The Ministry of Finance has set up a task force to administer and manage the collection of outstanding debt after it was revealed that governmental bodies have failed to collect at least NIS 7 billion they are owed.
According to first estimates of an internal survey revealed to the The Jerusalem Post that was carried out by the Accountant General department of the Ministry of Finance, Israelis owe more than NIS 7b. to a variety of governmental offices, ministries and collection bodies.
Money owed mainly included fines and governmental fees and does not include money owed to tax authorities or local authorities.
First indications revealed that the Ministry of Health was owed NIS 1.5b., the Ministry of Justice had failed to collect NIS 1b., court offices were owed NIS 886 million and NIS 770m were owed to the Israel Land Administration over the past year and longer.
One of the main reasons for the failure of collection is the inexistence of a central umbrella organization that regulates and overlooks both the amounts citizens owe to the respective ministries and the activities and actions put into place by the ministries to enforce debt collection.
Until now, the ministries had no binding policy and incentive to properly enact debt collection and some have not made use of the legal measures at their disposal.
The accountant general task force is expected, by the end of January, to present a comprehensive report, which will provide more accurate information on the amounts due and the actions that need to be taken.
The task force was set up by Accountant General Yaron Zelicha and is headed by Yariv Nechamah, Senior Deputy Accountant General of the Ministry of Finance.
The next step will be to set up a central body that will formulate a policy and act as a regulator to bind and give governmental offices incentives to enforce debt collection.
The regulator might either overlook all governmental offices or act on a geographic basis.