Heads-up on budget changes gets OK

Finance Ministry agrees to Knesset Finance C'tee request to provide proposed budget changes at least a week in advance.

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October 2, 2013 12:13
1 minute read.
Finance Minister Yair Lapid at the Knesset's Finance Committee, June 11, 2013.

Lapid at Finance C'tee meeting 370. (photo credit: Knesset)

 
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The Finance Ministry decided on Tuesday to agree to a Knesset Finance Committee request to provide its members proposed budget changes at least a week before committee discussions, and answer questions about their proposals in hearings.

The move is intended to increase transparency in the way the budget is implemented, and give Knesset members greater control over changes.

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“It’s necessary to give MKs transparency to plan their steps regarding the budget and changes made in it,” MK Nissan Slomiansky, the finance committee chairman said.

While the annual state budget approved by the government and Knesset lays out the framework of how much money will be spent, the various ways money can be allocated (tenders, contracts, direct payments, subsidies, etc.) and the government’s many decisions throughout the year require regular adjustments, explained Yael Mevorach, the Finance Ministry’s deputy budget director. Whereas companies set out their budgets from November to December, the government typically does so in the summer before the new year.

“In the meantime, some of the needs change. There are also changes in requests and changes in the priorities of the government, the Knesset through legislation, and even ministers in their ministries. All these things require adjustments and appropriate budgetary changes,” she said.

The new system allows committee members time to review the proposals for how to make those adjustments, and prepare questions and alternatives to them, ahead of time.

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