State Comptroller Yosef Shapira.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
The State Comptroller can be perceived as the fourth branch of Israel’s parliamentary democracy who can check how the government functions and report in real time to the public, President Reuven Rivlin told a representative group of State comptrollers from Europe and Asia on Tuesday.
Israel’s parliamentary democracy consists of executive, legislative and judicial branches – namely the government, the parliament (Knesset) and the High Court of Justice Rivlin told 21 members of the 49 countries that are part of EUROSAI, the European Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions who met with him after touring the President’s Residence. Of the 49 countries, 44 have sent delegations comprising a total of 130 people to participate in a knowledge sharing conference in Jerusalem.
They are in Israel as the guests of State Comptroller Yosef Shapira, who is also very active in the international body. The theme of the conference is Emerging Issues and Emergency Situations, areas in which Israel can set a good example said Miloslav Kala, the First Vice President of EUROSAI and head of the Supreme Audit Office of the Czech Republic.
Kala stressed the importance of sharing information and experience in order to strengthen audit power.
Rivlin explained the duties of the State Comptroller in Israel which entail checking the legality, regularity, efficiency and ethical conduct of the government and public institutions, and reporting on them in more or less real time. Shapira said that he found it strange to speak to Rivlin in English, because they were raised together in the same neighborhood and played football together as children.
Speaking on behalf of the conference participants, Shapira said: “What we all have in common is a strong commitment to better the lives of our nations and to be prepared for future emergency situations. What you don’t prepare in summer, you won’t have in winter.”
He stated that he also wanted the government to be prepared.
“By sharing knowledge and cooperating, we also make each other stronger in facing changing realities,” said Shapira.
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