Finance Ministry Website Lifts Veil of Secrecy on State Support to Non-profits

Transparency is now the norm for all - except the Defense Ministry; new site also includes data on top 5 wage earners at recipient agencies.

The state provided NIS 22 billion in support to thousands of non-governmental institutions, local authorities, private organizations and other non-governmental recipients this year, Finance Ministry Accountant General Shuki Oren said on Wednesday. And now the public can see who is getting what, after the ministry launched a new website,, which provides the detail. The site also includes data on the top-five wage earners at recipient agencies.

Israeli Opera
Ofer Vaknin

This year the Education Ministry has provided NIS 6.6 billion so far to various agencies. The largest sum went to the network of ORT high schools (NIS 444.6 million ), mostly for teacher salaries. The ministry also provides funding to local authorities to run schools and to pay high school teachers' salaries. This year, for example, the Jerusalem Municipality got NIS 164.5 million for this purpose.

The Culture and Sports Ministry's biggest allocation this year was NIS 45.8 million for the Israel Center for Libraries and the second-largest sum went to the Israeli Opera, which got NIS 19.2 million, followed by the Habima Theater, which received NIS 17.3 million.

So far in 2010, the Social Affairs Ministry has made NIS 119.4 million in allocations including NIS 6 million to the Yad Sarah organization, which provides home medical equipment and services, and NIS 5.8 million to Ezer Mizion, which provides support services to the sick and disabled and the underprivileged.

The Environmental Protection Ministry's support this year has included NIS 1 million for the Emek Hefer regional council for environmental activities. NIS 341,400 was given to the pet adoption service S.O.S. Pets.

The Finance Ministry has provided NIS 146.9 million in services for Holocaust survivors this year. The Health Ministry has transferred NIS 505 million so far in 2010, including NIS 229.3 million to the Clalit HMO to meet its deficit targets, NIS 99.2 million to the Leumit HMO, NIS 71.8 million to the Maccabi HMO, NIS 38.2 million to the Magen David Adom blood and ambulance service and NIS 37.6 million to the Meuhedet HMO.

Among other sidelights in the myriad of data on the site is the fact that the state paid NIS 9.2 million this year to farmers to kill chicks that they were unable to sell and to farmers who destroyed surplus fruits and vegetables. Farmers who were uninsured against the consequences of extreme weather that damaged crops, including a cold snap that caused frost damage, was the basis for NIS 11.9 million in Agriculture Ministry compensation. Farmers who insured their crops got NIS 88.4 million. Egg producers received another NIS 90.6 million while poultry farmers who raise chickens for slaughter got NIS 38.2 million.

However, the new website doesn't provide information from the government ministry with the largest budget: the Defense Ministry.