Over the past two months, the Ministry of Finance exceptions committee approved NIS 24 billion in spending above the ordinary legally stipulated budget for managing the temporary state budget (one twelfth of the previous year's budget), according to figures published today by the Ministry of Finance. Among other things, 243 requests by the Ministry of Defense totaling NIS 2.3 billion were approved.
The largest amounts of extra spending approved were for transportation (in most cases for multi-year budget frameworks). For example, NIS 5.3 billion was approved for continuation of the railway electrification project, NIS 6 billion for digging tunnels for the Tel Aviv light railway using a tunnel boring machine (TBM), and NIS 105 million for security for the Jerusalem light railway.
NIS 1.85 million and NIS 6.87 million were approved to pay for overseas travel by all government ministries in January and February 2015, respectively.
A temporary budget in Israel is managed according to the Basic Law: The State Economy (1975), which allows the government to spend one twelfth of the preceding yearly budget each month, plus linkage to the Consumer Price Index. The budget slated for division is divided with first priority given to payment of the state's debts under the law and from contracts and conventions. The government is to use the remainder only to operate essential services and actions included in the preceding budget law (including budget transfers made during the year).
Spending not included in this framework requires the approval of four exceptions committees appointed by the Ministry of Finance Accountant General, with the participation of representatives of the various departments: an exceptions committee for agreements; an exceptions committee for personnel, training, and welfare affairs; an exceptions committee for support payments; and an exceptions committee for security ministries. The Ministry of Finance also has two special exceptions committees for approval of mega transportation projects and the Prime Minister's Office's Digital Israel project.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on March 4, 2015
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