Something's fishy at Hod Hasharon municipality

According to the report, one glaring fault was in the Planning and Construction committees.

Hod Hasharon city comptroller Motti Freund has found serious faults in a number of municipal departments in his report for 2006, reports Improper practices and defects in planning and construction projects, a growing deficit in the city's Mofet cultural organization, "exploding" expenses in the city's basketball organization, and unapproved purchases by several departments were among the comptroller's findings. According to the report, one glaring fault was in the Planning and Construction committees. The district committee approved a building project for 165 units in 2001, but three years later builders presented the local committee with plans for 248 units - and one builder paid NIS 1 million as an "advance" to get the project underway. The comptroller said the increased number was a "recognizable deviation" from the original plan and from the existing housing density in the area, and should not have come before the local committee at all, while the builder's advance payment gave "an appearance of favoritism." The comptroller also found that the expenses of the Mofet organization, which runs the city's cultural center, grew by NIS 157,000 in 2006, bringing its deficit to NIS 191,500 - in a year when Mofet was supposed to reduce its expenses by NIS 80,000. The comptroller found that there was no efficiency plan at the organization, and no protocols for controlling salaries and expenses. Similarly, the basketball organization recorded a massive deficit of NIS 23.5 million. The comptroller found that purchasing and distribution of equipment was not recorded, and workers were not insured for compensation and pensions. The comptroller also questioned purchases by several departments. The Torah Culture Department spent NIS 3,900 on 300 bottles of wine for "needy families," and a further NIS 39,000 on siddurim (prayer books) and calendars, all from the same Bnei Brak supplier and without comparing prices or obtaining the approval of the Purchasing Department. Similarly, the city paid a builder NIS 81,000 for office furniture, emergency work and fencing without obtaining the purchasing department's approval. The council was to meet to discuss the findings this week.