Irregularities found at Foreign Ministry missions in NY

Report highlights lack of communication between consul-general, Jerusalem.

May 12, 2010 08:46
1 minute read.
new york skyline 88

new york skyline 88. (photo credit: )

The consul-general in New York does not write nearly enough reports to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, and the ones he does write are incomplete, the state comptroller found in a chapter devoted to the operations of the consulate in New York, as well as Israel’s mission at the UN.

According to the report, which looked at the functioning at the Foreign Ministry’s two representative offices in New York between April and October 2009, the consul-general rarely provided the Foreign Ministry with assessments or reports of his meetings with local officials.

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Furthermore, according to the comptroller report, the consul-general’s reports were frequently signed by his office manager, who often did not even take part in the meetings. Even when the consul-general did send the reports, the comptroller found, he rarely got any feedback from his superiors in Jerusalem.

The report also found that a number of representatives serving in the New York missions did not receive proper training before being sent to their posts, and in some cases did not even have the experience needed to carry out their jobs. To make the transition even more difficult, the comptroller found that the Foreign Ministry was lax in demanding that each returning diplomat complete a form upon leaving their positions that would help their replacements move more easily into their new posts.

According to the report, business expenditures from the consulate were not detailed enough, and it was impossible to verify whether claimed expenses were indeed for proper business purposes.

The report found that a number of those working in the consulate or at the UN mission sent their children to private schools, both Jewish and non-Jewish, without the ministry establishing beforehand how much it would be willing to pay. The tuition for these institutions ranged from $10,000 to $30,000 a year, and the combined bill to the state reached $226,000 annually. Some other children of Israelis working for the Foreign Ministry in New York, the report read, studied at public schools, whose standards were high and which did not charge tuition.

The report also said that the state paid twice as much for an apartment for the consul-general in New York than it did for two other senior officials living in the Manhattan area.

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