Still no guidelines on employing relatives of senior civil service officials

Two years after finding that some senior officials in the Civil Service Commission had relatives working in various government branches, State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss reported on Wednesday that the civil service commissioner had still not drafted new guidelines based on the previous report's recommendations. Wednesday's findings were a follow-up on a segment of the annual report from 2007 dealing with conflicts of interest because of family ties in government ministries. According to that report, some of the senior Civil Service Commission officials, who have the power to determine work conditions for civil service employees, had family members working for the government. In some cases, the same problem applies to senior civil service employees, even if they do not work in the Civil Service Commission. In the 2007 report, the state comptroller found that there was no regulation requiring the senior officials in the Civil Service Commission or other ministries to declare that they had relatives working in other ministry offices. He recommended that the Civil Service Commission determine which position-holders would have to state whether or not they had relatives in the civil service and what constraints should apply to them if they did. Furthermore, following the report, the Knesset State Control Committee called for civil service employees to declare from time to time, or at least when they were promoted, whether they had connections to senior officials or institutions related to their work. Although Lindenstrauss's Wednesday report showed that no new guidelines to that effect had been put in place yet, he also found that the civil service commissioner had introduced new rules making it harder for government ministries to hire workers who had relatives in the same ministry.