Panel pushes for new code of ethics for MKs [p. 3]

October 19, 2006 00:07

1 minute read.

After more than three years of deliberations, the Public Committee of Inquiry into Knesset Ethics has released a report recommending stronger ethical guidelines for Knesset members. The report also suggests the establishment of a new position - chief of ethics - who would hear complaints from both the public and official figures. While the report was lauded by Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik, it has already been slammed by several MKs who debated the ethics of the committee itself. The members of the committee, which included MKs as well as leading judicial figures, were paid NIS 1,250 per meeting, for a total of NIS 50,000 for their participation in the committee. In addition, one member of the committee, MK Ruhama Avraham, is currently being investigated for illegal trips abroad. "I have some problems with the report but I will not go into details because on the whole I support it," said Itzik. Prof. Yitzhak Zamir, a former Supreme Court justice, headed the committee and said he was "proud of the work they had done." "The events of the past two years, the many ethical infractions by MKs, have only convinced me further how necessary it was to broaden and strengthen the code of ethics at the Knesset," said Zamir. In addition to the new chief of ethics position, other recommendations include expanding ethical guidelines to include parliamentary assistants and restricting the definition of "gifts" that MKs can receive.

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