President Reuven Rivlin met on Wednesday with European state comptrollers attending a conference in Jerusalem for young leaders of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions, presided over by Dutch State Comptroller Arno Visser.
The meeting was attended by State Comptroller Joseph Shapira.
Rivlin said that when he was speaker of the Knesset, the State Comptroller’s Office had become independent and functioned as the fourth branch of government, alongside the High Court of Justice, the government and the parliament.
In 1988, he said, he had been a member of the Knesset Comptroller’s Committee which had debated at what juncture the state comptroller should run an audit – during the course of activity or only at its completion.
The decision, which has been the guiding policy of the State Comptroller’s Office ever since it was determined by the late Miriam Ben-Porat – Israel’s first and only woman state comptroller – was that the audit must be done in real time.
Rivlin quoted the case of the gas masks distributed to civilians by the IDF during the Gulf War in 1990-1991.
It came to Ben-Porat’s attention that the gas masks were flawed and useless.