and mismanagement in the Defense Ministry. The other members of the group recruited by Peres are Prof. Hans Klinghoffer, who will be in charge of the judicial aspects of the Ministry’s work and Dr. Arthur Bergman, director general of the Maritime Bank, who will advise the Ministry on economic and financial matters.

Peres formed the committee as a direct consequence of the numerous instances of bribery, collusion and incompetence in the Defense Ministry and the armed forces now under investigation. Corruption in nearly all government ministries, branches and agencies was charged in the report just released by State Comptroller Yitzhak Nebenzahl. The report was discussed by the Cabinet at its weekly session last Sunday and measures were announced to correct the situation. Peres said, the three-man watchdog group will be provided with a staff of accountants, auditors and other professionals to assist in its work.

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