(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
According to a State Comptroller’s Report released Tuesday on the Mossad,
Israel’s secret intelligence unit is severely lacking in foresight when it comes
to its internal logistics.
The report describes serious planning and
construction violations committed by the Mossad’s logistics department
“indicating long-term and worrying harm to good governance practices, including
inefficiency and wasted funds.”
“Construction in the Mossad’s compounds
has seen a huge upsurge in recent years, amounting to hundreds of millions of
shekels,” the report stated.
“Many shortcomings were discovered in the
construction field, many of them serious, including lack of proper planning for
construction projects, failure to hold tenders as required, substantial
increases of costs and gaps of dozens of percentage points between assessments
and actual costs, all of which point to unworthy management of construction
In one case, the report found that the Mossad had declared a
construction company the winner of a tender to build an office complex – a day
after it had already signed a contract with the same company to build
In another case, the report found that the Mossad had granted a
company a contract to build a 2,000 sq. m.
building costing millions,
without issuing any tender.
In yet a third project, the Mossad had
granted a contract worth NIS 3.7 million to a company without receiving offers
from six other companies that were supposed to participate in the
Apart from flaws in planning and obtaining permits, the report
also found severe safety violations at Mossad construction sites. Despite an
inspection report by the Housing and Construction Ministry, released in April
2008, in September 2008, people on the site were still working without helmets,
electric cables were improperly insulated and workers were working without
adequate scaffolding and fencing in place to ensure their safety, the
comptroller’s report said.
The report also inspected payroll procedures
and found that Mossad drivers were paid excessive compensation for overtime.
Moreover, the workday was an hour less for drivers than for other Mossad
employees, leading to even more overtime payments.
Micha Lindenstrauss recommended that the attorney-general and the Treasury’s
controller follow the internal inspection procedures to make sure the
shortcomings are remedied.
The Prime Minister’s Office said in response
to the report that “the organization had received the report and was treating it
with utmost seriousness and responsibility. The needs of the Mossad, which were
dictated by the circumstances, demanded many planning and construction actions
of unprecedented scale and demanded changes that were made while work was under
way and which could not have been anticipated in advance.
“The head of
the Mossad has set up an internal inspection and implementation team and is
personally following its work. Some of the shortcomings mentioned in the report
have already been remedied and others are in the process of being fixed,” the